Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Geospatial Crowd-Sourcing using OGC Standards

The Carbon Project had the pleasure of presenting our geospatial crowd-sourcing solutions at the ESRI Federal User Conference last week in Washington, D.C. - a great event!

The presentation highlighted a Cloud-based (deployed on Microsoft Azure) "geo-synchronization" platform for crowd-sourced data production. The platform was demonstrated by synchronizing geospatial services from ESRI's ArcGIS Server working with SQL Server 2008 and an Oracle-based CubeWerx server. The geo-synchronization platform was developed in collaboration with US Government customers and uses emerging and established standards from OGC. What's that mean? The basic idea of a geo-synchronization service is simple - updates to a geospatial layer are published by one data source, reviewed by another and followed by others. When you hook up OGC WFS, geoRSS feeds and a geo-synch service for the task you get a federation of geospatial services and layers that can be maintained by many people working together - kinda cool and very useful.

Talking about the presentation Nuke from our office says, "If you look at the geospatial community a key emerging area are widely-used geospatial services like ArcGIS Server that offer new angles on data production. What's the angle? ArcGIS Server and other products implement Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) WFS Transactions - a standard way to share non-imagery content. The CarbonCloud Sync platform is designed to coordinate data operations by users and synchronize these operations across different services, platforms and vendors." Other Key Points included -
  • Smart synchronizing of different vendors, schemas, spatial structures
  • Flexible approach to configure editing by user roles, data layers and federated services
  • Standards-based architecture saves integration time and money, add new sources dynamically
  • Support both base plant and crowdsourced data production at same time - with validation

The presentation was part of the FedUC that brought together government and industry professionals to explore the vision and reality of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for the nation.

The technology presented - the Gaia WFS-T Extender and CarbonCloud Sync platform - are available on the recently awarded GSA Geospatial SmartBuy BPA.

- Jeff

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Publishers, reviewers and crowdsourced WFS

Publishers and Reviewers using Gaia to "Geo-Synch" ArcGIS and CubeWerx WFS-T

We're working on a few projects now that help spatial data infrastructures (SDI) tap the energy of crowdsourcing - and help data production and update at local levels, where data sources can be maintained by people that know them best.

The basic operations for this kind of "GeoSynchronization" are pretty simple - updates to a geospatial layer are published by one data source, reviewed by another and followed by others. When you organize OGC WFS, geoRSS feeds and something like CarbonCloud on Azure Cloud for the task you get three roles in the federation:

Publisher - Makes changes to layers. Generates feature changes, submits them for review via a Change Feed. Changes include adding, deleting or updating features in layers. When a change is accepted or rejected Publisher is notified via a Resolution Feed. There can be many Publishers for a layer or different layers.
Reviewer - Approves changes submitted by Publishers, subscribed to a Change Feed. When a Reviewer receives a change to a layer, they can then use an application to review and 'accept' or 'reject'. GeoSynchronization Services (GSS) can then apply accepted changes to any registered OGC WFS in the federation. Reviewers serve as the "sanity check" in the network.
Follower - Can use standard RSS reader to get updates on any device. When changes to layers are accepted GSS announces them to Followers via the Replication Feed. A Follower subscribed to these event notifications will receive appropriate updates in the form of RSS or GeoRSS entries.