Tuesday, July 06, 2010

SDI as real-time collaborative service

Access to reliable, current and local geographic information is essential for understanding our interconnected world and geosocial dynamics. In many situations, geographic information provides an important key for referencing and accessing a variety of other data - and one of the best ways to maintain this resource is locally, closest to the people that know it, and then share it with others through online services.

Since geographic information is so important, there's growing global interest in sharing and updating it across standard Web-based services and databases that aren't controlled by any one organization or group. In this "spatial data infrastructure" approach an important way to ensure geographic information is open and accessible is through the OGC Web Feature Service (WFS). The WFS defines a standard way for accessing geographic information across the Web using platform-independent calls – and also a way to update the information called WFS Transactions (WFS-T).

But even though WFS-T provides significant capacity for update, one additional capability is needed to transform multiple WFS into an agile framework driven by collaborative maintenance partnerships between many users and organizations. Specifically, the capability for collaborative geospatial data maintenance in a web services environment (GeoSynchronization) is needed.

To meet this challenge, GeoSynchronization Services (GSS) like CarbonCloud Sync provide an easy way to use WFS for real-time collaborative geospatial data update. When combined with tools like the Gaia WFS-T Extender that can interact with a GSS, you have an environment of Publishers, Reviewers, and Followers that allows enterprises to receive real-time geographic updates from many sources, validate them, and then report the updates to web services operated by many organizations. Moreover, CarbonCloud Sync fully leverages modern COTS GIS systems such as ESRI ArcGIS Server or CubeWerx WFS, without modifications or changes to the server infrastructure. The system leverages the existing GIS infrastructure by using interoperability standards supported by multiple vendors, open-source organizations and other partners. This approach maximizes the current and future GIS investment by enterprises while enhancing it with new levels of real-time collaboration.

- Jeff


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