A solution for spatial information on the web to improve catchment management

NSW National Parks and Multibase achieve rapid development of an innovative migration of spatial information from a legacy CD application to the web.

Business need

The Water Information Systems for the Environment (WISE) needed to prototype an accessible, searchable web presentation of an existing CD-based legacy application (Powerbuilder 6.0). The CDs were interfaces to painstakingly built databases of all the references about water catchments in the state.

Key challenges

  • Emulate the CD’s functionality including intricate and complex features, many of which would be new to a web environment.
  • Manage the technical risk by using a generic technology that could be maintained by more than one supplier.
  • Develop a system that was generic enough to re-use the programs for 11 multiple additional catchments, at minimal cost.
  • Comply with the accessibility guidelines without the loss of functionality or a poor interface to state of the art browsers.
  • Enable acceptable use over a slow internet connection using a range of PC speeds and resolutions.
  • Allow the look and feel to be readily customised for different catchments and changing requirements.
  • Complete the project within 3 months.

Solution

The prototype involved rebuilding using J2EE compliant technologies a web application to emulate the CD’s functionality. This was a complicated procedure as the CD application has been constructed over close to a decade with many intricate features.

Results

The project was completed and accepted within the three month period. Multibase was also awarded the contract to roll out the other 11 catchment areas and this was completed soon after. The system remains active on the web, still performing well after a number of years, and providing valuable access to an important resource critical to environmental care.

Customer information

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is a brand of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.