Intetics experience with open source GIS software
Since the mid 2000s open GIS has gradually been attracting the attention of businesses and government agencies around the world. Nevertheless, the introduction of open GIS in business processes is hampered by the fact that at the moment there is no ready-made method of implementation for open GIS solutions. In this article we want to share the experience of our implementation and the use of open GIS software at Intetics.
The idea of using open software at Intetics was first aired in May 2011. At that time the main working tools for Intetics’ specialists was proprietary software provided by the client. The volume of manual vectorization projects was increasing along with the growing number of employees. We planned to hire approximately 50 new employees; though the time spent using GIS software did not exceed 5-16% for a single employee. As an alternative to purchasing extra proprietary licenses, a decision to use open software was made.
Briefly about the project
The client provided us with shp-files containing road graph and building geometry. In the course of the project, we had to clarify the client’s road graph and buildings contours spatial positions data. The first step was to clarify existing geometry, and then add the new one. After completing this, we followed the same procedure with the building polygons.
Choosing and implementing software
After careful evaluation we chose gvSIG and Quantum GIS, mainly because these products are widely available as desktop GIS software. Then we completed several test projects using both gvSIG and QGIS and compared the results and the expert reviews. Generally, gvSIG performed better, although some tools were less user-friendly. Among QGIS strengths are nice and logical GUI, multiframe support, high pace of development, an active users’ and developers’ community, lots of plug-ins and rather good documentation. Weaknesses include slow data panning, slow raster rendering and overall low performance and instability.
We successfully implemented the execution of large-scale works using open source software combined with the proprietary software. We now have a well-established documented production
We plan to develop this process by implementing the following steps:
- Develop an efficient bug reporting process;
- Implement topology processing using PostGIS;
- Create local service of raster data on the Geoserver basis;
- Finalize the transition process to newer software
Intetic’s example shows the real possibility of successful open source GIS software use for large scale projects. Thanks to very detailed process description and precisely defined team roles, the project was completed on time and with the quality level required by customer.
Download full article to explore our experience of implementation and the use of open GIS software.