Monday, March 22, 2010

Carbon Project, Arkansas Selected for NSDI Geo-Synchronization Project

The Carbon Project is pleased to announce its software has been selected by the 2010 National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP). The project will be conducted with the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO) and develop a Gov 2.0 collaboration platform for updating county, state and federal geospatial data using a geo-synchronization service.

The effort uses the CarbonCloud Sync platform from The Carbon Project and GIS from ESRI. These technologies will integrate county transportation data into a federation of collaborating state and federal databases. The approach uses standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and provides a bridge between current GIS processes and a new generation of collaborative NSDI geo-synchronization. It also allows the state to advance data stewardship, and federal systems to automatically keep data sets up-to-date. The approach is consistent with a vision for the NSDI where local governments and states have geographic information they'd like to volunteer to The National Map - and The National Map has procedures to accept this "VGI".

Partners for the project will include the AGIO, the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board, the Arkansas GIS Users Forum, and The Carbon Project. The AGIO begun under Governor Huckabee and now enjoys strong support from Governor Beebe.

The NSDI CAP was established by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to help form partnerships to implement the NSDI. The United States NSDI includes the technology, policies, criteria, standards and people to promote geospatial information sharing throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and academia.

For more information or to learn how organizations can participate, please contact or visit

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Geospatial and Gov 2.0? Best to use open standards

In an effort to embrace a new age of tranparency, government agencies at all levels are turning to Gov 2.0 technologies that promote collaboration. Some of these approaches, like CarbonCloud Sync, iPhone GPS and others, can provide a platform and the tools for government-citizen collaboration through interoperability and open standards - while maximizing existing GIS investments.

However, a key point factor in ensuring these platforms are transparent is the use of open standards like "WFS" supported by all major geospatial services, such as ESRI, CubeWerx, ERDAS and GeoServer. Once these standards are implemented it's possible to synchronize geographic updates from citizens and government sources directly to any geospatial database - saving lots of time and money. Counties, states and federal agencies could improve efficiency, cut red-tape, and reduce data gridlock without making any changes to their GIS infrastructure. Furthermore, platforms like CarbonCloud Sync service can be hosted on an agency's server or on the Microsoft Azure Cloud to help reduce IT costs.

Once this approach is in place, citizens can submit updates and reports from their smartphones and websites directly to MANY local and national GIS, while professionals can use GIS tools to validate the proposed updates. Geographic updates may be easily coordinated with other localities, federal agencies, or civilian and commercial organizations. We think this type of crowd-sourcing (combined with interoperability and open standards) can promote a new level of transparency and collaboration visibility to all levels of the government.
- Jeff and Nuke

Friday, March 05, 2010

More people choosing Gaia to access secure WMS/WFS

We're finding more and more people are choosing Gaia to access WMS/WFS protected by simple HTTP Authentication. We've all used this before (perhaps not recognizing it). The basic method provides a simple challenge-response used by a server to challenge a client request, and by a client to provide authentication information.

For example, a test WMS with HTTP Authentication provided by CubeWerx is at:

It is protected by HTTP basic authentication. You can log in as Username: jeff and Password: carbon in the free Gaia application from The Carbon Project. The basic process is to click "Add new service to the list" in the "Add layer to map" dialog of the Gaia application - and complete the Authentication section. If you do not complete this, you will not be able to access the WMS.

Users may also exercise the CubeWerx service protected by HTTP basic authentication in a browser by clicking this link.

The Carbon Project has successfully used this "basic" authentication scheme for OGC WMS/WFS provided by many vendors, including DigitalGlobe and others.

The basic authentication scheme is a non-secure method of filtering unauthorized access to resources on an HTTP server. It is based on the assumption that the connection between the client and the server can be regarded as a trusted carrier. As this is not generally true on an open network, the basic authentication scheme should be used accordingly. In future CarbonCloud articles we'll discuss how HTTPS and other methods can help deal with this.

Of course, there are more advanced methods of securing OGC services that provide fine-grained access control rules and feature-level security - and many customers may want to implement these as well.

- Jeff

Monday, March 01, 2010

GSA "Getting Smart with Geospatial"

Geospatial Intelligence Forum magazine for Feb 2010 features the new GSA program that enables Government agencies to purchase geospatial software and services at substantial discounts - and CubeWerx software is right there next to Google Earth Enterprise in the products. According to Geospatial Intelligence Forum -

"Federal and other government agencies will be able to purchase geospatial software and services at substantial discounts under new SmartBuy blanket purchase agreements announced recently by the General Services Administration (GSA).

SmartBuy is a federal procurement program that promotes effective software management. The Smart-Buy awards are co-branded with the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative program."

The article goes on to point out that GSA SmartBuy geospatial awards were made to Onix Networking Corporation for Google and CubeWerx software among others - with CubeWerx software providing "Standards-based off the shelf software products in response to spatial data infrastructure requirements for interoperable information infrastructures." Nice. Of course, CubeWerx software is made available to GSA SmartBuy through The Carbon Project's GSA Schedule and Gaia is also available.

- Jeff (image courtesy of and copyright by Geospatial Intelligence Forum magazine)