Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has always been considered sophisticated tools, designed by researchers and used by experts. Today, thanks to open source software, GIS are becoming a low cost instrument for different kind of users that could takes advantages of the simplicity and the effectiveness of GIS themselves. In order to reach this goal, it must be filled the knowledge gap that still exists between developers and ordinary users.


The aim of this study is to identify a simplified design method that could be managed by unskilled users. The research develops the integration of a commercial software commonly used for the database whit an open source GIS in order to realize a manual that allows to introduce a novice user to the design of geographic databases and to the question of a well structured database.


The methodology has been applied in the organization of the Cultural Heritage Parks Canada.


The obtained results confirm the possibility for open source GIS to be integrated with commercial software with satisfactory results. This integrated solution allows the users that could not afford the high cost of commercial software, or that are unable to manage the complexity of the software, to use the GIS tool. In particular, the specific application to the Parks Canada case study shows how the geographical location of an asset is an useful basic information for any analysis that is necessary for the preservation of the asset itself.


This paper underlines the need to spread open source technologies as tools for interrogating the archives that must be public domain such as one of cultural or, in specific contexts, where low cost and ease of use are needed in developing countries.



Sarah Braccio - Politecnico di Torino
Fulvio Rinaudo - Politecnico di Torino

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