Saving the world one application at a time: FAO Regional Fishery Bodies Viewer

At GeoSolutions we believe that success stories about important organizations and Open Source Software should be openly shared and they can be used as a measure of OSS success in the formal enterprise environment.  In this blog post we are going to quickly introduce some work we have done for the  Fishery and Acqualture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).

The FAO Fishery and Acqualture Department, specifically the FIGIS group; is involved in many efforts geared towards the conservation of the marine ecosystem and GeoSolutions is honored to work with them on some of the mapping applications they need in order to create effective querying and visualizations of the data they manage.

This blog post covers some work we have done to support information dissemination about Regional Fishery Bodies (RFB). As stated on their website:
Regional Fishery Bodies (RFB) — a group of States or organizations that are parties to an international fishery arrangement — work together towards the conservation and management of fish stocks.
RFB can play a critical role in promoting longterm sustainable fisheries where international cooperation is required in conservation and management.”

Using Geoserver and OpenLayers we built with them a comprehensive web based API to create on the fly maps with the relevant information for each resource with just a couple of lines of Javascript code. Maps are embedded in the FIGIS portal, as can be seen here and in the pictures below,

but also a specific RFB Viewer can be used to quickly show the RFBs’ coverage on a map as shown at this link and in the screenshot below.

Let’s take a deeper look at the implementation.
Interacting with GeoServer’s WMS module we dynamically build the map with the continental layer, the member countries, the coast lines and the fishery boundaries. The API supports 3 different projections: WGS84 (EPSG:4326), Google Mercator (EPSG:900913) and Polar Stereographic (EPSG:3031).

For each of the regional fisheries body selected in first drop down menu, we generate an embed code as pictured below, this is used by the Fishery department web designers to replace what previously were static images representing the resources distribution and limits. It could also be used by an external website to embed these maps into their site.

More could be said about this project regarding its infrastructure, let’s summarise a few interesting points:

  • background maps are served with GeoWebCache
  • most of the data is stored inside the corporate instance of Oracle Spatial, demonstrating perfect integration of Open Source with COTS
  • Extensive usage of CQL filters to drive the dynamic maps is used
Last but not least, we believe it is worth to mention that this work was performed via our GeoSolutions Enterprise Service. Therefore, if you’d like to know more about what we could achieve together, do not hesitate and get in touch with us!
The GeoSolutions team,