CAD/GIS Boosts Czech Ministry's Entry Into European Union21 Sep, 2004 By: Cadalyst Staff
Autodesk MapGuide helps agriculture agency meet policy requirements.
In recent years, the European Union opened its doors to 12 candidate countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Being an EU member entitles a country to countless benefits -- having an enormous impact on that country's economy, among other things -- but that membership doesn't come easy. Accession comes only after extensive negotiating and meeting strict requirements.
On the agricultural front, EU helps farmers in a member country by facilitating technical progress, ensuring proper levels of agricultural production, ensuring a fair standard of living for farmers, stabilizing markets, and facilitating agricultural trade between EU nations. In fact, for many candidate countries, EU was already the most important trade partner in agricultural products.
The Czech Republic is one of those 12 countries. To meet one EU prerequisite, the Czech Ministry of Agriculture had to implement a digital system to accurately track the country's land occupancy and population rates and register land blocks with EU. It opted to develop a nationwide land-registry system based on Autodesk MapGuide software and Oracle Spatial technologies. The Web-based CAD/GIS and design system is the cornerstone of the Ministry's administrative efforts.
Autodesk MapGuide allows the Ministry of Agriculture to integrate multiple data sources or servers, build custom applications, and query, analyze, and distribute information for faster, better-informed decision making (figures 1-3). The ministry uses the system to gather agro-environmental geographic data, model 3D terrain of the country, classify land online, and more (figures 4-5). Oracle Spatial provides special functions for complex GIS applications data management, extending basic geographic and location data features contained in all Oracle Database editions with advanced operations for processing and analyzing this type of data. Users can access geographic data in an Oracle Spatial database in the same manner as they do relation data, which reduces development and operational costs for applications on the Oracle platform.
Figure 1. Autodesk MapGuide links interactive Web maps with tabular reports maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture. The system can also link scanned documents, land titles, photos, and other records to the geographic object -- in this case, a crop.
Figure 2. The Web-based application includes customized forms that ministry employees use to enter data in the central agricultural database along with geospatial and attribute information.
Figure 3. The Czech Ministry of Agriculture uses Autodesk MapGuide to display, manage, and share agricultural information.
About one month after its pilot launch, the Czech system was fully operational, having settled more than 100,000 new, legally effective land block (site) changes and implementing data from more than 2,000 registered agricultural entities. Nearly 700 users create, manage, and share geospatial and design information in real time. The Ministry hopes to extend system access to an additional 1,000 users.
"This system meets our requirements in terms of high performance and ease of use," said Vladimir Dragan, department director, Central Registry of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic was granted EU membership earlier this year. The new land-registration system benefits not only the Ministry of Agriculture, but also the Czech farmers, who no longer must wait several months before their registry change submission is acknowledged and they receive critical funding.