Saturday, 11th July 2020

Development of the Segura River Basin Authority’s geographic information system (Spain)

Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura

Areas of Activity: Information Systems

Sectors of Operation: Freshwaters, Dammed waters, Dams, Groundwaters, Meteorology, Irrigation Modernisation



In 2005 the Segura River Basin Authority launched and developed a website with the aim of providing a tool to allow users in the Authority and the general public to access contents quickly, efficiently and inexpensively.

Along the same lines, given the potential flexibility and scalability currently offered by geographic information systems (GIS), the Authority drew up a plan to provide for the needs and actions involved in setting up an information structure to unify basic data in the basin along with the associated geo-references and data structures.

A key point in the plan was being able to guarantee the generation of a scalable system in terms of data and also query, analysis and management functionalities so as to set up a corporate GIS platform for the whole Basin Authority, and to ensure that this new system met the functional and architectural requirements as defined and validated.

This process has led to the design and implementation of a corporate information system for the Segura Basin Authority, developed by Adasa. The project is mainly based on two blocks: the generation and/or adaptation of data and the development of a corporate geographic viewer.

The generation of data covers nearly all the technical information used by the Authority’s various units, including both cartographic data and a great range of alphanumeric data. The data were also centralized with those that the Authority already had, guaranteeing integrity of information. This repository contains geographic data in vector format and raster format (images) and also their associated alphanumeric data, including information on historical series (quality, rainfall, hydrometrics, etc.) and on other aspects (lithology, ownership, etc.).

Moreover a viewer was developed, called chSic (Segura River Basin Authority corporate information system), based on geographic data representation. It is also possible to access historical data and file downloads, for which reason the term corporate “information system” (IS) was preferred to corporate “GIS”.
The system is intended to provide users with simple tools with the aim of facilitating access, queries and analysis into the great quantity of information housed in the system.

In the design of the application account was taken of the aspects of accessibility, usability and ergonomics, determining its navigability and appearance. It allows the user to access, query, search and analyze a great amount of information (corporate data, online map services, captions, etc.), and offers positioning functions (centred on a point, scales, etc.) and other functions such as for measuring features on the ground or managing the viewer in a parametrizable way, with view distribution. The analytical options are enhanced by a combination of geographic and alphanumeric capabilities, allowing various types of information to be spatially cross-referenced and displaying series of object-related historical data in map form (theme maps by variable) or trend graphs. Access to information is provided by tools for data downloads (plates, geographic layer files, etc.) and for exporting and generating reports, both with generic map data and on specific thematic areas (piezometric data, quality, etc.)

One of the project’s aims has been to fully integrate the Basin Authority’s various information systems, both current and future. Thus the dynamism and geographic capacity of the applications is guaranteed by the corporate GIS’s high availability. Web map and feature services have been configured and put online according to the Open Geospatial Consortium’s WMS and WFS specifications, and may be easily integrated and operated in applications meeting these specifications. Moreover, a module has been developed to allow the simple inclusion of viewers in web applications requiring queries and displays in a geographic context.