Description of Innovation
The Geospatial Information Web Portal is an electronic application through which the dissemination of geospatial information, related to natural and urban environmental phenomena in the form of digital maps, archives and internet services is carried out. In this way, this information acquires added value, as it becomes easier to access and easier to obtain and analyze by the user. The user of the services of the Portal can be any citizen, as well as public or private bodies interested in obtaining information about geospatial data.The innovation was designed, implemented and enriched through the development of Free Software / Open Source Software by the General Directorate of e-Government and Spatial Information of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE). Today there is access to about 550 thematic levels and 100 maps. The service provides the user with the ability to display, examine and carry out combined analysis and rendering of various thematic levels (patches) on available general backgrounds available for free on the internet, such as Openstreet Maps. The following image shows the thematic map "Number of Days per Year with Extreme Risk of Forest Fire (FWI> 50)".
Particular emphasis has been placed on the scientific classification, synthesis and rendering of information. This supports the understanding and interpretation of Environmental and Energy phenomena and provides a documentation tool for policy planning and formulation.
Reasons for Innovation
The main reasons for the development of the Geospatial Information Portal are: 1) The improvement of the existing process of providing Geospatial Information by using new tools utilizing the capabilities of the G-cloud. 2) The response to a new need of users and specifically in the provision of basic capabilities of overview and combined display of information, without the use of specialized software programs, in a user-friendly environment, providing direct access to spatial information, 3) The ability to power Geospatial management systems Information that will be developed in the future with information e.g. the Sinle Digital Map (SDM). Objectives of Innovation The initial objectives of the innovation were: 1) The organization of Spatial Information on a website to facilitate access to information by the user concerned, 2) The provision of future information systems, such as the Single Digital Map (SDM) and the Unified Geospatial Information Infrastructure (UGII), 3) The depiction of environmental "phenomena" in the form of thematic maps for greater ability to understand and interpret them.
Objectives of Innovation
The initial objectives of the innovation were: 1) The organization of Spatial Information on a website to facilitate access to information by the user concerned, 2) The provision of future information systems, such as the Single Digital Map (SDM) and the Unified Geospatial Information Infrastructure (UGII), 3) The depiction of environmental "phenomena" in the form of thematic maps for greater ability to understand and interpret them.
The platform uses all open data protocols (WMS, WFS, WCS) so its data can be used by any other system related to the provision of geospatial information, as provided by the initial objectives of the innovation. At the same time, the creation of the Portal has led to the disengagement of the body from the time burden of telephone information of the interested parties, especially for pollution and noise data, as now all the available information is provided through the Portal.The traffic, which now stands at around 7,500 visitors / week, and over 150,000 visitors since the beginning of 2021, is constantly increasing. Therefore, although some evaluation research has not yet been carried out, it can be concluded that the usefulness of users, who actually have access to useful information through a friendly and user-friendly system, which was a key goal of innovation, is increasing. .
The innovation is now at the dissemination stage.
The initiative for innovation comes from the General Directorate of e-Government and Geospatial Information, while the creation and operation of the Portal has been described in the PD of the organization chart of the Ministry Of Environment and Energy. The Geospatial Information Portal was designed by a team consisting of 2 employees of the Ministry, 1 Technologist Programmer and 1 Surveyor Engineer specializing in Cartography. At this stage, the combination of data from different thematic levels and the creation of online services according to the Criteria of the Open Spatial Consortium (OGC standards) was foreseen. The system was designed to operate independently, as it does not require connection to an existing process, structure and information system.
Experimental Implementation stage
During the experimental application phase, various methodologies and software programs were tested, the capabilities of which met to a greater or lesser extent the needs that had been set from the beginning. Finally, the solution of utilizing free software was chosen, which was adapted to the specific requirements.
The system is a source of geospatial information to which services refer or direct citizens to search for data. The operation of the innovation is supervised by the team of employees from the General Directorate of Geospatial Information and e-Government, which participated in its design. In order to get acquainted with the use of the Portal of Geospatial Information and Maps, information actions were carried out inside the institution, but also to external users, and specifically to employees and students of the National Technical University of Athens. In addition, it is planned to be used to host new data that will emerge from new studies, such as for example the Electric Vehicle Charging Plans (SFIO). So far, no evaluation of the operation of the Portal has been carried out and no corrections have been deemed necessary, however, the data on its attendance are updated on a weekly basis.
Innovation is disseminated within the Agency through the use of communication networks, presentations, information and service notes, conducting seminars, etc. Also, through the website, the use of social media, presentation in working groups, participation in conferences and workshops, etc. a., innovation is also spread in the external environment of the Organization.Collaborations
There was no need to cooperate with other institutions to develop innovation.Financing and costs
No financial resources were used, as the design and development was implemented by employees of the General Directorate of the Ministry using Free Software / Open Source Software and the application runs in G-cloud. During the development phase of the innovation, 2 employees were employed for a period of 1 year, 5-10 hours per week for the development of the platform, while they also continue to be employed for the same period of time per week for the maintenance of the system.
Challenges and solutions during design, testing and implementation
One problem identified in relation to the operation of innovation concerns the lack of education and culture, in terms of thematic services, on the nature and management of Geospatial Information and Maps.Assessment - description of the necessary conditions for the success and sustainability of innovation
In order for the innovation to work successfully, actions of information and training of employees as well as users of the services are necessary.Experiences, thoughts, findings
From the observation of the traffic of the platform, it was found that the information on environmental issues is a need that concerns a significant part of the population, as the environmental awareness has increased. During the periods when environmental accidents or problems occur, the attendance of the relevant thematic levels increases sharply, such as the accident in the port of Beirut on 4.8.2020. Also, the thematic levels related to indicators related to climate change are currently receiving a large number of visits.
Agency: Ministry of Environment and Energy
Level of government: National
Policy area: Public Administration, Environment
Type of Innovation: Design and service delivery, Data management and decision making
Innovation Stage: Dissemination
Beneficiaries: General population, Civil servants, Public Organizations, Businesses, Educational Institutions / Universities
Number of beneficiaries: Approximately 160,000 visitors to the Portal since the beginning of 2021
Sources of Funding: Own resources
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