Unlocking Geographical Information from Academia: an Open Source WebGIS Solution

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Geography Research Centres are usually producers of a large volume of Geographical Information (GI), which results both from funded projects, and individual research initiatives. The e-GEO Research Centre for Geography and Regional Planning has been involved in several projects, at local, regional, national and international levels. Recently, two issues came up for discussion. One was the fact that the spatial information resulting from these projects and its outcomes had not the visibility that was expected. The GI from these projects, most of the time, was not in the proper format for the researchers to look up easily, or even the general public or stakeholders. The second issue was on how to make these outcomes available to everyone, in all locations, in pleasant and clarifying ways with minimum costs for the Centre, considering the current Portuguese economic context and e-GEO's interests. These two issues were solved with one single answer, the set-up of a WebGIS in an Open Source platform. This paper illustrates the production of an instrument for the diffusion of GI over the World Wide Web, using only Open Source and Freeware. This tool allows all the researchers at the Centre to publish their GI, which becomes freely accessible to any end-user. Potentially, making this type of information widely available will have a great impact by shortening distances between the work made by academics and the enduser, and we believe it is a better way for the public to access and interpret spatial information. Ultimately, this platform will serve to bridge the gap between producers and users of GI since these systems may allow the interaction between all parties, allowing the upload of new data given a set of rules aiming at quality control.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationVI Jornadas de SIG Libre, Servei de Sistemes D’Informació Geogràfica I Telederecció
Place of PublicationGirona
PublisherUniversitat de Girona
ISBN (Print)978-84-694-9927-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
EventVI Jornadas de SIG Libre -
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …

Publication series

NameServei de Sistemes D’Informació Geogràfica I Telederecció
PublisherUniversitat de Girona


ConferenceVI Jornadas de SIG Libre
Period1/01/12 → …

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