A SMART Groundwater Portal: An OGC Web Services Orchestration Framework for Hydrology to Improve Data Access and Visualisation in New Zealand

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences, Accepted 30 April 2014

By Hermann Klug and Alexander Kmoch


  • We contrast international state of the art data sharing with the present status in New Zealand.
  • We provide a Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Repeatable and Time-based web service orchestration.
  • Users Save Money and Reduce Time to achieve access to distributed groundwater data.

“Transboundary and cross-catchment access to hydrological data is the key to designing successful environmental policies and activities. Electronic maps based on distributed databases are fundamental for planning and decision making in all regions and for all spatial and temporal scales. Freshwater is an essential asset in New Zealand (and globally) and the availability as well as accessibility of hydrological information held by or held for public authorities and businesses are becoming a crucial management factor. Access to and visual representation of environmental information for the public is essential for attracting greater awareness of water quality and quantity matters.


“Detailed interdisciplinary knowledge about the environment is required to ensure that the environmental policy-making community of New Zealand considers regional and local differences of hydrological statuses, while assessing the overall national situation. However, cross-regional and inter-agency sharing of environmental spatial data is complex and challenging. In this article, we firstly provide an overview of the state of the art standard compliant techniques and methodologies for the practical implementation of simple, measurable, achievable, repeatable, and time-based (SMART) hydrological data management principles. Secondly, we contrast international state of the art data management developments with the present status for groundwater information in New Zealand. Finally, for the topics (i) data access and harmonisation, (ii) sensor web enablement and (iii) metadata, we summarise our findings, provide recommendations on future developments and highlight the specific advantages resulting from a seamless view, discovery, access, and analysis of interoperable hydrological information and metadata for decision making.”

URISA’s Student Competition Revolutionized for GIS-Pro 2014

URISAIn a recent development for GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s Annual Conference taking place September 8-11, 2014 in New Orleans, the URISA Vanguard Cabinet has revitalized the traditional student presentation competition.

Help revitalize traditional poster contests by joining the Vanguard Cabinet for a showcase of recent ‘maptastic’ GIS student innovations. Instead of traditional printed and thumb-tacked maps, we are going completely digital. There will be a series of brief presentations (no longer than five minutes each) during the competition session on September 9th at 2:00 PM where students will compete for the “Best Presentation” cash award*. Additionally, digital submissions will be accepted for students unable to attend the conference, where they can compete for additional cash prizes in various categories. All approved submissions will be uploaded online and displayed in the common area during the conference, to allow conference attendees to vote on a “People’s Choice” award. All awards will be presented to select competitors during the Wednesday morning awards ceremony at GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s 52nd Annual Conference in New Orleans.

“With today’s GIS students becoming the future leaders of our industry, it’s essential to offer students a platform to continue learning, present analysis results, and get feedback to improve their skills,” said Ashley Hitt, a current URISA board member. “As young GIS professionals, the Vanguard Cabinet recognizes this and is offering more opportunities for students and other young professionals to get involved and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Students may submit a map or poster .pdf (or image file), a PowerPoint presentation, or a video walk-through of a web app., mobile app., model, or script they have developed. All submissions will be reviewed, to ensure appropriate content, and competitors will receive an email confirmation upon approval. We encourage competitors to attend the conference to present their work, but those unable to attend will still be able to compete for all but the “Best Presentation” award. All students are welcome to compete, as long as they submit evidence of at least half-time enrollment at an accredited college for the Fall 2014 term. More details, as well as the competition application form, can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/gispro2014studentcompetition/.

Additional opportunities for GIS students to get involved with the URISA GIS-Pro Conference – to be held in New Orleans, LA from September 8-11, 2014 – include a panel designed for students/young professionals and student volunteer opportunities.

  • Young Professional/Student Panel: This will be an educational session for students and young GIS professionals to learn more about GIS career paths, how to keep up with skills and technology changes required for more advanced positions, advice on creating effective resumes and portfolios, interview tips, and resources for open job positions. This session will take place on Tuesday, September 9 from 4-5 p.m.
  • Student Volunteer Opportunities: URISA strives to involve students as much as possible in its annual conference. There are a limited number of opportunities to attend the conference through a complimentary registration, in return for volunteering at the conference. An application is posted here: https://sites.google.com/site/gispro2014studentcompetition/volunteer

If you have any questions about the student competition, or would like additional information, please contact urisa.vc@gmail.com.

About URISA: URISA – Fostering Excellence in GIS – is a leading provider of learning and knowledge for the GIS community. URISA connects great ideas and great people to inspire leadership and achievement. We strive to provide exceptional educational experiences, a vibrant and connected community, and the essential resources you need to be successful in your career. URISA is a multidisciplinary association where professionals from all parts of the spatial data community come together to share concerns and ideas. www.urisa.org

About the URISA Vanguard Cabinet: The vision of the Vanguard Cabinet is to provide students and young professionals within the geospatial profession with opportunities to further professional development and represent their interests with the URISA organization. http://www.urisa.org/about/vanguard

* URISA is seeking a total of $1,500 in sponsorship funds to award cash prizes to the top submissions in various categories. Demonstrate your commitment to future GIS leaders by sponsoring this important event.  If your organization is interested in sponsoring the student competition, or would like additional information, please contact Wendy Nelson at wnelson@urisa.org.

[Source: URISA press release]