Federated Databases and Data Interoperability Web-Services to Enhance Real-Time Cartography
Streamlining, optimization goals and limited budgets continue to increase pressure on various specialist units in government agencies, forcing to do more with less. In those units concerned with data collection, environmental sensor data management, early warning, monitoring, GIS-processing, and cartographic visualization, such cost-driven contexts require improved methods to collect, share, exchange and reuse both measurement and spatial data. These improved methods offer new opportunities for cost-efficient, joint data processing, publication and cartographic visualization workflows. Beside rather unpopular measures like introducing or increasing fees for data publication services, huge potentials to reduce costs in these specialist units may be unlocked by implementing identity and access management systems, and introducing federated services such as joint application hosting, federated databases and corresponding Web-services. Joint Web-services for processing and visualization may ultimately act as a basis for the generation and delivery of cartographic online products (environmental information systems, real-time early warning platforms) – within a single administrative organization, or even among different administrative organizations, i.e., across political boundaries. The contribution highlights concepts and delivered cartographic products from a technical pre-project which involves specialist units of independent States (Swiss Cantons). The novelty of the contribution lies, on the one hand, in the cross-State technical cooperation by providing joint public access to real-time environmental sensor measurement data using one single large, joint IT-architecture, joint data delivery tools, and cartographic user interfaces. On the other hand, the novelty of the contribution lies on newly introduced standardized data interoperability tools, which form the basis for cloud-based, standardized data exchange, and the real-time cartographic processing and visualization workflows for Web-based maps. These interoperability tools are operational in the Canton of Aargau and allow for further modular developments of interfaces and content integration within the cantonal organization, but also outside, and they are ultimately intended for attracting additional specialist units from other Cantons. These tools offer online-API options and different standardized database query services (OGC Services such as WaterML 2.0, SOS or ArcGIS-readable formats) in order to deliver huge amounts of real-time measurement data, metadata, time-series and GIS-data to third parties. With this approach of jointly using IT-architectures, databases and Web-Services, the existing cantonal IT-infrastructure is scaled and substantial cost savings are achieved. At the same time, external partners also reduce initial costs and overheads. Moreover, they benefit from know-how and technology transfer, and they are still enabled to customize content integration, cartographic visualization, and data publication according to their needs.