HOW TO NOT CUT YOURSELF ON THE BLEEDING EDGE: EXPERIENCES FROM IMPLEMENTING A CARTOGRAPHIC PRODUCTION SYSTEM BASED ON COMMERCIAL GIS SOFTWARE

C.L. Eicher1, D. Neuffer2, B. Schneider1, M. Bedel1

1 - ESRI Switzerland

2 - ESRI Germany

C.Eicher@ESRI-Suisse.ch

 

Advances in the cartographic capabilities of commercial GIS packages are ushering in an exciting period of change for many mapping agencies. GIS has been traditionally strong for capturing, maintaining, and analyzing vector geographic data, however, currently further improvements are being made to the display capabilities of GIS software. These enhancements enable even organizations with challenging symbolization specifications to produce map products and digital data within a single system based on a commercial GIS software platform. Additionally, GIS software now supports storing cartographic information alongside vector data in commercial relational database management systems. These new technologies make it possible to build complete GIS-based cartographic production systems based on a landscape data model-cartographic data model approach which also allows for automatic data generalization.

 

ESRIs ArcGIS 9.2 includes a new technology called cartographic representations which supports very high quality symbolization of vector GIS data. Cartographic representations are stored with vector data in the ESRI geodatabase, support many signature types out-of-the-box, and due to their complete integration with ArcGIS, are customizable through ArcObjects.

 

ESRI Switzerland and ESRI Inc., together with Swiss business partners Geocom Informatik AG and Inser are working with the Swiss Federal Office of Topography, swisstopo, to build a cartographic production system based on ESRI ArcGIS 9.2. The system is one of the first applications of the cartographic representations technology. The mapping project is part of a wide-ranging effort at swisstopo to rebuild national systems for geographic data capture, management, and mapping. Data is captured at an extremely high resolution and is modeled in a Topographic Landscape Model (TLM) at an approximate scale of 1:10,000. This model supplies data to multiple Digital Cartographic Models (DCMs), at scales ranging from 1:25,000 to 1:,1,000,000. Finally, a map and digital cartographic data production system is built in ArcGIS based on these DCMs.

 

This paper presents an overview of the Genius-DB project which is building the swisstopo cartographic production system. The paper focuses on: describing challenges encountered while modeling geographic data and building databases to support the system, presenting the cartographic production workflow for the system, showing examples of implementing swisstopos topographic map signatures in ArcGIS 9.2, and explaining the role of generalization in the system. Specific design and implementation challenges and their solutions will be presented.