Sharing Environmental Geospatial Data Through an Open Source WebGIS

  • Grazia Caradonna
  • Benedetto Figorito
  • Eufemia TarantinoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9157)


In recent years, people’s need to participate to decision making, especially when it concerns inalienable human rights such as health and living in a healthy environment, has become increasingly manifest. In order to meet the request for environmental information sharing on the web and to make citizens feel “partakers” in the development of environmental policies, the Physical Agents Simple Operative Unit of ARPA Puglia, developed an open source WebGIS as a communication, participation and working tool for both Citizens and Technicians.

This paper proposes an efficient approach to customize and integrate an open source WebGIS system based on MapServer and Pmapper. The layout of the WebGIS was customized by filling pages in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to make it intuitive and easy to use. The features offered are those commonly provided by a WebGIS system, in particular: geographical navigation (pan, zoom, zoom to selection), query time and multiple layers, transparency level options, printing and exporting of current image views or pdf files. Environmental data results from a query can be downloaded in pdf, kml and shp formats. The possibility to download files is a key component of the system as it allows the average expert user to find data in an easily and processable format.


WebGIS MapServer Pmapper Open data Shared information 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Borga, G., Castelli, S., Dalla Costa, S., Di Prinzio, L., Picchio, S., Sau, A.: A prototype system for monitoring information demand and data. In: Urban Data Management: Urban Data Management Society Symposium 2007, Stuttgart, Germany, 10-12 October 2007, p. 333. Routledge, October, 2007Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Borruso, G.: Cartografia e Informazione Geografica “2.0 e oltre”, Webmapping, WebGIS. Un’introduzione Cartography and Geographic Information “2.0 and Beyond”, Webmapping, WebGIS. An introduction. Bollettino dell’Associazione Italiana di Cartografia 147, 7–15 (2013)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Boulos, M.N., Honda, K.: Web GIS in practice IV: publishing your health maps and connecting to remote WMS sources using the Open Source UMN MapServer and DM Solutions MapLab. International Journal of Health Geographics 5(1), 6 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carver, S., Evans, A., Kingston, R., Turton, I.: Accessing Geographical Information Systems over the World Wide Web: Improving public participation in environmental decision-making. Information Infrastructure and Policy 6(3), 157–170 (2000)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chandramali, E.A.G., Wijesekera, N.T.S.: Identification of WebGIS Development Potential and Issues–A land and Water case Study Application for Moratuwa, Sri lanka (2014)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Directive, I.N.S.P.I.R.E.: Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE). Published in the official Journal on the 25th April (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Doyle, S., Dodge, M., Smith, A.: The potential of web-based mapping and virtual reality technologies for modelling urban environments. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 22, 137–155 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Giannola, E.: Mappe online e processi partecipativi innovativi per la costruzione di una nuova immagine del territorio. In: 17 Conferenza nazionale ASITA, pp. 769–775 (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gkatzoflias, D., Mellios, G., Samaras, Z.: Development of a web GIS application for emissions inventory spatial allocation based on open source software tools. Computers & Geosciences 52, 21–33 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kitchin, R.: Big data and human geography Opportunities, challenges and risks. Dialogues in Human Geography 3(3), 262–267 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lazzari, M., Danese, M., Masini, N.: A new GIS-based integrated approach to analyse the anthropic-geomorphological risk and recover the vernacular architecture. Journal of Cultural Heritage 10, e104–e111 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Li, Z., Yang, C., Sun, M., Li, J., Xu, C., Huang, Q., Liu, K.: A high performance web-based system for analyzing and visualizing spatiotemporal data for climate studies. In: Liang, S.H., Wang, X., Claramunt, C. (eds.) W2GIS 2013. LNCS, vol. 7820, pp. 190–198. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Murgante, B., Tilio, L., Lanza, V., Scorza, F.: Using participative GIS and e-tools for involving citizens of Marmo Platano-Melandro area in European programming activities. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 13(01), 97–115 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Netek, R., Balun, M.: WebGIS solution for crisis management support – case study of olomouc municipality. In: Murgante, B., et al. (eds.) ICCSA 2014, Part II. LNCS, vol. 8580, pp. 394–403. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
  16. 16.
    Pirotti, F., Guarnieri, A., Vettore, A.: Collaborative Web-GIS Design: A Case Study for Road Risk Analysis and Monitoring. Transactions in GIS 15, 213–226 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Plewe, B.: GIS Online: information retrieval, mapping, and the Internet. OnWord Press (1997)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Steiniger, S., Bocher, E.: An overview on current free and open source desktop GIS developments. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 23(10), 1345–1370 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wang, N.-H., Li, D., Pan, H.: Information service platform of forest pest forecast based on WebGIS. Journal of Forestry Research 20, 275–278 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zheng, K.G., Rahim, S.T., Pan, Y.H.: Web GIS: Implementation issues. Chinese Geographical Science 10(1), 74–79 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grazia Caradonna
    • 1
  • Benedetto Figorito
    • 2
  • Eufemia Tarantino
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Politecnico di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.ARPA PugliaBariItaly

Personalised recommendations