Geopunt.be – The Flemish Geoportal



The Challenge

AGIV faced a two-fold challenge. As technical coordinator of the Flemish SDI, they had to build a geoportal infrastructure to fulfil the legal requirements of INSPIRE. However, AGIV also had a mandate beyond INSPIRE, to bring timely, complete and accurate certified data to government agencies, businesses and the general public. Following a tenet of the Flemish government, such data is often decentralised, meaning that data is managed at a level that is most efficient, and then shared over a network. The challenge was to bring all of these data and functional requirements together under one roof, creating a reusable framework for getting data and information to the end users that need it, via intuitive web applications, while hiding the complexity of the processes behind it.

The Customer

AGIV is the Geographical Information Agency for the Flanders region of Belgium. Together with its partners, AGIV develops the Flanders Geographical Data Infrastructure, by creating solutions that can be integrated for an efficient use of geographical information by governmental bodies, companies and the public.

Appointed under law by the Flemish Government as the technical coordinator and executive body of the Flanders Spatial Data Infrastructure, AGIV is responsible for delivering on the legal requirements of INSPIRE for the Flanders region.

www.agiv.be
www.geopunt.be

The Solution

Rather that creating separate solutions for each of their functional requirements, AGIV chose to create an over-arching application architecture to front-end their business and legal requirements. Through this framework, focussed apps have been created to deal with specific topics and workflows, ranging from classic INSPIRE requirements such as catalog searches, through apps for managing and informing about road works to apps for finding school and childcare facilities. Custom server-side processes have been developed by AGIV to address specific business requirements, which are then fronted by map.apps, a flexible, modular app framework architecture, meaning AGIV can build and deploy platform-independent apps at will to address the needs of their partners and customers.

The Basis

  • ArcGIS: Provides the core server-based GIS functionality and map services consumed by geopunt. 
  • Geonetwork: Provides the metadata catalog components of Geopunt.
  • map.apps: Provides the client framework under which multiple, single-purpose apps is presented under the federation of Geopunt.be.
  • Microsoft Azure Hosting: Geopunt is hosted on Azure. As a cloud-based solution, it scales to meet the demands of use.

Benefits

The portal focuses extensive data and services and brings them to a broad and diverse audience via a suite of applications. Citizens looking for a suitable map or a GIS coordinator or engineer wishing to perform an environmental study can all do so via a single entry point. The geo-portal enables use of geographical information accessible by public authorities, citizens, organizations and businesses, and meets the requirements of the European INSPIRE directive. Socially relevant geographic data and services are brought together in a smart and user-friendly manner and all components (metadata catalog, download application, e-commerce application, data and network services) are directly offered and seamlessly integrated.

The use of map.apps means that AGIV has implemented an enterprise system as a collection of single, focused, smart, easy-to-use and appealing apps, organized under a central operating platform that is easy to manage and can expand to meet future needs with ease.
“When looking for a solution to create a geoportal we soon found map.apps to be an answer to our needs. Geopunt has become a very convenient access point to geographical information for a broad range of users – from citizens to real GIS experts. The bundle approach has enabled us to change individual apps as well as common functionality. As such we can easily customize and fulfill customer expectations.”

Laura D’heer
Geopunt Productowner