Vector tiles and styles management for Hidrography data
The generation and consumption of spatial information in the hydrographic field is a fundamental part of daily work, as not only are many decisions taken based on this information but, additionally, information is produced in real time based on these decisions and processes.
Another of the particular characteristics of hydrographic information is the great amount of detail and its size, which traditionally makes it necessary to use desktop tools for the execution of geoprocesses and the production of derived information.
In this context, the use and edition of information through web clients using OGC processes and standards (WMS, WMST, WPS), solves the casuistry and provides the necessary power for daily work, focused on an architecture where the server centralises operations and processes.
However, the irruption of new technologies with the use of vector tiles presented as an evolutionary leap presents great advantages in the management of data at both server and client level. At the server side, it allows for lighter and more resilient infrastructures through the use of STAC and enables the process load to be distributed while at client level, it provides the browsers with the vector data for the execution of geoprocesses locally using specific tools.
This use case presents a practical application for the production and customisation of vector tiles in the specific case of hydrological information, presenting an application where, on the one hand, spatial information is integrated into the data production processes by generating the appropriate services and, on the other hand, client tools are used for the management, geoprocessing and consolidation of spatial information using vector tiles.
Additionaly, the information in vector tile format has specific styles, developed using a tool that manages the spatial information in vector format and establishes an associated style through a simple user interface. Thus, the viewer requests the vector information and the associated style for its adequate rendering to the user.
This environment has been based on Open Source technologies and standards, which allows its scalability and sustainability in the future in a modular way.
Finally, it is worth highlighting the good performance obtained, as the project, through the interfaces developed, achieves both the updating of spatial information in an integrated way in the production and decision-making processes, as well as its dissemination in different formats.
Technologies: PostGIS, GeoServer, Maputnik, OpenLayers, Mapea, vector tiles, STAC