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Geoportal for Alboran Sea Governance

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Creating a participatory platform with information on natural resources and biodiversity of the Alboran Sea.

Creating a participatory platform with information on natural resources and biodiversity of the Alboran Sea.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) relies on Geographica to create a geoportal for Alboran Sea Governance. The project involves the development of a participatory platform with information on natural resources and biodiversity of this area of the Mediterranean Sea.

This geoportal has a private website, accessible only for project managers, a public web and a mobile app; so that allows organizing, understanding and explaining the object of study.

This platform is developed within the framework of the Alboran Project, which aims to launch a procedure common environmental management in the Alboran Sea area, facilitating the exchange of experiences between all actors and stakeholders.

This project aims to identify and unify the priorities to improve the management of the Alboran Sea, its biodiversity and environment. UICN seeks a space for governance that promotes the exchange of knowledge, participation, management and learning.

The Challenge:

UICN needed to develop a participatory platform that would show information and data relating to natural resources, biodiversity and components that make up the Alboran Sea environment.

In their struggle to promote conservation, sustainable development and good governance of natural resources of the marine space, they sought a project that offered a website with a wide range of data, information and content of interest concerning this natural environment.

The UICN´s aim was to identify public geographic information on the management of natural resources in the Alboran Area. The Geoportal, using the data provided, should allow the development of border management policies.

The Geoportal had to display information in a simple, structured and pleasant manner. It was necessary to develop a detailed interactive map, which allows users the ability to query the desired information visually and legibly.

The Solution:

Geographica´s work is to design a tool with a lot of information from multiple sources and to encourage participation, and identify priorities to improve the governance of natural resources.

It is about creating a Spatial Data Infrastructure (IDE) that brings geographic information concerning the Alboran Sea in a catalog of standardized data based on the INSPIRE Directive.

The information comes from reliable sources that ensure the generation of quality data. Many of these come from organizations such as IUCN, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministère de l’Agriculture (Morocco).

We have developed a public web application simple and enjoyable. We have categorized according to the main technical and scientific standards and we have managed to sort the vast information generated by the Alboran environment.

This information is organized in a catalog data accessible to the public for use and reuse. The data come from a variety of reliable sources, giving them assurance and quality.

The Geoportal features an interactive map of the region that makes up the Alboran Project. On it is allowed to add layers that draw the map to improve the display of the required information.

There is a section within the Geoportal Documentation to view information on the Alboran Project. The Platform also allows participation, either citizens or companies and organizations interested in the project.

From a technological point of view, the geoportal, as is usual in Geographica, relies as core system in the geographic database PostgreSQL / PostGIS. This system meets the roles of both alphanumeric and store spatial data unit topological information processing. In this datastore two classic systems of geomatics technology stack of free software are mounted free: GeoServer and GeoNetwork. The first manages the information catalog housed in the geoportal using the standard OGC CSW service, while the second implements different standards, also the OGC, such as WMS or WFS.

These two systems provide the Alboran geoportal the ability to interact with other management systems standards spatial information using widely supported by industry communication. In addition, to operate the website, apart from the above standard services, the geoportal is based on Python Flask to create an API REST access to information.

In the part of the user interface technologies used it has been Backbone, a JavaScript framework for building web pages that manage large amounts of information, and Leaflet, a cartographic display of extraordinary ability, used in many trading platforms for its semiological features and usability. As it can be seen from these brief comments, the set of technologies used are 100% free software.

The Results:

It has facilitated access to data and the exchange of stories between actors and stakeholders. With this use case, Geographica has been promoted sustainable and integrated environment an important environmental management.

The Geoportal provides geo-referenced information on natural features and human activities and its pressures and impacts in the Alboran space, as well as the conservation and protection actions taken or proposed by various institutions.

Thanks to the ‘Participate’ section of the Platform has managed to encourage public participation. This section allows the display of geo-referenced information and sightings provided by citizens and NGOs.

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