The usability of a disaster management system mostly depends on the completion, accuracy, availability, and the recency of the implemented data. For updating the data, there are a variety of modern possibilities. The OK-GIS project is concerned with implementing OGC- and other software specifications as open software. It is planned to evaluate this software, to test it on scenarios in order to highlight possibilities and limitations, and to develop new specifications which are relevant for emergency management.
The results of the developed components will be made available to the public. This will not only encourage development on the geographic information market in general, but will also be a first step toward a geo infrastructure network for disaster management purposes.
Disasters are usually isolated events, but these events can have wide-spread impact on various infrastructure. For this reason, the project will aim at providing a network, where free, open and standard conform software components are available. In the future it should be possible to integrate different systems from different countries. As front ends, a variety of clients (mobile, web, desktop) will be used for different user groups (relief personnel, administration, public,...). These heterogeneous clients have to access the same spatial data infrastructure (SDI), while meeting specific requirements.
Spatial data queries can be answered at any location using mobile online devices. This is especially important in the direct after math of a disaster, where every minute is valuable.
Another important aspect is the mobile creation and editing of geo-objects along with their upload back into the core system. Within this project, the user will have the opportunity to create and manipulate geo-objects live and on the scene and to then send the results back to the server.
The system will include a component based infrastructure based on OGC Web Services. The server will provide access to geodata coming from various sources by using cascading to access available geo services, which are listed in special OGC conform catalog services. Geodata, thematic data, and metadata can be accessed the same way.
By mainly using standard conform interfaces the entire architecture of the system is open and easily transferable to other scenarios, due to the use of generic components.
The following components extend the OK-GIS base geodata infrastructure:
Simplified scheme of the OK-GIS architecture
- Mobile Terminals which are being used by relief workers allow direct online access to server based data and services.
- Web-based GIS clients allow the affected population to query and display disaster related information.
- By connecting external sensor and measurement devices with mobile devices it is possible to take measurements on the scene and to integrate these into the geodata already provided by the server.
- Emergency headquarters have GIS based Spatial Decision-Support Systems (SDSS). These process the geodata coming from on scene mobile users and can transfer decisions and new information to the users of the web clients, such as administration, public, relief workers, etc..