GIS Arena - Geographic Information
System – Arena
A study in best practice - Geographic
Karlstad Kommun , Karlstad, 651 84, Sweden
Tel: +4670-5450902 Fax: +4654-295410 , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The main objective of the GIS-Arena project was to develop a platform
for geographic information. When the project was initiated it was supported by a
wide group of politicians in the regions. This support has been a great success factor
for GIS-Arena, it has given the SME’s and the small municipalities mandate in
negotiations with authorities. Without the collaboration these actors would never get
the opportunity to get quality geographic data and statistics. The platform with the
geographic data is now the base for further development in other applications, which
gives the users the freedom to use the platform in a way that suits their organization.
The project has now developed a model for operating and administrating the
The majority of all information in our society has a geographic position. This means that
the GIS-Arena project represents an excellent tool to get continuous information about an
extensive section of our regional development.
Geographic information is expensive to invest in and then keep well updated. Small
municipalities doesn’t have the resources to invest in geographic information, nor does
small and medium enterprises.
This project, GIS-Arena, aimed to develop a geographic platform which gathers
geographical information, such as maps in various scales, ortophotos, real estate
information, addresses etc., in a database for municipals’ and companies to use for internal
or public purpose. The co-ordination simplify for actors to reach information via the web,
and frequently make decisions based on maps and information that’s out of date, the
platform and its maps will be updated and available for the whole region to use. The costs
are prepaid by the region and the users are hereby encouraged to use it for all kind of
applications and e-services.
The objective of GIS-Arena is to contribute to develop the business sector and the public
sector where GIT is a part of the infrastructure in IT, based in that we are able to facilitate
the planning of our region and the business development.
The project has built a method in the GIS area which makes the information available
for many users in our region, Middle Sweden. This region contains 41 municipals, other
community services, and different businesses.
1. GIS-Arena aims to develop and secure stabile operation of the platform. The GIS-
information that the platform contains will be offered to the public sector, business
sector and to the citizens.
2. By spreading knowledge, making the platform available to the business sector and
therefore making them apart of developing new e-services.
3. Developing new e-services with the platform as base. For example flood simulation,
by simulation different water heights in this application. Develop at least one e-
service in the area of regional development and business growth.
4. Contribute to make it possible to work and live within commute distance.
5. Build a stabile ground and give the small municipalities an opportunity to develop
GIT so they can provide a great level of service to their citizens.
6. Increase the possibilities to make organizations more efficient by using GIT.
The project is managed by a political compound board with 5 different municipalities
commissioners represented. This project is unique in the way that the political support came
long before the project went to execution and started developing . The collaboration in the
region of Middle Sweden has been a success factor buy being cost effective. Instead of
gathering geographic information in the different municipalities and business, the project
has joined all necessary information in one common platform for everone to use.
The project has one overall project manager and three subproject managers. The
project has valued input from users and therefore created a reference group with 25
representants. The support from these 25 representants with spread from different
organizations is very important to make the project results implement well in the user
Within the GIS-Arena project there are three subprojects. Subproject 1 – The Geographic
platform, where development, adjusting and implementation of a centeral database and
graphical user interface makes the geographic information available to users.
The platform is available for every business company in our region. The platform /
application make it possible to develop and build all kinds of e-services that users may be
in need of.
Subproject 2 – ARN. An application is made for regional development and business
planning; this includes a planning portal together with the National Board of Living. The
planning portal may be used as basic data for regional planning. In ARN information is
available for public actors and the business sector.
The subproject aims to present a model for flood simulation. By simulating a flood
it’s easier to prepare and prevent extensive damage on infrastructure. For this services a
description will describe all processes when planning the simulation, this will make it easier
when spreading the results.
Subproject 3 – Information and spreading knowledge. In this project activities that aim to
spread knowledge about GIS will be put into action. It´s important that the business sector
gains knowledge about GIS so they get the opportunity to productdevelop their own unique
The subprojects has representants from all over the region, municipalities and from
the business sector.
4. Technology Description
The platform on which the technology is built is delivered by ESRI and their ArcGIS-
server. All services are built to support the standards of OGC (Open Geospacial
Consortium) and data are often used into other already exciting applications as WMS (Web
The project also has an ambition to support WFS ( Web Feature Services).
The core of the system is a central database which store geographical information from
different sources as The National Land Survey, the municipals, the Central Bureau of
statistics, the Swedish Road Administration etc.
This means that the system can connect map data, aerial photos, statistics and other
thematic data with existing business systems and make them even more efficient. This is
already done with public services where people can get in touch with physical planning via
the web and where public transportation is presented with time tables and viewed on the
There are a lot more applications developed outside the project already which are
presented on the web. This shows us that the service from the project is appreciated.
Several services are internal and presented on intranets. Many of them with security
solutions as they include information of individual persons. Services like this are i.e.
systems to support the health care and planning for resources in schools and transportations
Applications can be developed and shared on the central server when there is a common
interest as it is for some services in the project, planning for different purposes, public
transportation, tourism etc.
Often there is an interest from municipals and authorities to develop own services
on own servers but use information from the central server. This is encouraged and
supported since all municipals and other users don’t have the same needs and priorities.
The central server and the services are at present run by the consultant in these
matters, ESRI, but will in the future be contracted after a market investigation.
We’ve experienced problems in getting GIS information accessible, therefore it has not
been used in adequate extent. Regional Growth and Regional Development & Renewal are
examples of information which has no geographic connection. If you gather and process the
information and publish it from a region wide platform it’s possible to increase the
collaboration between the government, citizens and the business world.
Currently there is a common platform where essential GIS-information is published.
The platform is a central database and the graphical user interface constitutes the bottom for
further e-services within different areas.
One condition for making the platform available in different areas and reach its full
potential is further development and guarantee a stabile function. It is also important to
simplify the platform to increase the availability for the users. The project should therefore
create a model for operation and management that will be used in other regions and
organizations, which all have an interest in implementing the platform and its services. This
service will also be offered to smaller organizations which do not have the capacity to
develop this kind of services. For these organizations the operation model will become an
If you put demographic and additional regional specific information on top of the platform
the system will become useful when studying development locations. For example it’s
possible to use Regional Growth and Regional Development and Renewal information in a
The project has also developed and strengthen the collaboration between all
municipalities and the three regions in Middle Sweden. By working close, developing
together and also shearing the results, the project has been cost efficient and innovative.
The project has made geographic information available for SMEs and small municipalities,
which without the project never could afford these kinds of investments.
Other examples in coordinating the information is the GIS-platform and different e-
services that’s been developed with the GIS-platform as base, these services will support
the business sector and current regions by creating better conditions for growth and
development. 75% of the information an organization base the decisions on, has a
geographic position. GIS is therefore an excellent device to continuously get information
about development in your region.
In the platform some e-services are already provided to users. For example we’ve
increased the availability for our tourist by presenting tourist destinations on a map. The
project has also offered e-services to the local transport business; the travellers are now able
to get travel information based on the platform added with bus stops and time tables.
The result of the project is the model for continued operation and administration of the
geographic platform. The project organization has handover the administration to a
coordinator in each of the three regions in Middle Sweden.
The operation of the platform has been purchased by different companies in the
region; they will sustain and develop the platform to keep a stabile operation. The project
has also developed business model that base the price of using the platform on the number
of citizens in the municipality.
The result also gives all municipalities in the regions of Middle Sweden, regardless of their
size, an opportunity to use geographic information. This would have never been possible
for the smaller municipalities seeing that it’s a big cost for them.
The project has made it possible to everyone who wants to use geographic
information, to do that by paying according to how many citizens the municipality has. By
coming together and developing this platform on mission from the region politicians, all
municipalities, big and small, get the same quality of geographic information.
The project has also increased knowledge on geographic information. We have been
marketing how useful geographic information is, and how many decisions we make that
based on geographic positions.
The platform is a great tool to offer businesses and municipalities, and then let them
develop their own applications that they find useful for their customers and citizens. We’ve
received encouraging feedback from those who’ve heard us speak about the great examples
in operation. The flood simulator and the e-services for citizens in different municipalities
7. Business Benefits
The project implementation expects to contribute to collaboration between the public sector
and the business sector. There are high expectations on a continuing collaboration of the
operation and administration after the project ends, and this will be possible with the model
that the project has developed. The model of operation and ownership will make it possible
for continued use of the geographic platform.
The platform will be available for businesses and municipalities’ around the region.
In long terms the project hopes that we are able to spread knowledge in geographic
information, and also the model in collaboration between the actors in the project. This has
been a unique composition that has made continues work and the result very cost efficient.
The platform will open up for developing new applications for users, and by
companies in the region. By gathering all geographic information in the platform no other
investment will be needed. This way the municipalities and companies using geographic
information only needs the platform, which will update automatically.
The project had never been this successful if it hadn’t been for the political support that
built the start for the project. The support has contributed to a great collaboration between
the three regions of Middle Sweden. The political support has also given the project
mandate in negotiations, marketing and relating to good examples.
The collaboration will increase the availability for high quality information for
every actor in the region. Without this project no small business or municipality would’ve
been able to get this high standard information to a good price when negotiating alone
towards the Swedish mapping and land registration authority. The project hasn’t just
delivered a technical platform, we’ve also devolved a model of collaboration, -an
association, that makes it easy for small actors when purchasing not only geographic data,
but also data from Statistics Sweden for example.
Another important success factor has been the subproject- Information and
knowledge spreading. It has been a great opportunity to have a subproject which mainly
and only focus has been on communication. This way the external and internal
communication has function exemplary. A project with this complicity has a lot in it when
the communication works. It has also been important for the project to increase knowledge
in geographic information, and how useful it can be in an organization. Focus hasn’t been
on just spreading knowledge in geographic information; the project has overall worked to
expand knowledge in information technology.
Lessons learnt from this project is the importance of common objectives. Due to the
complexness of the project, with all the actors involved, it’s essential to put focus on and
guarantee that everyone involved has the same objective.