Critchlow recently participated in a rare but rather significant spatial data interoperability event in Christchurch. Following the significant earthquakes in Canterbury in 2010 and 2011, the “traditional” methods of sharing geospatial information by file transfer between critical organisations were not adequate to support the scale of change occurring to critical infrastructure data.
Christchurch City Council and their partners quickly moved to Web Feature Service (WFS) to allow data to be sourced as/when needed by different organisations using different GIS solutions. However, WFS is a one-way transaction to pull vector data from a provider. To enable the numerous external parties to access this data and, if required, to provide updates back to CCC the WFS solution needed to be extended to WFS(T).
LINZ facilitated a workshop and invited the key parties to participate including the lead architect of WFS, Peter Vretanos who flew to Christchurch from Toronto. The three day workshop provided a number of lessons, but the key result was that GIS platforms from Pitney Bowes Software, ESRI, Intergraph and Safe Software were connected to the net and that spatial data was being successfully transacted between them.
It was great to see the GIS vendors working together in open collaboration to achieve something that has the potential for immediate business benefits. As Richard Murcott noted in his write-up of the event, information communities should not wait for a significant event to investigate the benefits of utilising the open standards available for sharing data.
You can read the full New Zealand Geospatial Office write-up of the Plugfest here. If you want to know how Critchlow is working with LINZ and examples of how we can help solve these types of business problems then please contact us.