The Easiest Solution for Sharing and Publishing the Data on a Public Map: An example from Argentina
Many governmental departments just recently started to discover how to benefit fully from geospatial technologies. Especially in the case of planning, public works and services, having an adequate tool for data visualization on the map might be a game changer in terms of creating an efficient workflow. This concerns sharing the data on current projects such as infrastructure maintenance and expansion within and between the departments, sub-departments, ministries and other smaller and larger organizational units. In conducting the project on a larger scale, it is also important to have a good infrastructure for making the data publicly available, completing a data flow circle with the best possible outcome.
An example coming from the Secretariat of Public Works, a department of the Argentine Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services shows how the needs in the public sector can easily be met with a simple mapping solution.
The imperative coming from the department was to have a reliable, fast and cost-efficient data sharing and publishing solution. What the Secretariat of Public Works had in mind was to open the access to information about more than 45 000 federal public works to their citizens. The projects which were to be shown on the map were the result of government programs conducted in the last 12 years, as a collaboration from different departments throughout Argentina.
All that information, concerning various works in the healthcare, education, transportation, residential and other parts of infrastructure should be easily accessed and managed by both governmental staff and the citizens of Argentina.
In the process of finding the perfect solution for sharing and publishing the data, the biggest challenge was to find a way to escape from the ‘inertia’ of having the GIS data limited to desktop solutions.
The centralization of the data storage on individual computers has shown its shortcomings: it wasn’t easy to share the great amount of collected data in various formats and on different devices with other people, and there was even more difficulty in the distribution of data to wider public. A unique methodology and a platform for data sharing and management was needed.
What could be done?
The answer was simple. What the Department of Public Works needed was a cloud solution. They needed a platform for which the only requirement was to have a browser and Internet access. The department was offered a recommendation of GIS Cloud applications, which met all the prerequisites for the Argentine government data publishing project.
In the first phase of the project, the required software had to offer them a possibility to add the data and attributes like the information about the particular education, health or transportation facility to map layers in collaboration with different users, and store it on the cloud. GIS Cloud’s Map Editor helped them in executing this first phase of the project. Data was uploaded directly on the cloud and therefore stored in a way to be easily accessible.
This made the second phase of the project execution even easier: with Map Viewer, information on the map was easily shared with particular users coming from different departments.
Finally, when data was prepared and ready for public access, the GIS Cloud’s Map Portal was a perfect publishing solution, fully customized for the department’s needs.
You can see the results in a video.
Marcelo Alejandro Portela, a consulting specialist, sums up the main benefits of the successful integration of the GIS Cloud solution in three points:
- the excellent performance gained by html5
- easy navigation through various map layers using the ‘search’ feature
- the simplicity of use.
The main advantages of using the GIS Cloud applications for the governmental purposes, attested by Mr. Alejandro Portela are:
the fact that the user interface is easy to use even for the non-GIS experts (commonly represented in the governmental staff), at the same time offering the fast and high quality data visualization solution, easily accessible anytime, from any device.