Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Geographical Information System (GIS) development

The objective of WP3 was the development of a Web based GIS tool able to act as an interface for the visualization of datasets collected and stored in a spatial database and an integrative tool for spatial analysis and development of thematic maps, with the aim to support the management of coastal areas and especially, of the five southern European coastal lagoons studied in the framework of the DITTY Project.

The main characteristics of this WebGIS tool are:
(a) the direct interface with the database implemented in WP2 with all the available information compiled in WP1 and
(b) the accessibility by all the DITTY partners through the web. In this way, the communication between developers and end-users is facilitated and the publication of new information is immediate and easily accessed.

The partners involved in the project, including the developers and the end-users, defined the structure of a common WebGIS based tool applicable to the five test sites, considering the data from WP2, the information coming from WP1 and the requirements of the end-users. Therefore, a strong cooperation between WPs 1, 2 and 3 was established, an important fact for accomplishing part of the scope of the DITTY project.

The WebGIS tool is accessed through the main web page of the DITTY project using standard client-server communication by a simple web browser, as the Microsoft Explorer; the data stored in the database are accessed through the same web page. The connection between the database and the WebGIS tool is direct, based on appropriate algorithms for the import of the data to the GIS for visualization and analysis.

The users of the WebGIS tool have the ability to:
(a) Visualize a map of a selected test site with all the available representative cartographic layers.
(b) Perform spatial analysis to the data and save the results in ASCII files or picture format.
(c) Visualize selected outputs of the simulation models developed in WP4 for each test site.
(d) Visualize selected spatial/temporal indicators, the results of scenario analyses or the results of the application of more aggregated tools for coastal zone management (e.g. for eutrophication assessment) developed according to the needs of the end-users in WPs 6 and 7.

It should be emphasized here that the role of the system described is to support local authorities in coastal management by enhancing, not replacing, the already available means of coastal decision-makers or public officials and by enhancing the role of the public in the implementation of this process. However, two points have been taken into account. The first concerns the copyright of the datasets shared over the Internet; in general, this issue is regarded as one of the most important constraints in the development of web-based GIS systems and should be well considered. The second refers to the response time of the application, which should be kept at low level. Functionality over the web is one of the most powerful characteristics of the system; consequently, high response times would discourage people from making use of it. The system is open to further operational expansion. Further improvement includes incorporation of specific methodologies widely applied in the management of coastal areas.

The modules, which are to be incorporated, are the followings:
(a) Multiple criteria analysis which is often applied in evaluating and ranking coastal areas, based on a pairwise comparison of defined management zones characterized by a number of criteria.
(b) Models able to predict the response of an area to potential changes and to evaluate the likely impact of a proposed development scenario. However, attention should be given to keep a low time response of the application.
Finally, the system could be adapted to an already available Decision Support System (DSS), designed for coastal areas, and represent a module focused on exploratory data analysis or could be combined with other existing GIS applications, such as GIS for urban planning or environmental management, aiming to create an integrated multi-disciplinary management tool.

Reported by

University of the Aegean
University Hill Mytilini
81 100 LESVOS
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