What is geoportal.lu ?
geoportal.lu is Luxemburg's national official geoportal, a governmental platform to collect, describe, show and deliver geospatial data and related products.It has been built by Administration du Cadastre et de la Topographie, Luxemburg's national cadastre and mapping authority around several functional pillars:
A primary goal of geodata is the possibility to represent information as maps. The geoportal offers several map portals that contain hundreds of layers with data ranging from topographic data, cadastre, environment, infrastructure, water, land organisation to tourism and agriculture.Among the interesting functions are features like an intelligent search function, a large format printing assistant, easy to use navigation and map manipulation functions, tooltips, layer information, metadata, layer transparency sliders, different coordinate systems, permalinks, annotation tools as well as the very popular mymaps-functions that allow everyone to create and manage his own geodata in the geoportal.
Already in he very first version of the geoportal, it featured an online shopping tool, offering maps, database extracts, vector and raster datasets, cadastral extracts as well as other products that are in relation with geodata. The shop is linked to the catalog where all items are described following international norms. The customer is guided through a 4 step procedure where he first choses the product in the catalog, then defines the geographic extent of the order, gives some additional information, and sends the order. Some products that are very popular like the cadastral extracts are covered by a special wizard that makes ordering very easy even for occasional users.
One important aspect in the realm of geodata and related products and services, is the obligation to describe them accordingly to international norms and specifications. The geoportal's catalog fulfils the ISO 19115 norm and offers detailed descriptions of geodata sets, derived products in the shop, webservices to deliver data automatically, and layers displaying the geodata in the map portals.
Although webservices may seem too technical a subject for the general public, professional users like communal municipalities or government services and ministries strongly rely on this modern way to inter-operate among geographic information services with remote geodata content. Luxemburg's geoportal offers 4 groups of webservices, all compliant to the OGC specifications WMS (web map server) and WFS (web feature server):
- the wsetat.geoportail.lu group which are reserved to the state-governmental intranet
- the wssec.geoportail.lu group which is accessible on the internet, but requires authentication and other security measures
- the ws.geoportail.lu group which offers free webservices on the internet
- the wsinspire.geoportail.lu group which offers geodata compliant to the data specifications of the INSPIRE directive
The "mymaps" functions in the map portals offer functions to create own private maps with personal geodata objects. They are a perfect tool to register f.e. your hiking or biking tracks and to share this information either with particular friends or the entire internet.
Federation of public actors
The geoportal has the great advantage to to act as an integrator of data provided by many different actors like ministries, administrations, public enterprises, municipalities and private firms. Not only are the data shown together in the map portals, but the constant collaboration has also helped to initiate common projects of data sharing, data creation, project management and knowledge transfer. It is a unique place for the citizen to use, view and order many different information while remaining in one single system.
INSPIRE is a project of the EU commission aiming at creating a european Spatial Data Infrastructure. Read more about this
The geoportal has been online from beginning 2007 and is reached far greater popularity than ever exspected. Actually it is being managed and maintained by a dedicated team of 6 persons.