A standards-based framework to foster geospatial data and process interoperability
© The Brazilian Computer Society 2009
Received: 13 September 2008
Accepted: 1 March 2009
The quest for interoperability is one of the main driving forces behind international organizations such as OGC and W3C. In parallel, a trend in systems design and development is to break down GIS functionalities into modules that can be composed in an ad hoc manner. This component-driven approach increases flexibility and extensibility. For scientists whose research involves geospatial analysis, however, such initiatives mean more than interoperability and flexibility. These efforts are progressively shielding these users from having to deal with problems such as data representation formats, communication protocols or pre-processing algorithms. Once scientists are allowed to abstract from lower level concerns, they can shift their focus to the design and implementation of the computational models they are interested in. This paper analyzes how interoperability and componentization efforts have this underestimated impact on the design and development perspective. This discussion is illustrated by the description of the design and implementation of WebMAPS, a geospatial information system to support agricultural planning and monitoring. By taking advantage of new results in the above areas, the experience with WebMAPS presents a road map to leverage system design and development by the seamless composition of distributed data sources and processing solutions.