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OSEPA Open Source Policy Statement

Geographic Information System (GIS) for viewing, querying and editing of geographic data in a GIS-Viewer on a client computer.

Organisation:City of Schoten, Belgium

In 2006 the City of Schoten took the decision to adopt a GIS Manager in order to set up a GIS system in the whole municipality of Schoten. The implementation of the GIS system derived from the need to organise and administer the available geographic data in a common system, which could be used by each municipality in Flanders. The criteria for selecting between the available solutions were the cost of implementation and of maintenance for the next five years, the quality, the interoperability, the knowledge transfer and the previous experience with OSS. The study phase lasted for eight months. The implementation of the selected OSS solution started in early 2007 and completed within half a year.

Software components / licenses:Firstly, the various geographic data were imported in a PostGIS database, which is a component of PostGreSQL. Then, a geoserver was used so as to provide access to the geographic data. The geoserver uses OGC-standards (Open Geospatial Consortium): the WMS (Web Map Service) in order to produce maps from vector and raster data and the WFS (Web Feature Service) to show attribute information from vector data in the viewer. Multiple geoportals can be consulted in GIM WebGIS. GIM WebGIS is a CMS (Content Management System) where the GIS Manager configures the required parameters and data and the end-users view detailed maps. With GIM WebGIS the GIS Manager can make geoportals. In a geoportal, data belonging to a specific theme can be grouped (planning, environment, cemetery, addresses, etc). The GIS Manager can create as much geoportals as it is required. The GIS Manager administers and decides about the rights of the users regarding their access to geoportals. The aforementioned OSS components run on a server with Linux CentOS as operating system. All vector data are stored in a PostGIS database. Raster data are stored in files on the geoserver. The only (partially) proprietary software used was GIM WebGIS. The source code of the OSS components which have been used was not modified and the GPL (General Public License) license was granted for the implementation of the GIS system.

Documentation languages: English, Dutch, French

Main results /achieved objectives

  • Improvement of performance and effectiveness of the organisation
  • Strategic independence from vendors lock-in
  • Optimisation of organisation processes
  • Strengthening of data security
  • Software interoperability

Perspectives:The GIS system implemented by the City of Schoten is nowadays in operation and the perspective for the next years is to be enhanced, expanded or replicated.

Contact / info: Mr. Steven Vermeir, steven.vermeir@schoten.be