Compass will present at Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial – FOSS4G – being held in the UK in 2013 for the first time in September. With a theme of ‘Geo for All’, this annual event, attended by up to a thousand delegates, will showcase the world’s leading open source GIS tools and projects, including Quantum GIS, OpenLayers, GeoServer as well as plenty of newer packages. We will present on the Compass-developed MapRoad Pavement Management System, which is a cross platform GIS roads management toolkit. It illustrates the opportunities around combining desktop, web and mobile app tools to deliver a system that really does deliver better asset management, planning and reporting, and supports more targetted and evidence-based funding.
The MapRoad Pavement Management System supports the monitoring and management of 90,000km of Irish roads via an integrated desktop, web, and smart mobile solution. The web solution is built on open source software combined with existing proprietary databases and desktop GIS allowing minimum disruption to workflows during development and rollout. Open standards are used to communicate between different system components.
The overall system allows assessments including routing, feature editing and attribution, with time period based visualisation. The smart mobile solution operates on Android tablets and facilitates rapid visual inspection of the road surface, with offline data editing, and, when signal allows, automated synchronisation to back-office systems. The solution allows effective planning of road management and work tasks at both local authority and national level. An online ticketing system and information portal website are available to users of the system.
A critical part of the development process was to clean up the existing roads dataset. This was achieved using open source Python libraries to review and fix networking errors. The clean dataset allowed routing to be carried out on the web system using code based on the open source NetworkX Python library.
Although developed and implemented in the Irish context, MapRoad PMS is an example of technology allowing more to be done with less, freeing up the user to optimise their working day, and allowing decision makers quicker access to data in a readily accessible format.
This paper will examine the challenges involved in delivering this cross platform system and examine the readiness and benefits of open source geospatial software. While the context is roads the message throughout the paper will be that open source really works in the workflow chain from data capture all the way through to decision making.