Book Provides Progress Report on Creating Spatial Data Infrastructures in Europe

Building European Spatial Data Infrastructures promotes a general understanding of SDI concepts and provides examples of practical applications.

Building European Spatial Data Infrastructures promotes a general understanding of SDI concepts and provides examples of practical applications.

The third edition of Building European Spatial Data Infrastructures presents an update on the efforts of the European Union (EU) to create a system for spatial data sharing among the 28 EU member nations. Building a spatial data infrastructure (SDI)—a common framework or language for sharing geographic information—will make providing geographic information and developing geographic information system (GIS)-based applications easier within the EU.

This nontechnical book covers several topics of interest to government agencies, businesses, and other organizations that want to improve the ability to share environmental, public health, or other types of spatial data throughout the EU. An SDI also creates a more transparent government and improves services to citizens.

Early chapters focus on the many uses of GIS technology, how GIS works, and why SDIs are needed. Later chapters are devoted to how member nations are complying with the plan to create a European SDI, called the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) by the deadline of 2020. Authors Ian Masser and Joep Crompvoets also describe what milestones have been reached and where more work needs to be done.

“GIS can help the EU better deal with many growth-related and other challenges,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “However, to collaborate successfully, it’s imperative to implement an SDI with rules for exchanging data and services across boundaries.”

Masser and Crompvoets are two of the world’s leading experts on SDIs. Masser is an emeritus professor at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, and was founder chairman of the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories for Europe (AGILE). He currently is a visiting professor at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. Crompvoets is an associate professor at KU Leuven Public Governance Institute in Belgium and secretary-general of EuroSDR, a European spatial data research network that promotes applied research between national mapping agencies and research institutes and universities.

Building European Spatial Data Infrastructuresis available in print (ISBN: 9781589483835, 100 pages, US$34.99) or as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589484061, US$34.99). The book is available at online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

OGC Seeks Public Comment on Candidate 3D Portrayal Service Standard

OGC_newThe membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) seeks public comment on the candidate OGC 3D Portrayal Service (3DPS) Standard.

In the last decade, progress in airborne and mobile laser scanning and photogrammetric methods has brought an explosion of terrain data and detailed 3D models of the built environment. The 3d models are often maintained in proprietary environments.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Web3D Consortium have both been working to address the need for interoperability, as well as the content challenges of volume, access speed, and diversity of devices. The Web3D Consortium has focused on open standards for real-time 3D visualization, including streaming, and their members developed a Geospatial Component extension for X3D. The OGC has focused on developing a service interface to provide interoperable access to 3D geospatial data servers. In 2012, a group of OGC members, building on work done in both organizations, completed the 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment (3DPIE) to develop and evaluate best practices for 3D portrayal services.

Based on the results of the 3DPIE, an OGC 3D Portrayal Service Standards Working group (3D Portrayal Service SWG) was chartered to progress two different OGC proposals to the state of one integrated, adopted OGC standard. The current draft candidate 3D Portrayal Service Standard, a unified web service for 3D portrayal, is intended to make it easy for applications to present, explore, and analyze complex 3D geospatial data from diverse sources.

The candidate OGC 3D Portrayal Service Standard is designed to support both client and server side rendering. For client-side rendering, the client requests a 3D model from the server. The server extracts the requested model from the 3D geodata server and generates a 3D scene graph including geometry and textures. Depending on the server’s capabilities, data formats such as X3D, KML and COLLADA can be used to retrieve the scene graph. The rendering of the scene is done on the client side. In a web client, X3DOM and/or XML3D can be used to integrate the scene into an immersive HTML5 experience. However, there are no fixed format requirements, opening the service for other technologies such as JSON-based glTF. For server side rendering, the client passes the requested content and view parameters to the server. The server then generates layered image depictions of the 3D environment for display on the client. In either scenario, the client’s user can query and navigate through the 3D content.

The documents for the candidate OGC 3D Portrayal Service Standard are available for review and comment at http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/requests/130. Comments are due by 27 February, 2015. The candidate standard is hosted on GitHub, making it is easy to follow the latest changes and the rationales behind those changes.

[Source: OGC press release]

New Book, “Python Scripting for ArcGIS,” Now Available

Python Scripting for ArcGIS is a guide for experienced users of ArcGIS Desktop to get started with Python scripting without needing previous programming experience.

Python Scripting for ArcGIS is a guide for experienced users of ArcGIS Desktop to get started with Python scripting without needing previous programming experience.

Python Scripting for ArcGISis a guide to help experienced users of ArcGIS for Desktop get started with Python scripting. The book teaches users how to write Python code that works with spatial data to automate geoprocessing tasks in ArcGIS. Experience with other scripting or programming languages is helpful but not required.

Key topics in this book include Python language fundamentals, exploring and manipulating spatial data, working with geometries and rasters, map scripting, debugging and error handling, creating functions and classes, and creating and sharing script tools. Python Scripting for ArcGIS contains 14 chapters with corresponding online data and exercises available on the Esri Press book resource page at esripress.esri.com/bookresources.

Author Paul A. Zandbergen is an associate professor of geography at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where he teaches classes in GIS and spatial analysis. His areas of expertise include GIS applications in criminology, economics, health, and ecology, as well as spatial and statistical analysis techniques using GIS.

Python Scripting for ArcGIS is available at online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. (Print ISBN: 978-1-58948-371-2, 358 pages, US$79.99) (E-book ISBN: 978-1-58948-362-0, 358 pages, US$79.99).

A mobile-optimized edition is available from the Esri Books app (ISBN: 978-1-58948-402-3, US$59.99).

ArcGIS 10.3 Now Certified OGC Compliant

Esri logoEsri Users Benefit from Interoperability Standard

As part of Esri’s ongoing support of GIS interoperability, the latest ArcGIS 10.3 release is now certified as Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), compliant.

This certification from OGC reaffirms Esri’s continued commitment to standards-based interoperability. Through its support for OGC specifications, ArcGIS users can access data and services from many different sources, regardless of the technology used by those sources. In addition, users can share their content with others, including non-Esri users, thus contributing to the larger goals of the open data movement.

“Our goal is to help our users be successful, and Esri sees technical interoperability as a key driver to successful implementations,” said Dr. Satish Sankaran, Esri product manager for interoperability and member of the OGC Architecture Board.

The OGC leads the development of geospatial interoperability standards. Esri is a long-standing, active OGC participant, helping GIS users to seamlessly work together.

Esri’s first OGC compliancy certificates were granted in 1999, and many more Esri ArcGIS platform products have met OGC compliancy since then.

See the full list of OGC-compliant products from Esri.

[Source: Esri press release]

OGC Requests Comment on LandInfra Conceptual Model

OGC_newThe Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC(R)) membership has issued a Request for Comments on the OGC LandInfra Conceptual Model.

This document, the first public draft of the OGC’s proposed UML conceptual model for land parcels and the built environment, communicates the proposed intent and content of a new candidate OGC standard to be called the OGC InfraGML Encoding Standard. The UML conceptual model establishes a single set of consistent concepts that could be implemented in GML (as InfraGML) or in other encoding mechanisms.

After reviewing the existing LandXML format, the OGC Land and Infrastructure Domain Working Group (LandInfraDWG) decided that a fresh start standard was warranted. The new standard would have a use case driven subset of LandXML functionality, but it would be consistent with the OGC standards baseline, implemented with the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML), and supported by a Unified Model Language (UML) conceptual model. Called InfraGML, this new standard would: be supported by a recognized Standards Developing Organization, OGC align with existing OGC (and TC211 and SQL/MM) standards, including the OGC Modular Specification benefit from functionality already supported by GML, including features, geometry, coordinate reference systems, linear referencing, and surface modeling (TIN) initially focus on alignments/roads, survey, and land parcels, the subject areas for which there are identified needs and committed resources for development using modular extensions, be able to expand into other areas (e.g., “wet” infrastructure pipe networks) as resources become available be use-case driven be based on a UML conceptual model developed prior to any encoding, such as GML have more up-to-date functionality be synchronized with the concurrent efforts by buildingSMART International in their development of Infrastructure-based Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs), and be more easily integrated with TransXML and OGC CityGML.

The work on buildingSMART International’s IFC Alignment Extension has been carried out by their P6 project team in strong collaboration with OGC Land&Infra Group. The use cases and the conceptual model are results of the joint work.

“This cooperation between buildingSMART International and the OGC will make it possible for software to directly map IFC alignment models to InfraGML and vice versa,” explained Richard Petrie, chief executive of buildingSMART International. “This represents an important milestone in reaching our shared goal of vendor-neutral standards that enable integration of geospatial information and information about the built environment.”

Scott Simmons, Executive Director of the OGC Standards Program, said, “The joint coordination of OGC and buildingSMART International in developing this conceptual model is an example of the benefits of proactive engagement between Standards Development Organizations. Our working together will result in a standard better suited to both communities and we’ll accomplish this much more quickly than if we worked separately now and harmonized later.”

The OGC LandInfra Conceptual Model and Request for Comment are available at https://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/61594.

[Source: OGC press release]

URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Awards Process Opens

URISAURISA is pleased to announce the Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Awards process for 2015. Since 1980, URISA’s ESIG Awards have recognized extraordinary achievements in the use of geospatial information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. The award competition is open to all public agencies at the federal, state/provincial, regional and local levels. Winners will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015 in Spokane, Washington, October 18-22, 2015.

Submissions are invited in two categories:

Enterprise Systems: Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of using information systems technology in a multi-department environment as part of an integrated process. These systems exemplify effective use of technology yielding widespread improvements in the process(es) and/or service(s) involved and/or cost savings to the organization.

Single Process Systems: Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

Submissions are due May 1, 2015.  An application requiring details on the Jurisdiction, System Design,  Implementation,  Organizational Impact and System Resources is available online: http://www.urisa.org/awards/exemplary-systems-in-government/

The list of 2014 ESIG Award Recipients follows.
ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY

Exemplary System: NH Mosaic Parcel Map – State of New Hampshire

Distinguished Systems:

  • Building an Enterprise GIS for the Newest City in Georgia – City of Brookhaven, GA
  • RECOVER: Rehabilitation Capability Convergence of Ecosystem Recovery – State of Idaho

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY

Exemplary System: NCHHSTP Atlas – The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention

Distinguished Systems:

  • MapGeo – Nashua Regional Planning Commission
  • Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair Tracking Application – City of Perrysburg, OH
  • Richmond’s Data Extraction Tool – City of Richmond, BC
  • ZoneSJ Map Viewer – City of Saint John, NB
  • CropScape – United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service

To view last year’s winning submission, visit: http://www.urisa.org/awards/exemplary-systems-in-government/

[Source: URISA news release]

Combining Geographic Information Systems and Ethnography to Better Understand and Plan Ocean Space Use

Applied Geography, January 2015

By C. M. Sullivan, F. D. L. Conway, C. Pomeroy, M. Hall-Arber, D. J. Wright

“Agencies in the US with oversight for marine renewable energy development have idealistically sought space where this new use might proceed unhindered by other uses. Despite experiential evidence of spatial overlap among existing ocean uses, a lack of documentation makes the identification of potential space-use conflicts, communication among existing and potential ocean users, and the design of mitigation exceedingly challenging.We conducted a study in select communities along the US Atlantic and Pacific coasts to gather and document available spatial information on existing use through a compilation and organization of geographic information system (GIS) data. Stakeholder group meetings were used to vet the collected spatial data and ethnographic interviews were conducted to gather additional knowledge and cultural perspectives.

Relative density of ocean space use in Oregon. Values range from 1 to 17, indicating the number of overlapping categories of ocean space use present in each cell.

Relative density of ocean space use in Oregon. Values range from 1 to 17, indicating the number of overlapping categories of ocean space use present in each cell.

“Results show extensive overlap of existing ocean space uses and provide a visualization of the social and cultural landscape of the ocean that managers can use to determine which stakeholders to engage when considering the development of alternative uses. Marine space use is dynamic and multi-dimensional and there are important linkages within and across fisheries and other uses, communities and interests, as well as across the land-sea interface. The research reported here demonstrates the feasibility and necessity of (1) integrating ethnographic and geospatial data collection and analysis; (2) engaging stakeholders throughout the process; and (3) recognizing the unique qualities of each geographic location and user group to support sound decision-making.”