MapStore at work: a subscription based portal for the Oil&Gas industry
The requirement we were approached for this work was to create a web application to offer the energy industry professionals the ability to quickly generate maps for the entire energy infrastructure in North America. The portal was supposed to provide advanced search and filtering capabilities, in order to allow users to produce their custom maps and highlighting information relevant to them.
The main problem to solve was to integrate users, groups and roles between GeoServer and the web application and allow administrator to setup access rules using a single administration interface.
The problem has been solved integrating the MapStore‘s users, groups and roles system with GeoServer. When the user login using the MapStore login page, he receive also an authentication key. This key is automatically forwarded to GeoServer during the GetCapabilities request. The GetCapabilities response contains the urls of the services with the provided authentication key. This authentication key is supported by all the GeoServer‘s OGC services (WMS,WFS,…).
When the users, groups and roles are shared, the access to layers and workspaces can be managed by GeoServer default data access manager through its web interface. The administrator can associate read access for a workspace to some MapStore user groups in order to setup this rules just once for all when new data is published and manage the access to the data assigning users to the related groups (using the MapStore User Manager).
Another important requirement was to have a simple system to update vector data. MapStore manager has been improved to work with the new OpenSDI Manager and GeoBatch. OpenSDI Manager is an application that provides advanced functionalities like file uploading, email sending,and task scheduling to MapStore. OpenSDI manager is a spring based application that has been fully integrated with GeoStore UMS (User Management System). The administrators can send shape files to the OpenSDI Manager, using MapStore, and OpenSDI Manager will place the Files into a directory monitored by GeoBatch. When the new file is detected, GeoBatch starts a configured flow to import the shape files into the database.
The administrator can also monitor the execution of this import from the same page. He can check the execution log, check the list of the latest flows and remove old imports from the list.
The other features of the portal for users are:
- Filter the data displayed on the map querying by attributes and by region of interest.
- Search data querying by attributes and by region of interest
- Allow to identify search results on the map and get information about features on the map clicking on them.
- Choose to display or not the label on the map.
- Generate a pdf for printing or take a snapshot of the map.
Once you login to the main application page, you can see a GIS like portal that allow to add to the map the layers you have access to. MapStore‘s functionalities added to this portal are:
- Printing : Advanced pdf file generation. Users can choose to include the legend in the map. The legend will be automatically scaled and organized in different pages to have the best effort in terms of readability in the customer layout.
- SnapShot: a tools allow to get an instant snapshot of the map as a png file.
- Enable/Disable Labels: a tool allow the user to choose to display the labels on the map.
- Query Panel: Increasing MapStore‘s query tools we were able to allow the query panel to filter the map using the same search criteria used in the search. We increased also the query capabilities and stability, providing a unique tool to filter and search on the map. Also printing and map snapshot’s capabilities were increased in order to provide an easy and quick system for exporting documents and images.
From the administrator’s point of view, the features available in the manager are:
- Manage users and user groups using the web application.
- Divide users into groups to narrow the visibility of certain layers.
- Have an automatic account expiring system for user’s accounts.
- Have an easy web interface to publish or update published data.
Joining the MapStore users, groups and roles to GeoServer, we were able to share users between the two applications and manage them through a single web interface. Users can be enabled/disabled manually or automatically specifying a account expiring date. In case of expiring users receive a reminder email and the administrator have a checksum of the expired accounts. Administrators can monitor the list of the expired users and if they received notification.
Using the GeoServer‘s data security the system administrators can manage the visibility of the workspaces to specific groups of users. So they can easily allow or deny access to data according to their account plan.
The last functionality available in the manager is a list of the cached layers that allows the administrator to clear old tile caches when a layer is updated.
This application is a full example of a subscription-fee portal for geospatial data. In this use case the information for the users is the purchased data for the subscription period. The users can use the portal to browse and search the information they need and export only images and pdf files.