A Package-Based Architecture for Customized GIS

A Package-Based Architecture for Customized GIS

Andrés Pazos (Universitat Jaume I, Spain), José Poveda (University of Texas, USA) and Michael Gould (Universitat Jaume I, Spain)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-995-3.ch039
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Abstract

In this chapter we present a package-based component architecture for the specific deployment and maintenance of public sector applications, specifically corporate Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The three-tier architecture defines a group of server-side packages, a kernel and external packages, that are dynamically requested and assembled at execution time according to the needs of individual users to produce on demand customized GIS applications. An intermediate middleware layer handles user authentication and version control. In order to demonstrate the proposed architecture, a practical prototype has been implemented using Java WebStart. This prototype demonstrates the creation of several GIS client applications, with increasing levels of functionality, and based on free software packages.
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Introduction

Geographic Information Systems (GISs) have migrated over the past decade, from stand-alone scientific niche applications to key parts of corporate IT infrastructures in public sector (and commercial) organizations (Longley et al, 2001). GISs provide services such as vehicle fleet tracking, spatial planning (optimal location of resources), and in general any service relying on location information as part of the context within which other information is interpreted. Corporate GISs are complex, multi-participant (cost-sharing) and multi-user computing environments complicating practical tasks such as data sharing among departments and routine system maintenance. Each of potentially thousands of users may have specific requirements based on their capacity to use the GIS, and hardware and software configuration requirements. Conventionally, system administrators install custom upgrades and extensions one workstation at a time, or offer all users the same monolithic package to be downloaded remotely. Until recently, GIS software packages were largely monolithic; although experience shows that many users exercise only a fraction of the functionality offered by a full-featured GIS, system administrators were required to install and support a full, often costly, commercial license for each and every user. In search of just the right set of functionality for particular users, two primary options have emerged: end user development (EUD) which assumes the user has software development skills (Morch, 2004) or server-side configuration of software modules, here termed packages based on the terminology common in the Java, Perl, and Python communities.

In organizations with an elevated number of users, and especially in the public sector which is extremely cost conscious, an extensible and easily-customizable GIS application solution is needed. This is possible assuming two levels of application flexibility. On one hand at administration level the system should present scalability that allows the use of existing software modules or components, and on the other hand, at user level, the user should be able to determine locally the customization, installing or updating only the parts from the kernel of the system needed to perform the work (Morch, 1997).

The component-based software development (CBSD) paradigm (Brown, 2000) is helping to bring this extensibility and flexibility to reality. In the CBSD approach new code development is minimized and system upgrades become the task of replacement of well-bounded functional units of the system. In our proposed architecture, the components are grouped into packages, defined as a functional, replaceable set of services. A package is a higher-level aggregation of functionality compared to an ActiveX component or a JavaBean. Adherence to interface standards allows acquisition of packages developed from third-party developers (Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or open source) and adapting them to the CBSD. These applications may be composed of a light kernel, which implements the basic functionality, and a set of independent packages offering extended functionality (commonly called plug-ins). In this case, each package implements a specific part of the GIS—data conversion, visualization, and so forth, is connected to the kernel through published interfaces in order to compose the final application desired by the user.

The architecture described here centralizes software maintenance and distribution, exploiting the existence of ubiquitous Internet infrastructure throughout the public sector (in the developed world). Conventional client/server architectures do not cope well with certain authentication and monitoring requirements. For this, the authors moved to 3-tier software architecture. A central server stores and dispatches the different packages that would compose the final application, while the middleware provides a natural place to locate the adaptive behaviour (McKinley, 2004). The client interface is through a specific HTTP browser that connects to the middleware services. System administrator takes charge of controlling the server side adapting and updating the packages to the CBDS.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Graphical User Interface (GUI): The graphical user interface or GUI, provides the user with a method of interacting with the computer and its special applications, usually via a mouse or another selection device. The GUI usually includes such things as windows, an intuitive method of manipulating directories and files, and icons

Binding: Language-dependent code that allows a software library to be called from that computer language.

Middleware: Layer(s) of software between client and server processes that deliver the extra functionality behind a common set of APIs that client and server processes can invoke.

Client-Server Architecture: The term client/server was first used in the 1980s in reference to personal computers (PCs) on a network. The actual client/server model started gaining acceptance in the late 1980s. The client/server software architecture is a versatile, message-based and modular infrastructure that is intended to improve usability, flexibility, interoperability, and scalability as compared to centralized, mainframe, time sharing computing. A client is defined as a requester of services and a server is defined as the provider of services. A single machine can be both a client and a server depending on the software configuration.

Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS): A general term for software products that are made and available for sale or lease.

Component: In object-oriented programming and distributed object technology, a component is a reusable program building block that can be combined with other components in the same or other computers in a distributed network to form an application.

XML: XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web, intranets, and elsewhere.

Application Programming Interface (API): The interface to a library of language-specific subroutines, for instance a graphics library that implement higher level graphics functions.

CGIS: Corporate GIS. A Corporate Geographic Information System is a GIS defined to be used as a corporate resource by the members of an enterprise or institution.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Jose E. Córcoles, Pascual González
An interesting feature of GML is to consider it as a database, but only in the strictest sense of the term. That is, as a collection of data. As a... Sample PDF
GML as Database: Present and Future
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Chapter 2
Jose E. Córcoles, Pascual González
As a database format, XML (GML by extension) can be queried. In order to do this, we need a query language (of general use) to retrieve information... Sample PDF
Querying GML: A Pressing Need
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Chapter 3
Michael Vassilakopoulos, Antonio Corral, Boris Rachev, Irena Valova, Mariana Stoeva
Image Databases (IDBs) are a kind of Spatial Databases where a large number of images are stored and queried. In this chapter, techniques for... Sample PDF
Image Database Indexing Techniques
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Chapter 4
Patrik Skogster
Geographic information is created by manipulating geographic (or spatial) data (generally known by the abbreviation geodata) in a computerized... Sample PDF
Different Roles and Definitions of Spatial Data Fusion
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Chapter 5
Carlos Granell, Michael Gould, Miguel Ángel Manso, Miguel Ángel Bernabé
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are data-centric applications that rely on the input and constant maintenance of large quantities of basic and... Sample PDF
Spatial Data Infrastructures
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Chapter 6
Trias Aditya, Menno-Jan Kraak
The vision of “created once, used many times” has been spread out across the globe through the development of geospatial data infrastructure (GDI)... Sample PDF
Geoportals and the GDI Accessibility
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Chapter 7
Hervé Gontran
The development of road database requires the management of continuously growing road databases. Mobile mapping systems can acquire this... Sample PDF
Real-Time Extraction of the Road Geometry
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Chapter 8
Cognitive Maps  (pages 58-64)
Stephen Hirtle
Cognitive maps are the representations that individuals use to understand, process, and navigate environments. The term cognitive map should not be... Sample PDF
Cognitive Maps
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Chapter 9
Map Overlay Problem  (pages 65-72)
Maikel Garma de la Osa, Yissell Arias Sánchez
Maps usually contain data from different sources (e.g., population, natural resources, cities, roads, infant mortality rate, etc.) When all the... Sample PDF
Map Overlay Problem
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Chapter 10
Mahbubur R. Meenar, John A. Sorrentino
Three-dimensional surface modeling has become an important element in the processing and visualization of geographic information. Models are created... Sample PDF
Dealing with 3D Surface Models: Raster and TIN
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Chapter 11
Yurai Núñez-Rodríguez
Web map services, such as Google Maps and MapQuest, are among the most popular sites on the Internet. One can easily access these services through a... Sample PDF
Web Map Servers Data Formats
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Chapter 12
Eric Delmelle, Raymond Dezzani
There has been a dramatic increase in the handling of geospatial information, and also in the production of maps. However, because the Earth is... Sample PDF
Overview, Classification and Selection of Map Projections for Geospatial Applications
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Chapter 13
José Poveda, Michael Gould
In this chapter we present some well-known algorithms for the solution of the point location problem and for the more particular problem of... Sample PDF
About the Point Location Problem
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Chapter 14
Alina Lazar, Bradley A. Shellito
Support Vector Machines (SVM) are powerful tools for classification of data. This article describes the functionality of SVM including their design... Sample PDF
Classification in GIS Using Support Vector Machines
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Chapter 15
Network Modeling  (pages 113-121)
Kevin M. Curtin
Network models are some of the earliest and most consistently important data models in GISystems. Network modeling has a strong theoretical basis in... Sample PDF
Network Modeling
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Chapter 16
Xiaojun Yang
Artificial neural networks are increasingly being used to model complex, nonlinear phenomena. The purpose of this chapter is to review the... Sample PDF
Artificial Neural Networks
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Chapter 17
Spatial Interpolation  (pages 129-136)
Xiaojun Yang
Spatial interpolation is a core component of data processing and analysis in geoinformatics. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the concept... Sample PDF
Spatial Interpolation
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Chapter 18
Bo Huang, Magesh Chandramouli
Integrating spatial and temporal dimensions is a fundamental yet challenging issue in modeling geospatial data. This article presents the design of... Sample PDF
Spatio-Temporal Object Modeling
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Chapter 19
May Yuan
Temporal Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology has been a top research subject since late the 1980s. Langran’s Time in Geographic... Sample PDF
Challenges and Critical Issues for Temporal GIS Research and Technologies
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Chapter 20
Iftikhar U. Sikder
The representation of geographic entities is characterized by inherent granularity due to scale and resolution specific observations. This article... Sample PDF
Rough Sets and Granular Computing in Geospatial Information
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Chapter 21
Matthew Perry, Amit Sheth, Ismailcem Budak Arpinar, Farshad Hakimpour
The amount of digital data available to researchers and knowledge workers has grown tremendously in recent years. This is especially true in the... Sample PDF
Geospatial and Temporal Semantic Analytics
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Chapter 22
Yuqi Bai, Liping Di, Aijun Chen, Yang Liu, Yaxing Wei
Three public geospatial image catalog services, FGDC Clearinghouse, NASA ECHO and GMU CSISS CSW, were reviewed, considering the following aspects... Sample PDF
Geospatial Image Metadata Catalog Services
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Chapter 23
Peisheng Zhao, Liping Di, Wenli Yang, Genong Yu, Peng Yue
The Semantic Web technology provides a common interoperable framework in which information is given a well-defined meaning such that data and... Sample PDF
Geospatial Semantic Web: Critical Issues
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Chapter 24
Carlos Granell, Michael Gould, Miguel Ángel Esbrí
In the context of Geographic Information System’s evolution from monolithic systems to personal desktop GIS and then to collections of remote... Sample PDF
Geospatial Web Service Chaining
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Chapter 25
Genong Yu, Liping Di, Wenli Yang, Peisheng Zhao, Peng Yue
Multi-agent system is specialized in studying the collective effects of multiple intelligent agents. An intelligent agent is a computer system with... Sample PDF
Multi-Agent Systems for Distributed Geospatial Modeling, Simulation and Computing
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Chapter 26
Peng Yue, Liping Di, Wenli Yang, Genong Yu, Peisheng Zhao
In a service-oriented environment, an individual geospatial Web service is not sufficient to solve a complex real-world geospatial problem. Service... Sample PDF
Towards Automatic Composition of Geospatial Web Services
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Chapter 27
Aijun Chen, Liping Di, Yuqi Bai, Yaxing Wei
The definition of the Grid computing and its application to geoinformatics are introduced. Not only the comparison of power Grid and computing Grid... Sample PDF
Grid Computing and its Application to Geoinformatics
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Chapter 28
Yaxing Wei, Liping Di, Guangxuan Liao, Baohua Zhao, Aijun Chen, Yuqi Bai
With the rapid accumulation of geospatial data and the advancement of geoscience, there is a critical requirement for an infrastructure that can... Sample PDF
Sharing of Distributed Geospatial Data through Grid Technology
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Chapter 29
Alexander Klippel, Kai-Florian Richter, Stefan Hansen
This contribution provides an overview of elements of cognitively ergonomic route directions. Cognitive ergonomics, in general, seeks to identify... Sample PDF
Cognitively Ergonomic Route Directions
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Chapter 30
Péter Hegedüs, Mihály Orosz, Gábor Hosszú, Ferenc Kovács
This chapter details the potential found in combining to different technologies. The two basically different technologies, LBSs in mobile... Sample PDF
Multicast Over Location-Based Services
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Chapter 31
Routing  (pages 246-253)
Kevin M. Curtin
Routing is the act of selecting a course of travel. Routing problems are one of the most prominent and persistent problems in geoinformatics. This... Sample PDF
Routing
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Chapter 32
Location Privacy  (pages 254-259)
Matt Duckham
In this chapter, the author raises a number of issues surrounding the ever-growing capabilities of geoinformatics. Location privacy can be defined... Sample PDF
Location Privacy
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Chapter 33
Vladimir I. Zadorozhny
The author of this chapter considers the location-based approach for performance tuning that significantly facilitates the challenge of utilizing... Sample PDF
Location-Based Performance Tuning in Mobile Sensor Networks
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Chapter 34
Henrik Hanke, Alf Neumann
The provisioning of Location-Based Services (LBS) follows the chain of determination of a position, mapping this information onto a natural... Sample PDF
Location-Based Services: A Taxonomy on Theory and Practice
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Chapter 35
Coupling GPS and GIS  (pages 277-284)
Mahbubur R. Meenar, John A. Sorrentino, Sharmin Yesmin
Since the 1990s, the integration of GPS and GIS has become more and more popular and an industry standard in the GIS community worldwide. The... Sample PDF
Coupling GPS and GIS
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Chapter 36
Wei-Shinn Ku, Haojun Wang, Roger Zimmermann
With the availability and accuracy of satellite-based positioning systems and the growing computational power of mobile devices, recent research and... Sample PDF
Modern Navigation Systems and Related Spatial Query
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Chapter 37
Muhammad Usman Iqbal, Samsung Lim
Over the past few decades, the technologies of mobile communication, positioning, and computing have gradually converged. The automobile has been a... Sample PDF
Location Privacy in Automotive Telematics
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Chapter 38
Mohammed A. Quddus
Map matching algorithms integrate positioning data with spatial road network data to support the navigation modules of intelligent transport systems... Sample PDF
Map Matching Algorithms for Intelligent Transport Systems
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Chapter 39
Andrés Pazos, José Poveda, Michael Gould
In this chapter we present a package-based component architecture for the specific deployment and maintenance of public sector applications... Sample PDF
A Package-Based Architecture for Customized GIS
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Chapter 40
Magesh Chandramouli, Bo Huang
This article explores the application of virtual environments to 3D geospatial visualization and exploration. VR worlds provide powerful... Sample PDF
Virtual Environments for Geospatial Applications
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Chapter 41
Iftikhar U. Sikder
Geospatial predictive models often require mapping of predefined concepts or categories with various conditioning factors in a given space. This... Sample PDF
Managing Uncertainty in Geospatial Predictive Models
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Chapter 42
Arianna D’Ulizia, Fernando Ferri, Patrizia Grifoni
The main issues of spatial databases and Geographic Information System (GIS), concern the representation, the management and the manipulation of a... Sample PDF
Geographic Visual Query Languages and Ambiguities Treatment
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Chapter 43
Lionel Savary, Georges Gardarin, Karine Zeitouni
GML is a promising model for integrating geodata within data warehouses. The resulting databases are generally large and require spatial operators... Sample PDF
GeoCache: A Cache for GML Geographical Data
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Chapter 44
Lyn Kathlene
This chapter describes and analyzes the effectiveness of two methodological techniques, cognitive mapping and geographical information systems... Sample PDF
Cognitive Mapping and GIS for Community-Based Resource Identification
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Chapter 45
Edward Mac Gillavry
The collection and dissemination of geographic information has long been the prerogative of national mapping agencies. Nowadays, location-aware... Sample PDF
Collaborative Mapping and GIS: An Alternative Geographic Information Framework
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Chapter 46
Iftikhar U. Sikder, Santosh K. Misra
This article proposes a multi-agent based framework that allows multiple data sources and models to be semantically integrated for spatial modeling... Sample PDF
Semantic Interoperability of Geospatial Services
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Chapter 47
George Kakaletris, Dimitris Varoutas, Dimitris Katsianis, Thomas Sphicopoulos
Broadband communication networks have begun to spread rapidly over fixed networks, with wireless networks following at close distance. The excess... Sample PDF
Biometric Authentication in Broadband Networks for Location-Based Services
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Chapter 48
Stelios C.A. Thomopoulos, Nikolaos Argyreas
The globally observed recession of mobile services market has pushed mobile network operators into looking for opportunities to provide value added... Sample PDF
Design and Implementation Approaches for Location-Based, Tourism-Related Services
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