Q: How flexible are the data standards used by the x-Spatial solution?

A: Our system provides a flexible structure where data administrators can define and maintain standards for classifying features and feature types. In the United States, our users have adopted the Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment (SDS/FIE) developed by US Army Corps of Engineers as the underlying standards. Data administrators can adopt any existing spatial data standards, and activate only the feature types and attributes which are needed.

Q: How do users ensure data remain consistent across CAD and GIS platforms?

A: Our spatial database design stores data in one location, where both CAD and GIS platforms can retrieve and use the data with guaranteed lossless conversion. While spatial and attribute data can be viewed and edited in both environment, our users prefer to use the CAD for spatial data creation and use the GIS platform for spatial analysis.

Q: What foundation is required for a centralized spatial information service?

A: Our solution is built on an Oracle Spatial database, using Oracle spatial (MDSYS) open architecture format to allow future migration of the spatial data. Oracle's scalability, load balancing, and fail-safe features provide the necessary foundation for creating a single centralized database.

The database can be physically distributed across different sites to achieve ideal performance and reliability. Oracle's security features provides the ability to secure features classes based user's security assigned privileges.

In addition to Oracle database our solution also allows for file-based storage of data. The following formats are supported:

  • Autodesk: DWG, DWF, DXF, SDF
  • Aerial Images: Most raster formats including MrSID, ECW, TIFF, etc.
Q: Will I need to convert CAD and GIS data for viewing or analysis?

A: xSpatial's database design (including data access middle tier) allows spatial data to be created and viewed on either CAD or GIS platform without any translation or conversion. Therefore, any data entered through AutoCAD is immediately available to ArcGIS users (via ArcSDE connection) for spatial analysis and/or presentation.

Q: How do I locate a feature on the map and view related information?

A: Features on the map can be located by browsing the map and selecting one or more features. Alternatively, users can search for features using any attribute value(s). Two levels are search are available:

  • Quick "Google-like" search, using key words and/or phrases
  • Advanced search, using queries based on values for individual attributes

Data on the features you have selected or found are shown in a tabular form, where "zoom to" button locates and displays the features on the map. Quick Search panel can be used for Google-like searches of any feature type.

Q: Can an area expert enter mark-ups on published spatial data?

A: Redlines (markups) can be created and shared in separate layers by all users, and are stored in a separate table. The redline management tool shows the owner and the date of last change as well as an explanation. All redlines can be loaded into AutoCAD directly, without any conversion; if required, they can also be classified using the UMS CAD module and saved as classified features.

Q: Can a user lock one or more features and their attributes to work on them?

A: When a user is editing a feature or its attributes a lock is placed on that feature preventing any other user from editing the same feature. If a user attempts to edit a feature which is being edited by another user, a "Record Locked" message is displayed showing who locked the record and when.

Q: Can I carry out historical queries?

A: Our solution has built-in functionalities for data maintenance which allows saving of spatial data before performing any changes (this is an optional step). The spatial data is saved in a historical spatial data table which can be used to construct a time series showing the spatial changes in any given area and feature class.

Q: What about our existing basemap?

A: Our solution's spatial data standard functionality makes it possible to classify all base map feature (roadways, building, curb lines, etc.). Typically the base map is classified using planimetric data from aerial photography, which can be displayed in a separate layer; other common image formats such as MrSID, ECW, TIFF are also supported.

Q: Can I manage connectivity relationships between water system objects?

A: Our Shutdown Notice extension lets users identify the valves that should be closed to shut down a segment of the system, to view disconnected segments of the network, and to trace flows through the network. This makes it easy to deal with leaks or breakage in the system that must be shut down quickly, and to prepare for planned maintenance.

Q: Why do we use a three-tier architecture?

A: A three-tier architecture keeps the user interface separate from the underlying application logic; in our solution, this architecture separates CAD and GIS from the Oracle Spatial database. The middle tier (the "application" tier) handles this interaction in a way that means data never has to be translated between formats.

This type of application architecture scales well, and is relatively simple. It also makes it easy to extend and updated the user interface components without needing to change the application or database tiers.

Q: How much time is required for implementing the software solution from scratch?

A: Actual software implementation takes only a week or two, not including:

  • Specific airport customization
  • Additional hardware and software that needs to be available at the airport (if not currently available), such as:
    • Oracle database
    • AutoCAD Map
    • Autodesk MapGuide
    • ColdFusion enterprise
    • Crystal report


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