The geographic information market has been quickly expanding over the last few years under the joint influence of an increasing application base (resource planning, emergency management) and advances in computer and communication technology (storage capacities, portable devices, etc).
Building on this strong market demand, timely research is needed to ensure a smooth incorporation of technical innovation into new value added user services.
In this context the GEO2DIS project brings together geographic information end-users, technological partners and major market players to research the benefits of object oriented technologies to over pass the shortcomings of existing products (2D world, homogeneous data) and achieve a wider market penetration through richer types and more flexible exploitation.
The aim of the project is thus to develop a geographic information server, enabling professional but non-IT users to manipulate (store, retrieve, transform, annotate or correlate) any type of data relevant to the management of geographically referenced objects.
It is intended, for these reasons, to implement GEO2DIS on top of an object oriented database management system and to realise the gateways to commercial off the shelf tools.
GEO2DIS will be designed to manage a fully heterogeneous environment (different types of data-raster, vector and alphanumeric-different formats, scales, updating periods, origins) and to interface with existing geographic information systems. Moreover, extensions to 3D objects management and interfaces with commercial geometric CAD systems will be included in order to widen GEO2DIS application domain. The major outcome will be to provide users with a fast access to large databases, without compelling them to know the physical representation and organisation of data.
The GEO2DIS project will be strongly user driven and will aim to produce results that can and will be exploited by the industrial partners. Though general solutions will be addressed, suitable for a range of application domains, the project will focus on concrete requirements resulting from selected trial application domains.
Application domains of particular interest for the partners of the project are Geographical Information systems supporting local and central governmental planning. These applications require management of large and complex geographical information bases generally represented within heterogeneous inter-operating and possibly distributed databases. The end-users, represented by two regional authorities will specify two application demonstrators which will then be developed jointly by the GEO2DIS partners.