1Spatial Report 2008

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  • Contact: Steven Ramage

We are possibly not the most obvious supporter of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation since 1Spatial is a commercial organisation selling our own software solutions and services. However, we have invested significantly in using the Feature Data Object (FDO) open source Application Programming Interface (API). We have also worked hard to promote our work in this area using FDO as a data access bridge, for example in our Radius Studio Practitioner Programme and with customers like MidCoast Water in Australia and Transport for London in the UK. We also released a FOSS tool to the community. It allows for simple and efficient management of growing volumes of geospatial data in mainstream databases. This tool enables the management of geospatial data in relational databases, such as Oracle9i, 10g and 11g and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Once again we participated in the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference, held last year in Cape Town, South Africa. Crispin Hoult, Managing Consultant at 1Spatial, gave a presentation entitled 'CAD-GIS Integration: Achieving Commercial Reality with Open Source Solutions'. The presentation explored the practical use and exploitation of FDO beyond the Open Source community boundaries. With specific reference to the CAD-GIS integration problem where 1Spatial has used FDO to build data bridges, integrate geospatial data and to also facilitate the convergence of CAD and GIS data sources. This presentation discussed the use of free and open source software (FOSS) with proprietary software (AutoCAD) to achieve greater geospatial collaboration.

In our example FOSS has been married to existing technology and business processes and it was shown that real values could be placed on such a hybrid solution. The example highlighted how such a low-risk, low-cost solution has been developed around FDO. It provides geospatial access to potentially millions of geospatial data users that could otherwise be alienated from corporate geospatial datasets by virtue of their legacy software investment and productivity tool needs.

This was illustrated with a case study from a national utility in the UK. Having commissioned a corporate geospatial solution they found that the drawing office was not considered in the geospatial systems implementation and only an FDO-based platform provided the cost-point and timescales to meet their data access needs.

The growth of OSGeo local chapters all over the World is very encouraging. As an organisation involved in the Open Geospatial Consortium since 1996, we were also very pleased and encouraged to see the news announcement about the joint Memorandum of Understanding, to coordinate open geospatial standards and open source geospatial software and data. 2009 holds some exciting developments in store and we are pleased to continue as an Associate Sponsor.