Introduction to spatial data services
This is the first article in the series that will talk about how to understand and implement the spatial network services of the Act on spatial planning and development and the EMUiA regulation.
As a team of urban planners with several years of experience in providing services for municipalities in the field of spatial planning and development, we observe and analyze the state of spatial development in Poland in recent years. We constantly notice the difficulties faced by, among others, municipalities, town planners and residents due to changes in the law regarding planning documents and address points.
We start the series of articles with (in our opinion) the most difficult to interpret provision – the Act on Spatial Planning and Development, Chapter 5a, Art. 67c points 3 which says:
“The bodies referred to in Art. 67a paragraph. 1, provide free of charge spatial data created for the acts referred to in article 1. 67a paragraph. 2, through the services referred to in Art. 9 sec. 1 points 1-3 of the Act of March 4, 2010 on spatial information infrastructure.”
Which services are we talking about?
The services referred to in the act on spatial information infrastructure are:
- searching service (CSW)
- viewing service (WMS)
- download service (WFS)
While there may be alternatives to these OGC services (WMS, WFS and CSW) they have been a subject of countless verifications, standarizations and constant polishment. You can learn more about Open Geospatial Consortium on their website.
A distinction should be made between the terms “access to a service”, “providing a service” and “using a service”.
For example, a hairdressing salon provides a service that can be accessed and used.
Services put to practice
Access to the hairdressing salon can be obtained through, inter alia, business directory, telephone book, etc., while access to spatial data services can be obtained from the Register of spatial data sets and services (Register) specified in the regulation.
A hairdressing salon provides services consisting in cutting hair, while spatial data services consist in the provision of searching, browsing and downloading spatial data and their collections.
Hairdressing services can be used in specific salons, similarly, the use of spatial data services takes place only through dedicated programs, e.g. MapMaker.online, QGIS, GeoNetwork, ArcMap.
What does this mean for public administrations?
The provision of services is the responsibility of the administration body responsible for collecting the collection and is determined by the act on planning and spatial development mentioned at the beginning.
Access to the services provided is provided by the public administration body to the Register in the form of a notification to the GUGiK.
The provision and delivery of services is the same for all services, but usage depends on the type of service.
Examples of using the services
CSW – Search Service
Obtaining access to the CSW link does not give us much, because only dedicated programs can use it, i.e. search and display the results to the user in the form of metadata content. We’ll talk more about metadata in a different atricle. Examples of such interfaces are: the metadata search option at Geoportal.gov.pl, the CIEP GeoNetwork search engine or the MapMaker.online GeoNetwork search engine.
Learn more about WMS here: https://mapmaker.online/about-app/csw/
WMS – browsing service
Using the link that we get from the Register consists in loading spatial data or a set from the server of the administration authority, which allows us to view them in raster form and read the content of the attribute table.
Examples of interfaces allowing the use of the WMS service are: MapMaker.online, QGIS, ArcGIS, CIEP Geonetwork or Geoportal.gov.pl
Learn more about WMS here: https://mapmaker.online/about-app/wms-service/
WFS – Download Service
Using the link that we get from the Register consists in loading spatial data or a set from the server of the administration authority, which allows us to download it in vector form and read the content of the attribute table.
Examples of interfaces allowing the use of the WMS service are: QGIS, ArcGIS, MapMaker.online Geonetwork, CIEP Geonetwork,
Learn more about WFS here: https://mapmaker.online/about-app/wfs-service/