Geographic Reference Interface For Internet Networks

Session Type: 
Jan Kolar PhD, Grifinor Project

Geographic Reference Interface For Internet Networks (GRIFIN) is an experimental platform for exchanging spatio-temporal objects designed since 2005 primarily by Jan Kolar.

The goal of this effort is to consolidate research on next generation geographic systems, by the project participants as well as others, through designing a platform that could form a common core for research.

The purpose of the platform is to publish and exchange geo-referenced objects.

The term “object” here refers to a particular form for geo-related content that allows non-specialists to explore the objects in a digital representation of space-time, but also allows specialists to use instantly new, variable object-models.

Therefore it facilitates sharing and improvement of the models.
The platform design can provide a public Internet service, which allows for non-binding use by any user of the network in a similar manner as the Electronic mail, FTP or the Web services.

The properties of the service’s design address several research and development subjects.

The key ones are: globally ordered content, decentralization, interoperable and programmable content, and visualization.
These properties have been achieved using a number of scientific and engineering concepts of which the most important are: geospatial indexing, object oriented programming, terrestrial reference frame, managed code, and 3-D computer graphics.
The article provides an overview of the main aspects behind these concepts and how they were used in the design and development of the new service.

From the design point of view it is important to recognize that some of these concepts are relevant only for a specific property.
For example the concepts of 3-D computer graphics were almost exclusively applied for the support of visual representation of the content.

Other concepts, in contrast, are relevant for several of the listed properties.

The managed code concept, for example, addresses the content interoperability and programmability, but it also supports the decentralization and the visual representation properties.
The geospatial indexing partly addresses all of the central properties.

From the technical perspective the system architecture overview, selection of Java virtual machine, or relationship of service communication to HTTP are relevant and will be presented.

A short introduction to how the service works will be presented and examples from real-life projects will be shown.
The purpose of the presentation is also to create interest from other OSGeo community members, to receive feedback and comments, and invite those who find it interesting to collaborate with the Grifinor Project effort.

Speaker Bio: 

With M.Sc. degree from Czech Technical University in Prague and Ph.D. from Aalborg University in Denmark, Jan is currently working as a consultant in geoinformatics.