A. Hermosilla Carrasquilla1, V. Corral Pinel1, C. Gonzalez Fernandez Nieto2, J.A. Suarez Lopez2

1 - Instituto de cartografia de Andalucia

2 - Sadiel


In recent years, cartography has been the recipient of diverse innovations, some coming directly from its scientific and technical frame and some coming from joined fields such as computational science. The higher production costs of spatial information, the use of cartography in new fields of applications and the globalization of economic activities are some of the factors causing this new situation.

The Inspire initiative, recently approved by the European parliament, expects to achieve a certain harmonization and normalization of publication structure and operations, of research, recovery, query and analysis of geographic information. In this effort, varied recommendations are documenting the necessity of modeling geographic information through the use of “objects”, continuous or discreet, along a territory.

Furthermore, the access of new users to cartography is increasing the demand for spatial information, with a very high updating rate, almost continuous. This phenomenon is forcing the structures, which are responsible not only for the cartography production but also for the construction and maintenance of spatial information systems, to insure that the information is produced with high standards of quality, updating and tracing and that this information can be published at different scales and can be used and exchanged by other information system; all of this being done with a minimal cost in human and material resources.

The design of object-oriented geographic structures, in agreement with the Inspire initiative and supported by quality standards like ISO or the Open GIS Consortium (OGC), are allowing the construction of behavioral objects simulating a territorial logic, are permitting multiple-scale display and are decreasing the updating and management costs.

As a conclusion, the necessity for a new approach in the modeling of spatial and cartographical information has never been more justified before. With the experience of the industry, the political and institutional support through initiatives like Inspire and the help of the quality standards (ISO, OGC), the structures responsible for the production of spatial information have a vital base at their disposal which will allow them to face the new cartography era with guaranties of success.