Thursday, August 16, 2012

Visualising Victoria's Groundwater

A few weeks ago Victorians added a new information source to the ever growing list of online interactive GIS applications: Visualising Victoria's Groundwater. The project is an initiative aimed at federating groundwater data from disparate sources to assist in groundwater research and water management.

The application contains extensive information on approximately 300,000 bores in across Victoria. The map also includes a number of useful layers to put the information in context. Those layers include elevation, depth to watertable and surface elevation.

It is built with OpenLayers framework and utilises Web Map Service (WMS) to facilitate publication of custom data. Click on the map brings up the information about a particular dataset, for that specific location (but is not enabled on all available layers; by the way, this is a great feature of WMS which is often overlooked by developers in favour of more complex solutions).

An interesting aspect of the application is that drawing tools are utilised as a feedback generation mechanism. That is, users can mark specific location and submit comments (“undo” option to remove drawn objects from the map would be a desirable functionality extension). There is also a support for exporting of numeric data (limited to a few hundred items at a time). As all modern GIS online applications it also supports layer reordering but I could not get this function to work properly. Overall, Visualising Victoria's Groundwater is quite nice and simple to use information presentation application.

The project has been funded by the State Government of Victoria - Broadband Enabled Innovation Program

First spotted on : Google Maps Mania

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