OGITO – an Open Geospatial Interactive Tool to support collaborative spatial planning.
2021-09-30, 09:00–09:30, Bariloche

Collaborative spatial planning tackles problems that often require the active participation of different stakeholders who might have different kinds of knowledge, values and interests. Maptables, specifically large horizontal touch screens, can be used to support collaborative spatial planning processes given the enhanced communication and playful environment they provide. However, frequently used applications for maptables, i.e., GIS software, do not exploit the touch capabilities of these instruments or have usability shortcomings because they were conceived for a single-user setting. To address this gap, we developed and evaluated an open source application coined OGITO - Open Geospatial Interactive Tool. We combined human-centred design methods and Agile software development principles involving stakeholders and intended users in an iterative co-creation process of the tool and evaluated the tool’s usability in a case study on community mapping in Sumatra, Indonesia.

We found that case study workshop participants, who never used a maptable before, could use OGITO without assistance after receiving a short instruction. They reported high satisfaction with OGITO for the tasks and context given. This result shows the added value of iterative development and user feedback for improving and further development of the tool’s usability and functionality.

Furthermore, the platform provided by OGITO facilitated the group interaction allowing for communication and collaboration when creating maps. This experience would contribute in building trust and mutual understanding, which might help participants to collaborate in other community initiatives. The main observed benefits of using OGITO were: a) simple to use as it only requires a small room and a facilitator during the map-making process; b) that it accommodates capturing of participants' local knowledge that is priceless and rich with information that might not be transferrable or explicitly spoken; c) that it reduces editing mistakes at the map post-processing stage because participants draw their sketches in the digital tool using a high-resolution satellite image as a reference instead of the traditional community mapping method, which uses markers and paper during the map-creation process.

Future work aim to advance the current version of OGITO considering the feedback collected during the usability evaluation. Also, we will include analytical functionality, as the current version excluded calculation functions that were not demanded by the users.

OGITO is implemented in several modules that provide an interactive map, layer management, data input and sketching. The interactive map canvas is the central component and responds to common gestures such as pinch (for zooming in), unpinch (for zooming out), pan (one or two fingers), and rotate (two fingers). In addition, a zoom control bar and buttons for zooming in and zoom out are provided at the left side of the map; and a graphical scale bar is provided, at the low left corner. The layer management allows layers to be shown, hidden, and re-ordered. Data input and sketching tools are supplied on the main toolbar, an editing toolbar, and a symbol panel. All of these functions are available via touch, so no mouse or keyboard is required. OGITO’s minimalistic and simple design provides only the tools needed for the purpose at hand. Satellite images of high spatial resolution in true-colour composite can be used as a reference, as we did during the community mapping workshops. The natural colours provided by the satellite images enables participants to better identify and explore their villages from the sky view.

OGITO combines a front-end developed with Typescript, Javascript, OpenLayers, HTML, CSS and Hammer.js; and a backend implemented on QGIS server, on top of Apache Web server, as a mapservices provider (data retrieval and update). The picture below illustrate the technologies used in OGITO.

Authors and Affiliations

Rosa Aguilar(1)*, Luis Calisto (2), Johannes Flacke(1), Aulia Akbar(1), Karin Pfeffer(1)
(1) Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
(2) Sterblue, 1150-040 Lisboa, Portugal


Education & research


Community & participatory FOSS4G


2 - Basic. General basic knowledge is required.

Language of the Presentation


Rosa Aguilar is a computer system Engineer. She has led teams and became Chief Technical Officer at the Geographic Institute in Venezuela. Rosa is currently doing her Ph.D. research in Urban Planning, and her main interests are machine learning algorithms for image classification and collaborative spatial planning.