The OpenDataNetwork Project is a joint project promoted by a few Public Administration located in the Italian Region of Tuscany, namely:
- County of Florence
- County of Prato
- County of Pistoia
- Arno River Basin Authority
which have decided to create a federated infrastructure for the publication of their data (geospatial as well as alphanumeric) as OpenData.
The Project draws its essence from the experience accumulated during the C.E.R.C.O. project which aimed at creating a federated Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the dissemination of geospatial data as Open Data for a number of Public Administrations in the region of Tuscany. The goals and aims have been so far expanded to provide a single entry point for the dissemination and exploitation of Open Data both geospatial and alphanumeric.
GeoSolutions has provided technical support for the implementation and deploy of the infrastructure as well as for the training of the partners for the management and evolutions of the platform in use. The current version of the system can be found at the link below:
In terms of infrastructure and components, the overall infrastructure as well as the architecture for each single node are shown in the illustrations on the side. The goal of the federation is to allow each partner to deploy the components he would need to have a complete and ready-to-use infrastructure for the publication of data as Open Data relying on Open Source products and accounting for the possibility to reuse existing components (e.g. proprietary geospatial servers) in order to minimize the impact. The Central Hub would then harvest the information from each Partner’s Deployment (with particular care on avoiding cyclic graph in the harvesting set up) in order to act as the single entry point for the entire network. The possibility to have multiple hierarchical level is foreseen and actually possible to implement with no further development (e.g. a new County could join acting also as an Hub for its own cities which would not be harvested by the Central Hub).
The Node Architecture puts together all the building blocks that a Partner could need to ingest and disseminate geospatial and alphanumeric data with particular emphasis on geospatial data. We also tried to use as much as possible existing standards for the interconnections in order to account for the possibility to swap some components with other similar ones. E.g. it would be possible to swap the catalog implementation from GeoNetwork to a different catalog providing it implemented the OGC CSW protocol.
Going into more details, let us briefly list the various components as well as their role. Let us also stress again that all the components provided are free and Open Source.
- Postgesql+PostGIS, is an enterprise level RDBMS with extensive and powerful support for geospatial data both raster and vector.
- GeoNetwork, is an Open Source geospatial catalogue that implements many standards both in terms of metadata as well as in terms of protocols.
- GeoServer+GeoWebCache, is an Open Source geospatial server that can be used to ingest manage and disseminate geospatial data and metadata via international as well as de-facto standards like OGC WMS, WFS, WCS, GeoRSS, GeoJSON and so on.
- CKAN, is the de-fact standard when it comes to Open Data portals. It is free and Open Source and is in use in many large-scale high-end government portals. It provides by default tools to enable geospatial searches, harvest multiple sources, comprehending other CKAN instances and it is easily customizable in terms on GUI appearance as well as data source support.