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Copyright © 2006
Dmitri Goldman

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The end of 80th years has marked the beginning understanding of value of geographical information systems (GIS) technologies in the public and private organizations and thereof, active universal use of these technologies. About 80 percent of the information collected and used by government agencies, the service companies and many business concerns, used in daily operations, at decision-making and planning is geographically oriented. All this has led that term GIS - became one of most frequently used in modern information technologies. Now GIS is one of the most dynamically developing and profitable areas of the industry of information technologies. Segments of GIS market in 2003 (results of researches of analytical company Daratech,

The logical result on the one hand the common evolution of information technologies and geoinformation technologies and requirements of modern business on the other hand is occurrence Corporate, or often called Enterprise, GIS (Harder 1999; Von Meyer and Oppman 1999) [1]. Considering a condition, inquiries and prospects of evolution of modern business, and also achievement and progress in the field of information technologies, it is possible to allocate the basic problems (and tasks), which decide (or will decide) Corporate or Enterprise Level GISs [0]:

One of possible ways of the complex (system) decision of these and other problems is the concept of Geoinformation Decision Support Systems Environment on the basis of Geoinformation Data Warehouse (GIS DW), which is at the heart of informational, DSS processing. Thus an ultimate goal of development of the GIS DW should be creation of Enterprise GIS on basis of Geoinformation Data Warehouse, which in full measure realizes applicability of GIS DW and will bring maximal benefits [0].

Geoinformation Data Warehouse (GIS DW) is a subject-oriented, integrated, nonvolatile, and time-variant collection of structurally related spatial and not spatial data (SAND) in support of management's decisions, providing directly managers and analysts by trustworthy information necessary for operative analysis and decision-making [0].

Key elements GIS Data Warehouse Architecture

The six positions that generally drive the Data Warehouse Architecture are:

Thus the first set of elements and last factor are determining in a choice of other elements of the Data Warehouse Architecture. One of possible ways of the complex decision of a problem of definition of Geoinformation Decision Support Systems Architecture is carrying out of decomposition of structure of invariant components of WEB-based Data Warehouse (WEB DW) [3-5]:

To questions about realization of "Multi-user GIS System Tier", "Statistical and analytical (OLAP and Data Mining) nonspatial data processing", "Tier of internal and external SAND sources", "Data storing and backup Tier" (fig. 1) it is devoted huge quantity of works [0], we shall consider more in detail "WEB-GIS" (or GIS-Internet) Tier (fig.1).

Multi-tier Environmental Risk Management (ERM) Framework in the Concept of WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype

Figure 1: Concept of multi-tier Environmental Risk Management (ERM) Framework (large picture)

One of possible variants of the decision of "WEB-GIS" Tier (fig. 1-2) is use of [0]:

Within the framework of the specified architecture can be used a database-centric approach to J2EE (or .NET) application development. Such model allows to use with maximal benefit as opportunity of ORDBMS Oracle (first of all Oracle Spatial, provides a SQL schema and functions that facilitate the storage, retrieval, update, and query of collections of spatial features in an Oracle database and also operators and functions for performing area-of-interest queries, spatial join queries, and other spatial analysis operations [11], and also practically standard for Enterprise Level RDBMSs opportunities of storage, retrieval, update, query, statistical and analytical processing of a plenty volumes of nonspatial data [12], that finally has allowed to realize the Kernel of GIS DW Prototype), and advantage of use of application servers that make use of J2EE architecture (multi-user and multi-application scalable framework for end-user which use various tools for access to data/information and services of the GIS DW on the basis of thin client architecture) [0].

Such approach was used by development of client applications of the GIS DW Prototype (fig. 2-3) [0].

WEB-based Geographic Information System (or WEB-GIS / GIS Internet) in the Concept of WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype

Figure 2: Concept of GIS DW Prototype (large picture)

The approach, at which WEB GIS DW is used as a core of the multi-user multi-purpose corporate geoinformation systems (Multipurpose Enterprise GIS [1]) allows successfully solve not only problems of integration of a data of various types and uses of various methods of the analysis of the information (conventional methods of analytical data processing traditional for Data Warehousing: OLAP and Data Mining, and various methods of the analysis and modeling of the spatial information: classical GIS toolkit ) but also implementation of authorized, cryptographic, access to resources and services of system [13-15] at any time from any point of the World that move out systems constructed by such principle on essentially new level [0].

Use of global networks by transfer of the information containing confidential data entails necessity of construction and use of effective system of information protection. In the first works about information protection the basic postulates which are actual and today have been stated: it is impossible to create absolute protection; the system of protection of the information should be complex; the system of protection of the information should be flexible and adapted to changing conditions [5].

Potential vulnerability of WEB-based Data Warehouses in relation to casual and premeditated negative influences has put forward problems of information safety in the category of the major, strategic, determining a basic opportunity and efficiency of utilizing of Data Warehouse. Requirements on a safety of WEB DW can differ essentially, however they are always directed on achievement of three basic properties: integrity; availability and confidentiality. Depending on character of the information contained in WEB DW, costs for maintenance of reliability and safety can make from 5-20% up to 100-400% from the resources used on WEB DW functional tasks, that is in special cases (critical military systems) can exceed the last in 2-4 times [5]. Besides now steady positive growing dynamic of a number of ybercrime incidents from inside a corporate network (about 80% from total of cybercrime incidents [13]) is observed.

Using a principle of systemity, and also fact, that effective protection system should be complex and adapted to changing conditions [13], the Base Concept of the Decision Support Systems Environment on the Basis of the GIS Data Warehouse should provide presence of a of multilevel subsystem of information protection on the basis of use of the modular scaled architecture ("System Safety and Management Framework", fig.2) based (in common case) on [13-16]:

Basic functionalities of the WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype

For acknowledgement in practice, and also for research of some positions resulted above, has been developed the WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype (GIS DW Prototype) [0, 2].

Now GIS DW Prototype possesses the following capabilities (examples of GIS DW Prototype end-user interfaces are represented on fig. 3) [0, 2]:

Fragments of the WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype user interfaces (incl. WEB-GIS Real Time Subsystem)

Figure 3: Fragments of GIS DW Prototype user interfaces (large picture 1.1Mb)

GIS DW Prototype includes more than 40 thematic layers of SAND - information about USA Counties:

obtained from data sources:

Demos of WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype may be obtained from Downloads section.


The offered decision takes into account modern tendencies both in GIS and Data Warehouse areas, and also made high demands of qualifying standards of a hardware-software complex of information systems, based on the concept of WEB DW (scalability, mobility, portability, reliability, safety, modularity, functional completeness) [0, 3-5, 13-21].

Developed WEB-based Geoinformation Data Warehouse Prototype (GIS DW Prototype) can be used as a kernel for development of the multi-user multi-purpose information systems (for example: GIS-Internet (or WEB-GIS) systems; WEB-based quasi-real time control and management systems; specialized decisions in the field of tourism, logistic, marketing, etc.), and as additions to existing Enterprise GIS decisions and products. Besides is possible to use of GIS DW Prototype for essential expansion of functionalities classical IT decisions (CRM, ERP, DSS, etc.) which move out these systems on essentially new level. Thus is possible use as 2D model, and transition to 3D model for storage, dataprocessing and visualization of spatial and not spatial data.

Taking into account an opportunity of use of GIS DW Prototype for creation of real systems on the basis of noncommercial platforms of RDBMS and J2EE Application Servers, the practical importance of GIS DW Prototype concludes in an opportunity of creation of information systems of a various level of complexity for SME business [0].

A possible range of IT application: tourism, logistic, marketing, etc.


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