This is one of the projects that was finalist For the awards of the Be Inspired 2009 in the category of Cadastre and Territorial Development. They also made an exhibition in charge of Luis Antonio Álvarez and Faustino Cordero, with a very good PowerPoint, videos and also a printed map. The day of the award we sat down to talk and we made the time enjoyable with what he left the press, in cruel humor we recognized that his English Extremadura had gone to penalty shots with a Dutch Tiel that balanced the moment. With all it was good to know that another Hispanic project comes to the fore to inspire others, despite the firing necessary to keep your guard on a subject that never ends.
It is a municipality of the autonomous community Estremadura, the second with the largest population (92,000 inhabitants) and the most extensive in Spain (1,760 Km2). The city was established by the Romans in the year 34 AC, it is a World Heritage Site since 1986.
From Extremadura stand out technological projects like the operating system GNULinEX on the nucleus of Linux and SEXTANT Which in its complement with gvSIG have a promising diffusion not only in the Spanish-speaking medium.
Brief on the GIS of Cáceres
It is interesting that almost everything has been financed by the city council; After 10 years have been invested near 1.3 million Euros. But this same limitation has affected its progress, not so much in obtaining data but in the automation of processes and validity of Software. There are only two permanent staff members dedicated to the subject, plus a contract that is renewed annually for the management of the website.
The data. The wealth of data is invaluable, they have historical maps that are true works of art, regulatory plans, orthophoto of different years, the recent ones with pixel of 10 cm. Although Catastro Nacional provides them with the plot, they have digitized other previous surveys and have a lot of information at the 2D and 3D levels throughout their municipal area.
The software. In terms of tools: at the Intranet level, those who produce data use Microstation Geographics or Powermap; Descartes and Civil Power from time to time. For users of other dependencies, Bentley Redline seems to have given them what they need and out they publish with Geoweb Publisher ............... all V8.5 and with a database in Access!
In total they have some 60 users that interact with spatial data and a few 200 online daily queries. At the client level, they have built very good VBA applications for consulting and displaying information, some of these are also available online.
The institutionality. Because of the context (Spain), many of the normative weaknesses have already been overcome; I am referring to the stability of the technicians, who will not be changed because a politician of the moment feels like it, as it happens in many Hispanic countries. This seems to be good, although not everything is rosy, as managing funds to invest in the department must always be complicated.
In any case, the institutional role, its regulations in the sale of services, agreements with local and national entities is one of the greatest strengths of the GIS in Cáceres.
The publication. Your page offers a good amount of data that has separated between cartography, street and planning. There is enough published material, what could have been done via Geoweb Publisher: ActiveX for IExplorer users, for other browsers there is always deployment and configuration of layers but only as an image. The other data are used as pdf.
Rescue the publication, although it is notorious that hairs have been seen by their limitations in tools and human resources to develop. For that matter, they have not been able to dynamically send themes that would give the data great pleasure, or a display with only one tree of categories and attributes aside to only turn on or off according to the interest, would be great for historical comparison.
The strongest challenges
Reaching finalists has brought great satisfaction to these guys, not winning is a roulette and a result of limitations that can be overcome. Although they are not that simple.
The management of economic resources. Perhaps this is the strongest challenge of the SIG of Cáceres, it is admirable what only three people have done, but it will be necessary to find doors to manage a grant. I suppose there should be ways to do it at the European Union level, but the most sensible thing is not to run and prepare a plan that identifies how to make gradual steps balancing between having more data, providing more services or creating sustainability to what has already been achieved.
It would be necessary to sit geofumar in that environment, in the time that we were talking we thought of possibilities like to link the update of technologies to a project of updating of services and contributors; Would mean investing a quantity of silver in the update of certain types of taxes that are not being paid as it should be and that part of this revenue is invested in that department.
The technology update. This myself it scares me, but it must be done sooner or later; not because it's a fad, but because letting it go a lot collapses its sustainability. Switch from an Access database to Oracle, from Geographics to Bentley Map, from Geoweb Publisher to Geospatial Server V8i, not only implies a renewal of licenses because it affects both the conformation of the data, recompilation of the development and turning the sock into many things that have changed in these years. It would also be necessary to consider a better management of the data, associated with transactions to avoid manual editing or vulnerability to the database.
It is clear that new technologies give them the potential to connect and serve data with OGC standards, manage and serve with better quality, but we must measure the decision because for a council corporation this type of argument might not be convincing.
The aspirations. This challenge is left to the city council, because there is plenty of work, they could not complicate staying with what they already have and the honor of being a finalist of the Be Inspired 2009, their stability is such that they can retire there. But in the expectation of being the European Capital of Culture for 2016, if my intuition does not deceive me, what these guys have in their eyes ... they could be winning the Be Inspired in 2011.
A parenthesis apart
Be Inspired awards are not delivered by strategic location, Spain could be attractive but usually the jury is composed of specialists in AEC private companies, universities, magazines or online media. Among the 20 members of the jury this year have been:
|-Todd Danielson |
|-Braulio Agnese |
|-Mike Woolf |
|-Joseph Francica |
|-Sisi Zlatanova |
|-Edwin Ecob |
|-Tom Sawyer |
|-Howard Turner |
|-Tom Fiske |
Arc Advisory Group
After seeing one of the observations that have made them in the exhibition and some criteria that apply jurors of this type of competition, the (comparative) innovation in technologies affected them in the awards, since 5 years ago (2004) A project presented a development with attributes such as:
- Multilayer design, Oracle database, transactional management 100% web.
- Controlled, role-based flow management linked to ProjectWise from massive data construction, map recording, scanning and extracting of old books, link to the cadastral file, link to the Property Registry (including scanned documents) and maintenance request.
- Microstation Geographics 8.5 but with VBA applications to insert xml into the dgn using XFM (before that Bentley Map came out)
- VPR publishing with thematic raised from live data by Geoweb Publisher
- Request for cadastral maintenance online with the redline API through users with controlled rights.
- Cadastral maintenance flow from the online transaction, lifted by the Geographics client, check-out of the map from the main server, finished the change saves the Historical In the dgn and returns the check-in while maintaining versioned control.
- Automatic backup and replica routine for different repositories, including the one of publication, searching the files that had been maintained.
The environment of this project was very different, it ran through a loan from the World Bank, with institutional limitations due to its context, which is still being fought. The cost of that development was $ 270,000 (Not including licensing), justifiable before a project in which it is required to carry out at the maquila level the activities resulting from a cadastral sweep at the country level and modernization of the Land Registry including change from personal to real folio.