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How the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA) optimizes investments in its Spatial Data Infrastructure

Joaquim Pinto da Costa and Fabio Bittencourt

(Submission #203)


The Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) is a public institute, which mission is to propose, develop and monitor, on an integrated and participated manner, the public policies for the environment and sustainable development, in close cooperation with other sectorial policies and public and private entities in Portugal.

APA hosts over 150 geospatial web services published in the domain, with around 40% of them being INSPIRE services. In the environmental business, it is often crucial to have spatial services available at a high level of responsiveness, as some environmental issues and its respective emergency response services depend very much on the readiness and agility of the spatial information provided. Hence, a reliable and representative methodology for measuring and monitoring the availability of the services is essential.

Until recently, APA could just roughly estimate the availability and the level of usage of its spatial web services based on some simple, not integrated tools used internally. After the adoption of a more comprehensive monitoring and analytical solution, specific for spatial web services, new information could be revealed regarding the users and the level of usage of the services, which shed some light on the challenges and issues faced by users of APA’s spatial services. Here we describe some of the aspects and benefits harvested with the use of the new solution.

By comparing the number of users and the number of requests at the latest month/year with the number of users and requests from the previous months/years, APA could identify trends in the utilization and better understand to what extent the spatial information offered is being utilized by the public and by private users for further application developments.

Also, by identifying the most popular services and data sets (layer or feature type) among all services or groups of services, APA could prioritize those services/data sets as well as perceive which type of information is calling the attention of users instantly and on a consecutive, more continuous basis. Thus, APA can then drive its resources to increase the robustness of the infrastructure for a specific service on a permanent or temporary basis, according to the outcome of those analyses.

Additionally, the ability to add new meters for specific layers/feature types allows APA to continuously evaluate the performance of those data offerings and its associated services from different angles, including the INSPIRE Directive.


Topic Area:  [3.4] Continued support to implementation
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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