For the NPRA, the launch of open, public API to the Norwegian Road database (NVDB) was by far our single most important cartographic achievement since 2011. This API is a fundamental core service in our renewal of the IT architecture and portfolio internally in NPRA. A public available API also lowers the threshold for other governmental institutions to integrate NVDB functionality in their systems.
This is not just open data — it is open government!
The use of modern “ligthweigth” formats (xml, json) makes development of web portals and clients a breeze — of which our own web application Vegkart is a prime example. However, to use the NVDB API in your local GIS software you do need to transform from the NVDB data model into a GIS data model. For most applications, this transformation is straightforward to implement, as demonstrated by our open source plugin for QGIS and ArcMap. Information about these plugins can be found at our development blog, http://www.vegdata.no/
We have not forgotten classical geographical services — WMS, WFS and other OGC-compliant services, as well as metadata-services including our national geoportal http://www.kartverket.no/geonorge/ . We are just now doing major upgrade to this part of our IT infrastructure. A new installation of our trusted open source components (geoserver and geowebcache) is underway in 2015. This will give us much more flexibility in content management than our present installation.
We do want to bridge the gap between NVDB data model and the SOSI GML representation of the same data. We explore several options of how this can be carried out in a timely manner — and “timely” means avoiding file based information management like the plague. Our vision is to have SOSI GML – compliant WFS – services with NVDB data. We explore several avenues of research, including but not limited to FME server, Geoserver, “Go publisher” (Snowflake software) as well as adding SOSI GML writing functionality directly on the NVDB api.