The Geodetic Institute acted as a co-ordinator, during 2001-2004, for an EU project called GiMoDig, ‘Geospatial info-mobility service by real-time data-integration and generalisation’. In the project the research was done for delivering spatial data from the national topographic databases through network connections to mobile users. Other partners in the project were the University of Hannover and the NMAs of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland.
According the user-centred design, the project started by finding out the user requirements for map users in the mobile usage situation. A special usability field test was arranged, and the results showed that almost each of the map users had their own information needs for the map content. The usability of the map usage was strongly affected by the surrounding environment, as well as the interests of the users and their skills and knowledge. During the tests it was also noticed that the small screen of a mobile device sets new demands for the cartographic visualisation.
A prototype was developed, through which the spatial data was delivered to the users mobile device by real-time harmonisation and generalisation. The topographic data from the distributed national databases is converted to the EUREF co-ordinate system, followed by integration of them to the common data model, and generalisation into the requested scales. The interfaces are based on XML techniques and follow the specifications of the OpenGeospatial Consortium (OGC). According to the map user’s preferences, a vector format map delivered to the user is adapted to the current needs of the user: the season, age group and language. If a traveller is for example in a national park during wintertime, a map with skiing routes is delivered to him/her instead of a summer map showing the swimming places near by.
The results of the GiMoDig project will be exploited for example within the European harmonisation research project, EuroGeographic. The common use of the spatial data is the aim of the Inspire directive even in the coming years. More information about the GiMoDig project can be found from http://gimodig.fgi.fi/.