BUILDING THE DIGITAL OBSERVATORY FOR PROTECTED AREAS ON AN OPEN SOURCE FRAMEWORK
For several years the Global Environment Monitoring Unit of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) has been monitoring and modelling the state of Protected Areas in Africa. The development of the African Protected Areas Assessment Tool (APAAT) highlighted issues of habit and species vulnerability, requiring the collection, processing and publication of a large amount of complex and disparate geographic information. The success of this tool has led to the idea for a Digital Observatory of Protected Areas (DOPA), extending not only the geographic scope but also based on a fundamentally different philosophy of systems architecture. Whereas APAAT is based on centralised data compilation and analysis, with static results, the DOPA will consist of distributed data sources, made interoperable through the use of standardised, open web service interfaces. The development is a collaborative effort with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Birdlife International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The infrastructure will handle not only data exchange between the organisations involved in DOPA, but also provide advanced, interactive modelling capability through Web Processing Services. In the distributed architecture, each organisation is free to implement whichever software solutions they like, so long as the interoperability requirements are met, and JRC, with a view to potentially deploying the components it develops in other organisations, has decided to adopt an open source framework, including PostGIS, MapServer, 'R', GeoNetwork and pyWPS. We will explain the overall architecture, current developments, future plans and requirements for new tools in the FOSS4G domain as DOPA evolves.
Stephen Peedell - Joint Research Centre
Jorge De Jesus - Joint Research Centre
Gregoire Dubois - Joint Research Centre