ArcNews Online

Summer 2007
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Technology Solutions for National Mapping Agencies

While no one solution can fit all the requirements of all national mapping agencies (NMAs), Esri has worked tirelessly to ensure its product suite includes standards-based COTS solutions that provide the foundational tools and specific technology that mapping agencies need. These solutions are specialized applications built using ArcGIS. They are designed to model and support particular business functions and workflows with out-of-the-box tools that provide immediate business value. The following products have evolved out of repeated engagements between the Esri Professional Services organization and key customers within particular application areas.

Production Line Tool Set for ArcGIS

Production Line Tool Set (PLTS) for ArcGIS is a suite of applications that organizes, manages, and enhances productivity for a multitude of map, chart, and database production activities. These applications provide flexible workflow templates and data models that help organize data automation, cartographic production, and data management. The PLTS for ArcGIS suite includes specific solutions for aeronautical, nautical, topographic, and defense agencies. These solutions include the generation of map series and data products common to domains such as

  • PLTS for ArcGIS—Nautical Solution leverages the PLTS for ArcGIS applications for creation, management, and publication of hydrographic information in hard-copy, Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC), and Digital Nautical Chart (DNC) formats.
  • PLTS for ArcGIS—Aeronautical Solution provides end-to-end information management and support for standards-based aeronautical charts and data exchange.
  • PLTS for ArcGIS—Mapping Agency Solution provides the database models, knowledge bases, and tools for topographic data and map production.

PLTS for ArcGIS—Foundation and Components

Each of the PLTS for ArcGIS solutions above comes with PLTS for ArcGIS—Foundation, which includes tools for database editing, quality control (GIS Data ReViewer), cartographic product generation (Map Production System—Atlas), and workflow management (Job Tracking for ArcGIS [JTX]—see article on the cover). Foundation provides users with a consistent, repeatable, and well-managed production workflow.

Standards and Interoperability

Support for standards is an important part of enabling interoperability, a crucial requirement for NMAs. Esri supports geospatial standards from the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC); International Hydrographic Organization (IHO); International Organization for Standardization (ISO); Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC); IT standards from Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); and various GIS-related domain standards in its software. Esri also offers various interoperability enablers, such as direct read/write of dozens of data formats; support for hundreds of projections and datums; support for openly published data models; and tools for spatial extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) of data. ArcGIS also supports various metadata- and catalog-related specifications that provide practical ways to publish, discover, and bind to geospatial data and services.

Esri leads and participates actively in many of the standards committees and works closely with many draft standards. As these standards are finalized, they are incorporated into the entire ArcGIS product suite as required, including the solution products mentioned above.

Solutions for National Spatial Data Infrastructure

Many NMAs are the sole champions for implementing a national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) within their respective countries to promote the interoperability of digital geographic data between various suppliers, agencies, and users. To support content discovery for an NSDI, Esri offers GIS Portal Toolkit, a metadata catalog server extension that supports metadata search services as a standard part of a GIS user's Web site. This product includes many capabilities to do advanced searching, viewing, metadata harvesting, and other functions and supports FGDC and ISO metadata standards as well as OGC specifications: Web Catalog Service (CS-W), Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Map Content (WMC), and Web Map Service (WMS).

Support for Service-Oriented Architecture-Based Implementation

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a component-based software architecture model for enterprise application development and integration. A service is a reusable component used in a business process and generally defined according to Web service standards (SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, XML). Web services are registered and loosely coupled, meaning that they can be combined and integrated on demand, increasingly on the basis of an enterprise service bus integration and messaging platform.

SOA delivers flexibility and enterprise agility, fostering collaboration, enabling interoperability across new and legacy systems, substantially reducing the cost and time of development, and generally better positioning an NMA to adapt to changing business conditions. Using an SOA, users can author and publish a variety of geospatial services. These can be served to the larger enterprise, where users can flexibly integrate them with new or legacy application services and thereby create new knowledge that enriches the enterprise. Esri is committed to ensuring that its products and solutions are fully compatible with SOA principles and standards.

More Information

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See also the following articles and poster in this issue.

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