Land Capability Modelling Pilot Project

Overview

In the past, working with geospatial data required diverse skills and large budgets: the software was complicated, and the datasets were large and cumbersome. This created roadblocks for efficient and informed decision-making.

VPAC INNOVATIONS is changing that. Working with the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), we have developed an innovative web-based tool for resource planning and discovery, land management and emergency response.

The Problem

DEPI sought a user-friendly application that could integrate image-based map data with demographic data. The application is intended to support better decision-making in the use and management of land in Victoria for a multitude of purposes. These include agriculture, environment and natural resources management and development. It was important that the service be structured to be available on the web and accessible through desktop and mobile devices, quick to respond and cost-effective.

Solution

Our geospatial software team developed Landblade, a web application and data warehouse that integrates multiple data systems and provides an online interface to stored data. The user interface allows browsing charts, tables and maps of existing layers (datasets), and the creation of new layers by filtering and combining existing data. Several different types of data can be displayed consistently through the interface.

The application allows users to access a large variety of demographic and spatial data intuitively, and provides an easy way to ask questions about multiple layers of data. It was designed from the ground up to have high performance even when working with large datasets, and is able to run statewide spatial queries in as few as 10 seconds.

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Screenshot of a multi-layer query. This query uses the Rainfall, Slope and Rail Network layers to identify infrastructure potentially susceptible to land slides

To demonstrate the power and potential of this application, the screenshot above illustrates how, by using multiple layers, a user can quickly identify railway lines across Victoria that could be susceptible to landslides. The solution is delivered in around one minute including set-up time. Compared to the hours or even days of tedious and specialised work that used to be required, this represents a breakthrough in geospatial data processing and opens up the data to a whole range of new users.

Technology

State of the art technologies were used to develop this application. These include HTML5, AngularJS, NetCDF and MongoDB, to name a few. Queries are executed in the cloud using distributed concurrent processing technologies.

Landblade is hosted on VPAC INNOVATIONS’ own OpenStack cloud system.

Outcomes and Benefits

Landblade opens up geospatial data to a whole range of new users. It delivers:

  • Fast access to thousands of datasets
  • A common interface for accessing diverse and disparate spatial data
  • A system for storing the data all in one place
  • An easy way to ask questions about multiple layers of data
  • High scalability: usable by many users at the same time
  • Ease of use for specialists and generalists alike

Further Information

For further information regarding this project, please contact VPAC Innovations at info@vpac-innovations.com.au.