Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

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Development of Open Source (OS) WebGIS systems is becoming more and more complex, and with a higher number of functionalities. Enterprises working on WebGIS, mainly small ones, are carrying out an intensive software development. There are frameworks to easily develop and deploy basic WebGIS applications personalized for every client. However, an enterprise cannot only depend on one technology or group of components. It needs to be able to offer solutions to their clients and reduce time to market and production costs in order to be more competitive. Incorporating Software Product Lines (SPL) in WebGIS development could help to face these challenges. SPLs are based on a reference architecture whose functionality can be customized depending on users’ requirements. SPLs incorporate modelling tools for supporting automated processes for the common functionalities and offer integrated development environments for the specific ones. The OS WebGIS domain is ideal to apply this development philosophy, mainly due to two of its characteristics: first, WebGIS is mainly a component-based development, thus the exploitation of a reference architecture where components can be plugged-in seems ideal; second, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards offers support for data communication between the different components, simplifying the data communication process. A SPL would also help to reduce problems maintaining and updating deployed systems, as well as to establish a clear process to validate and test final products. In this paper, we present the current state of this research. The available methodologies and its applicability to automate OS WebGIS development are also presented.


Juan Manuel Moreno Rivera - SIGTel Geomática
Elena Navarro - University of Castilla-La Mancha