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Distributed data – one application. A technological revelation, but a cartographic nightmare? Sverre Iversen, Geological Survey of Norway ICC 2003, Durban, South Africa. Contents. About us Application development WMS – what and how National Geo-portals Cartographic challenges

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distributed data one application
Distributed data – one application

A technological revelation, but a cartographic nightmare?

Sverre Iversen, Geological Survey of Norway

ICC 2003,Durban, South Africa


  • About us
  • Application development
  • WMS – what and how
  • National Geo-portals
  • Cartographic challenges
  • Conclusions & outlook
  • Our WMS page
about us www ngu no
About us- www.ngu.no
  • Located in Trondheim
  • Spreading knowledge on nature resources.
  • Building national databases for geology.
  • Applied research and development
application development survey libraries
Application development- Survey libraries
  • General functionality
  • Menu functionality
  • URL argument functionality
  • WMS functionality
  • Language functionality
  • Application specific functionality
  • Map merging and attribute display control
wms what and how fundamentals
WMS – what and how- fundamentals

Foreground map

Map Image

Map Image

Background map

3 types of requests:

  • GetCapabilities: Request to see what the map service can offer.
  • GetMap: Request that gives us a map image with one to many themes .
  • GetFeatureInfo: Request to see attributes for one or several themes at a given coordinate.

The map images can be transparent and several map requests (GetMap) can constitute a composite map with several image layers.

wms what and how libraries
WMS – what and how- libraries

Libraries for easy definition of:

  • Adaptable Map Services and themes
  • Composite maps and legends
  • XSL attribute display control
  • Language

Contains functionality for:

  • Map image display order
  • Visibility of themes
  • Print out layout
  • Status reports and Meta Data
national geo portals shared infrastructure web pilots
National Geo-portals- shared infrastructure Web pilots

National Geo-portals

  • GeoNorway (GeoNorge)
  • Geohazards online
  • Water resources
  • AREALIS – environmental and land use

A Web Portal is a Website that offers carefully collated information and services from a variety of fields to satisfy the needs of a particular user group.

national geo portals geonorway geonorge
National Geo-portals- GeoNorway (GeoNorge)

National Geo-portals

  • Data and information from private and public sector.
  • The pioneer project.


the mapping authority geonorway applications
The Mapping Authority- GeoNorway applications

National Geo-portals

  • Register Service name and URL
  • Register additional information
  • Generic client for visualisation of registered map services
the geological survey geonorway application i
The Geological Survey- GeoNorway application I

National Geo-portals

  • Shows possible area conflicts
  • 12 image layers from 3 data providers
  • 5 different Map Presentations


the geological survey geonorway application ii
The Geological Survey- GeoNorway application II

National Geo-portals

  • Generic and bilingual
  • Exposes all functionality from WMS library
  • Buttons for Services, Layer, Theme and Query
the geological survey geonorway attribute display
The Geological Survey- GeoNorway attribute display

National Geo-portals

Servlet filtering - design control:

  • Table
  • URL redirect
national geo portals geohazards online
National Geo-portals- Geohazards online

National Geo-portals

  • Landslide and snow avalanche


the geological survey geohazard s online application
The Geological Survey- Geohazards online application

National Geo-portals

  • 11 image layers from 5 data providers
  • 5 different Map Presentations
  • Bilingual


the geological survey water resources application
The Geological Survey- Water resources application

National Geo-portals

  • 11 image layers from 4 data providers
  • 6 different Map Presentations


national geo portals arealis
National Geo-portals- AREALIS

National Geo-portals

  • Environmental and land use



the geological survey ar e alis application
The Geological Survey- AREALIS application

National Geo-portals

  • Generic client
  • 34 image layers from 6 data providers
  • 27 different Map Presentations


cartographic challenges dangers and limitations
Cartographic challenges- dangers and limitations
  • Isolated cartography can be useless when combined.
  • WMS images cannot be partly transparent.
  • Fuzzy transition between non-transparent and transparent areas.
  • The chosen transparent colour can make objects with near colours transparent too.



cartographic challenges presentation in different contexts
Cartographic challenges- presentation in different contexts
  • have a main cartography for isolated use
  • prepare cartography for every main context
  • prepare a simplified cartography for more general use in more dynamic contexts.
  • or - let the user symbolise the data freely

Data that are not intuitively recognisable from context to context can be a nightmare to the user.

cartographic challenges documentation
Cartographic challenges- documentation

Target group



Composite maps



conclusions outlook
Conclusions & outlook
  • A shared Geo-Data infrastructure is more common now.
  • WMS is easy to implement and meets the demands of most users.
  • Geo-portals and composite maps are difficult to design.
  • A need for a database driven approach: Storage of functionality and cartographic rules for (dynamic?) composite maps.
  • WFS will be implemented, but only to a limited extent.
our wms page
Our WMS page
  • Applications
  • WMS request examples
  • Tips & tricks
  • Info & presentations