Municipal collaboration is strengthened with TopoDirekt
Read our user story about TopoDirekt!
In Skåne, in the southern part of Sweden, three municipalities share their GIS work. Now, the cooperation is strengthened as the new surveying and mapping system TopoDirekt is introduced. In one of the municipalities, Hässleholm, it only took ten months to go from decision to a fully functioning system.
For about 20 years, the municipalities of Hässleholm, Östra Göinge and Osby, have collaborated within surveying, mapping and GIS.
– We have a common system for the handling of geodata and we operate the database for the two smaller municipalities, Jan Elofsson says, who is a GIS engineer at the environmental and urban building administration in the municipality of Hässleholm. In our collaboration, each municipality has its own staff.
This gives several productive synergies, Jan says.
– We share the costs of operating advanced GIS and map systems; we use the same stylization of maps and when the daily work peaks, we can support and unburden each other with resources.
This is now taken advantage of when TopoDirekt is introduced in all three municipalities, which are geographically adjacent to each other.
– Previously, we had a software system whose development had stagnated. For many years we have had Symetri as a software supplier and they told us about TopoDirekt. We saw it as a completely new system for our surveying and mapping platform and not as an upgrade of an already existing system. That’s why we wanted to postpone competition through a tender, where Adtollo’s and Sokigo’s system TopoDirekt became the solution we signed an agreement on.
The decision was made in the spring of 2019 and the municipality of Hässleholm wanted to go live before the turn of the year for budget reasons, which also happened. Osby and Östra Göinge have worked on a later schedule. Staff from the three municipalities have participated in the work to launch the new system.
Transition to a new map database
The engine of the surveying and mapping work is of course the map database. Since all geodata is adapted to the national specifications in TopoDirekt’s map database, existing data must be converted to the new environment. Before this could be done, a thorough review was first conducted to determine which information to convert.
– Lists of existing geodata were exported from the database to be able to check how well they were in line with the national specifications. Here we had to correct some of the data because it was stored in a different way than the national specifications demanded.
In the next step, a test conversion was made.
– We discovered some errors that were corrected. For example, rotation to arrow symbols to indicate water direction in the flows was missing.
Some geodata has been corrected by hand, including polyline objects which shall be stored as polygons or end surfaces. But most of the conversion work has been automated. The transfer to the new database was simplified with the knowledge of how to store data previously. The final conversion was then carried out. All work in this process took about a month.
The good cooperation between the municipalities has facilitated the relocation of Osby’s and Östra Göinge’s geodata. Since Hässleholm was first out with the conversion work, they have learned their lessons and been able to minimize mistakes.
All done in ten months
From the time that Hässleholm made the decision until TopoDirekt could be put into operation, it took about ten months, including preparation, the procurement, training and to fulfill intermediate goals. It’s quickly marched. At the same time, the daily work and service with geodata will be maintained in the municipalities. The reason why they managed to keep the tights schedule depends on how TopoDirekt is structured.
– It’s a complete system of templates and styles that allows us to produce the map products directly.
The three municipalities benefit from this in several different areas. They can use the same map template for different map products and don’t need to produce a special variant per municipal. It’s basically enough to change the logo in the name box. By reusing the templates, the municipalities save time and resources.
The collaboration also simplifies deliveries of data in the BAL module, to the Land Survey and to meet other requirements on how data is to be stored and handled. A prerequisite for everything now being decided in a short amount of time was that the municipalities were careful to produce a clear specification of their needs to the supplier.
All in all, it’s to a large extent TopoDirekt’s standardized comprehensive solution that has helped to get started quickly and become productive. A stable foundation for developing the work with surveying, mapping and GIS together for the benefit of the three municipalities in Skåne.
By: Love Janson
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