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gvSIG: Open Source GIS and Spatial Data Infraestructures.It’s about time.

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Wednesday, March 30th 2005
| Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Read More About: open source gis


In nowadays world changes are continuous and they occur as fast as sharig information speed.Those changes have a clear influence in technological evolution, in bussiness models and in administration management politics.Cartography and Spatial Information Systems is nowadays in the middle of as change.In this context appears gvSIG.
At the end of 2002, the "Conselleria de Infraestructuras y Transporte" of the "Generalitat Valenciana" (Regional Goverment of the Comunidad Valenciana) starts a global migration process towards open systems under Linux.Within this process it gets special relevancy the GIS and CAD software migration, due to the final users working within the "Conselleria" and to the fact that GIS and CAD are nearly unknown areas in the Free Software World.
An study about the Free Software World comparing the Geographycal Information Systems projects with the most comercially extended propietary software and considering the requirements of the "Conselleria de Infraestructuras y Transporte" was made.To analise the problem globally, we designed a survey which gathered all the information regarding current and future users requirements working with Geographycal Information.The survey collected a great deal of data such as tasks and performances of software and hardware of the surveyed users, considerations on graphycal and non graphycal data, GIS / CAD tools used, formats and cartographycal data types, common operations, actualization frequency and implementation software...
With all this information, of both requirements study and the available software within the Free Software Comunity, we concluded that their was not a well enough developed GIS /CAD software project which could lead to change from Propietary to Free Software.We challeged a development project aimed to cover the current deficiencies and which could make reality the change into Free Software.
The "Conselleria de Infraestructuras y Transporte" issued a public bidding on GIS development, such a project should fulfill users requirements and have the following features;
• Portable: being multiplatform hardware / software, Linux and Windows to start with.
• Modular: extendable with new functionality.
• Open Source: being a Free Software project with available source code.
• License Free: and Installation Free without any limitation in installation numbers.
• Interoperable when developed, can access data from propietary programs without changing format.
• Accomplishing Standards: following the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and UE directives.

The chosen programming language, after evaluating C and Java pilots, was Java, fulfilling therefore the multiplatform requirement.
The gvSIG project participants are:
Generalitat Valenciana through the Conselleria de Infraestructuras y Transporte as the project driver.
Universidad Jaume I, member of the TeIDE consortium, as coordinator and supervisor of the development following the internatial standards (Open Geospatial Consortium)
IVER Tecnologías de la Información, company winner of the public bidding and being the development driver.
During the gvSIG development we faced an item which modifies the plannification of the project : the "Conselleria de Infraestructuras y