ISSN 0798 1015
Vol. 38 (Nº 11) Año 2017. Pág. 26
Luciana CEZARINO 1; Javier Francisco López PARRA; María Antonia BROVELLI.
Recibido:13/09/16 • Aprobado: 24/10/2016
1. Theory Background
2. Results - Geospatial Open Data Sources
Geospatial open data opens research possibilities to users that do not have special requirements to deal with databases. This is an opportunities to discover new applications, especially when it comes to developing countries. In this sense, this paper aims to describe geospatial open data sources of Brazil. This investigation is qualitative and has description approach. The field research was online hunt and documentation of Brazilian research center; govern agencies, private companies, universities and their open GIS purpose identification. Results show that geospatial open data is provided by govern in federal instance and institute of research partnerships. Few universities participate on this process even though geography, economics and management are common graduate courses in Brazil. That exhibits a lack of high technology application under their teaching and formation human resources process. Other results points to INPE, which was the pioneer on the use of this technology and maintains trough Terra (and its derivations) many partnerships with different institutions to different applications. Limitations were in finding a major organization in Brazil that complies all data or organize spatial data source. As future research is highly recommended developing a paper that can explore the most used, more usable, easer operation software in Brazil.
Open Geospatial Data abrem possibilidades de pesquisa para os usuários que não têm requisitos especiais para lidar com bancos de dados fechados disponíveis na internet. Esta é uma oportunidade de descobrir novas aplicações, especialmente quando se trata de países em desenvolvimento. Neste sentido, o presente trabalho tem como objetivo descrever as fontes de Open Geospatial Data no Brasil. Esta investigação é de natureza qualitativa e tem abordagem descritiva. A pesquisa de campo foi feita on-line e por pesquisa documental nos sites de centros de pesquisa, agências governamentais, empresas privadas, universidades no Brasil, buscando Sistemas de Informações de Dados Geoespaciais (GIS) que tivessem acesso livre, mesmo com diferentes propósitos. Os resultados mostram que Open Geospatial Data é fornecida, em sua maioria, pelo governo federal e institutos de pesquisa. Poucas universidades participam neste processo, apesar de Geografia, Economia e Administração serem cursos de graduação comuns no Brasil. Exibe-se aqui a falta de aplicação de alta tecnologia sob processo de capacitação dos recursos humanos no ensino e formação. Outros resultados apontam para o INPE, pioneiro no uso desta tecnologia, mantendo através do GIS Terra (e suas derivações) muitas parcerias com diferentes instituições para diferentes aplicações. A limitação foi encontrar uma organização no Brasil que compilasse os dados ou organizasse as fonte de dados espaciais. Como investigação futura é altamente recomendável desenvolver um estudo exploratório e um software de operação mais simples que possa ser disponibilizado aos cursos de graduação nas áreas correlatas ao estudo no Brasil.
World Wide Web had radically changed the way to create and treating information making easier to access data and develop secondary data research. Researches can use the web as a tool to global data where it is possible to categorize and organize human knowledge.
Given the efforts to create a dataset and their worth in showing information about the world online, access to them has been limited in certain ways. Licenses, fees, identified users can be used to bound access. Even though the data is open (no requires access) specialized tools as software, computes and particular understanding are required. Consequently, knowledge that could be obtained by research using datasets is naturally closed.
The open data movement seeks to radically transform this situation, both opening up data for wider users but also providing easy-to-use research tools that negate the need for specialists’ analytic skills. Indeed, gaining access to datasets that can help answer particular questions has been a centuries-old frustration of researchers, journalists, and civil society organization (HALL; LEAHY, 2008).
According to Auer et. al. (2007) perhaps the most effective way of spurring synergistic research along these directions is to provide a rich corpus of diverse data. This enables researchers to develop, compare and evaluate different extraction, reasoning into uncertainty management techniques and deploying operational systems on the web
Online datasets or databases can be specific about geospatial data when it deals with satellite images, maps, remote sensing and other applications. Recent advances in spatial databases have changed both the nature and process of Geospatial Information System (GIS). To Jolma et. al (2008) GIS are used for creating, viewing, managing, analyzing, and utilizing geospatial data that are open or not.
GIS with hundreds of functions to a generation of spatial information applications tailored to suit specific user needs. These capacities have been a major boon for the free and open source geospatial (FOSS4G) community, many members of which are using the new generation of databases to build unique and innovative applications. One of the expected impacts of open source software (OSS) is its benefits for developing nations. (CAMARA ET. AL, 2008).
Beyond that, developing countries can generate research and data development by using open data and especially spatial open databases. In this sense, this paper aims to describe geospatial open data sources of Brazil. This investigation is qualitative and has description approach. The field research was online hunt and documentation of Brazilian research center; govern agencies, private companies, universities and their open GIS purpose identification.
By adopting Berners-Lee’s proposal an information in something that can be only read while data processed in different ways to create a new information. By that, World Wide Web is a global space of sharing data, the Web of Data (RIZZO ET. AL., 2009).
Open Data is the thinking movement to available and answer society needs to legal open access, using data for any reason or scope. The provider did not decide the data format but instead is the reader that combine and relates into a dataset. To Rizzo et. al. (2009) the goal of open data can be achieved by law, as in US where the generated information by federal public sector is public domain, or by choice of holders right, through appropriate license. Technically, Linked Open Data is about using web techniques to share and interconnect pieces of data by following a few simple principles. Linked Open Data builds on Semantic Web technologies, wherein data is encoded in the form of <subject,predicate,object> RDF-triples (OTRMANN, 2011).
One of the most common ends of open data is the public management. Governs domains a large variety of data that can be available to society. In this case, the readers are the citizen that can manipulate the data that is public domain to their research scope.
According to Janssen et. al. (2012) public is outside the organizational boundaries and outside the control of the hierarchy. In fact the public becomes part of the data processing system and might process data, enrich data, combine it with other sources and might even collect their own data (for example through the use of their mobile phones). This resembles a change in the traditional boundaries between public organizations and the public in which virtually anybody in the world has access to the data. The traditional system boundaries are vanishing and the system is opened.
In this direction, governs are putting efforts to raise open data but in a more objective way, more interpretable filtered. A decision is made along the transparency philosophy of each govern and their politics activities. This state movement priority is to provide citizen pure or raw data, without filters, used and linked to any other one facilitating knowledge creation (RIZZO ET. AL., 2009).
However, not only governs have a responsibility on availing open data. According to researchers might still be disinclined to share their data until they have fully completed analyzing and reporting on their observations and results. The concern is that if data are made openly available in the interim other investigators, effectively scooping the data originators, may use them. Properly curated data alleviates this concern, as the use of data without permission or colleagues would condemn attribution and funding sources. Proper curation requires time and money and is inadequately supported in research funding (REICHMAN, 2011).
In an open system, boundaries and flows cannot be predefined only guide and the opening of data in ways that were not previous considered. Jackson (2003) affirms that the notion of feedback is relevant to open system and refers to the situation in which activity within a system is the result of the influence of one element and another.
The implication of the notion of feedback in systems theory is that in opening their data governments should not simply instigate one-way communication of their data but should expect or actively solicit feedback and be able to make sense of this feedback. The opening of systems provides the opportunity for creating feedback loops in which the government can learn from the public. By embedding hermeneutics, the closed system is placed in the social context. The consequence is that the social context will also influence the (formerly) closed system. This implies that the relationship between a government and its environment is subject to change and that the government needs to accept that traditional planning and control instruments are no longer suitable. Opening a system typically requires a shift from mechanistic control to an evolutionary perspective, which is dominated by self-organization. New governance mechanisms, capabilities and processes are necessary for dealing with these feedback loops (JANSSEN ET. AL, 2012).
Spatial data are everywhere. Making a map that is suited to its purpose and does not distort the underlying data unnecessarily is easy. Beyond creating and seeing maps, spatial data analysis is concerned with questions not directly answered by looking at the data themselves. These questions refer to hypothetical that generated the observed data (BIVAND ET. AL., 2013).
To Jolma et. al. (2008) geospatial data can include socioeconomic, environmental, geophysical, and technical data about the Earth and societal infrastructure and it is pivotal in environmental modelling and management (EMM). Desktop, web-based, and embedded geospatial systems have become an essential part of EMM, providing pre- or post-processing of geospatial data, analysis and visualization of results or a graphical user interface (GUI). Many local, regional, national, and international efforts are underway to create geospatial data infrastructures and tools for viewing and using geospatial data.
Before mass use of Internet and its technologies, and still today largely, spatial data have been stored in different physical locations, and often using different standards or formats. This makes it difficult for a potential user to access and utilize the data. Potential users of these “islands of data” might be organizations that cannot afford to acquire data on their own, or need data from outside their jurisdictions. Besides the technical components that connect data ‘islands’ via the Internet, other aspects such as licensing agreements, data transfer standards, and data access policies must also be put in place to ensure consistent and reliable access. Consequently, a spatial data infrastructure is not only a technical facility, but also a complete framework that includes political, technical, business and social aspects (STEINIGER; HUNTER, 2012). When environmental attribute data is linked to these infrastructures, powerful tools for environmental management are instantly created. The growing culture of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) provides an alternative approach to software development for the field of GIS (FOSS4G) (JOLMA et. al., 2008).
While traditional mapping is nearly exclusively coordinated and often carried out by large organizations, crowdsourcing geospatial data refers to generating a map using informal social networks and web 2.0 technology (HEIPKE, 2010). OpenStreetMap (OSM) 2 project is a source of spatial data freely available. It is currently used primarily for rendering various map visualizations, but has the potential to evolve into a crystallization point for spatial Web data integration (STADLER; 2012).
Early adoption period of GIS in Brazil to span from 1986, when INPE released its first GIS software, to 1994 when FatorGIS promoted the first major user conference. Besides INPE, PRODABEL and FatorGIS, also Unicamp, Embrapa, and TecGraf played a significant role in fostering the adoption of spatial information technology (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
According to Camara et. al. (1996) from 1994 to 1997 Unicamp, University of Campinas, led cooperative project in Geoinformatics with INPE, Cnpq, Embrapa, and PUC-Rio. They took different ways, Unicamp invested on interoperability and semantics as well as INPE worked with Embrapa to agriculture solutions.
One of strategies adopted by the early adopters was to support initiatives for interaction with other groups interested in GIS in Brazil. The adopters had an active role in pursing partnerships with groups in various disciplines that had an interest in spatial technologies. These included research groups in different areas: (a) spatial epidemiology in partnership with the National School for Public Health; (b) social exclusion in partnership with the Catholic University of São Paulo; (c) crime analysis in partnership with the Federal University of Minas Gerais (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
In 1991 INPE designed SPRING part its success can be traced to its use of what was then an innovative technology and also to the fact that remote sensing imagery is an essential component of most geospatial applications in large countries such as Brazil (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
In 2008 the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE-Brasil) is stablished beyond the scope of the Federal Govern trough Law nº 6.666 of 2008. It is about an initiative to organize the generation, storage, access, sharing, dissemination and use of geospatial data. Among the various components of an infrastructure of this nature, metadata - usually defined as "information describing the data" (CONCAR, 2011).
Because of the large number of institutions that currently are involved in the chain of production and distribution of geospatial data, a set of common rules and standards was created by National Commission of Cartography (CONCAR) to deal with interoperability between different systems, facilitating the sharing of data between the different institutions and organizations.
Many activities of Brazilian government require geographic information, and there is a large number of applications that support those activities. There is no organized catalog of geographic applications, but widespread usage of GI technology can be assessed by browsing government-related papers in national conferences and journals, which describe GI gathering and treatment, GIS implementation and usage, and even SDI creation (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
The availability, sharing and access to data and geospatial information (GI), and related services will be made possible, by INDE through a network of integrated Internet server, which will bring together producers, managers and GI users in cyberspace. This network of servers is called Brazilian Directory of Geospatial Data, or DBDG. The Brazilian Portal of Geospatial Data - SIG Brazil is the gateway users to distributed resources of DBDG. The technology proposed for the implementation of DBDG incorporates solutions for institutions with high technological capacity to the smaller capacity, to integrate between different institutions systems. To effectively achieve interoperability between the various systems must follow the rules of CONCAR and e-PING (Electronic Government Interoperability Program). In the case of data on the GIS area, the e-PING defines a set of open standards that should be used mainly based on OGC settings (Open Geospatial Consortium - http://www.opengeospatial.org/) (SIG BRASIL; 2016).
There are several Web pages from which the interested user might download spatial information, but these are usually spread throughout Web sites of the data producing organizations. In special cases, such as Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) there is a more structured site for downloads, which works much as a clearinghouse. IBGE, for instance, maintains an FTP server with a wide variety of geographic data layers and statistical information.
Only a few institutions are currently offering access through Web services. These include the Ministry of environment (MMA), CPRM, the Brazilian geological survey, and, of course, IBGE. MMA has the most advanced site, with a GeoNetwork installation, from which a variety of metadata can be searched. Available information includes data on environmental reserves, species distribution maps, ecological zoning, land use maps, and others. MMA also offers direct viewing and manipulation of data using an i3Geo installation. IBGE has recently installed GeoNetwork8 , and is currently undergoing the production of metadata and the creation of services related to basic cartographic data (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
INPE was created at 1961 at Presidential statement. Today it makes part of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) of Brazil. It is located at Sao Jose dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo (SP) but has regional nucleus on Amazonia, South and Northeast of Brazil. Its principles products and services are disposal on Table 1.
According to editorial on Nature (2008) “Brazil has set an important precedent by making its Earth observation data available, and the rest of the world should follow suit”. INPE has pledged to make its expertise available to all countries and institutions interested in preserving the world’s rain forests. INPE generates “yearly totals of deforested land that scientists regard as reliable” and “provides automated weekly clearcutting alerts that other tropical nations would love to emulate”.
Currently, the Amazonia rainforest in South America is being covered regularly (by LANDSAT-5 and CBERS-2B satellites) and, through INPE, this data is available freely on the Web, at no cost. INPE‟s open data policy enables experts from all over the world to analyze satellite images over the internet. This means that for experts from Central Africa, using Brazil‟s open data policy for example, it is more attractive to look for relevant satellite images through Brazilian-provided data of satellites such as CBERS (the Chinese-Brazilian Earth Resources Satellites) than to use commercially available data (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
Table 1 – INPE’s Satellite Engineer and Data Services Description
Brazil and China governments signed on July 6, 1988 a partnership agreement involving the and CAST (Chinese Space Technology Academy)) for the development of a program to build two advanced satellites remote sensing, called CBERS (China - Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite). With the union of financial and technological resources between Brazil and China, an investment of US$ 300 million, a system of divided responsibilities was created (30% Brazilian and 70% Chinese), with the aim to implement a complete system world-class remote sensing
Polar orbiting satellite that will make images of the planet every four days. For this, it has an optical imaging of sight wide (camera with 3 bands in the VIS and NIR 1 band in) able to observe a range of 720 km with 40 meter resolution. Its characteristic of fast revisits allow improvement in deforestation alert data in the Amazon in real time to maximize the acquisition of useful images on the cloud cover in the region. The Amazonia-1 will also provide frequent images of the Brazilian agricultural areas. Amazonia-1 satellite is based on Multisession Platform (PMM).
PMM is a generic platform for satellites in the 500 kg class. With mass of 250 kg, it provides the necessary resources, in terms of power, control, communication and others to operate in orbit a payload of up to 280 kg.
Image Generations Division is responsible for the reception, processing and distribution of remote sensing images acquired by satellites.
Environmental Systems and Satellite Division. Focused on Environmental Brazil Data
Tool for instant viewing time series derived from remote sensing images. This tool was developed within the concept of a Virtual Laboratory of Remote Sensing (Freitas et al., 2011) to support studies and analysis of changing land use and land cover.
Center for Satellite Tracking and Control (CRC) is an integrated set of facilities, systems and people dedicated primarily to the operation in orbit of the satellites developed by INPE by itself or in cooperation with foreign institutions. The center is able also to support the third-party space missions.
Source: INPE (2016).
Beyond these main services, INPE offers localized monitoring as Amazonia, Atlantic Forest, Burns, Climate and Weather, Astronomical Observations, Spatial Climate, Lightning and Antarctica Studies.
When it comes to GIS, INPE has developed as open data:
It was founded on 1973, and is under the aegis of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply. Since foundation and with our partners from the National Agricultural Research System, it develops Brazilian model of tropical agriculture and livestock research to deal with barriers that limited the production of food, fiber, and fuel in the country, with a focus on agro innovation. (EMBRAPA, 2016).
Its applications are:
FUNCATE operates in the capture and management of resources to projects developed by partner institutions. The FUNCATE support covers all stages of the life of a project cycle - from proposal preparation to the accountability approval, hiring professional staff and acquiring goods and services necessary to develop the project. Either through agreements, terms of cooperation or agreements with government agencies or private companies in the country or abroad, the action of FUNCATE is primarily focused on supporting government institutions in research and development in projects through specialized consultants, the cost of laboratory tests, including expert reports, metrology services, etc (FUNCATE, 2016).
The provision of GIS services on the use of remote sensing focused on the study of natural resources of the soil and, therefore, has a multidisciplinary team capable of developing work is in the field of conventional photo interpretation, as in digital image analysis satellite. The activities related to this area are related to remote sensors processing and analysis of natural resource satellites and meteorological satellites (FUNCATE, 2016).
According to Davis Jr. and Fonseca (2010), companies offering services based on open source software form 15% of the service provider market. The linkages between the various players and the private companies can be grouped in three main categories: (a) data providers; (b) service providers based on commercial software; and, (c) service providers based on open source software.
Although there are some cooperation agreements for GIS development which allow private companies (especially those involved in public services, such as utilities companies) to participate and contribute, there is to the best of our knowledge no initiative to involve the private sector deeper in GIS or SDI projects. Brazilian legislation allows for public-private partnerships, but these usually apply to large engineering works or to physical infrastructure, such as roads or subways (DAVIS JR.; FONSECA, 2010).
InfoPAE is the result of a partnership between Tecgraf, the Computer Graphics Technology Group of PUC-Rio and PETROBRAS, the Brazilian Oil Company. InfoPAE is an automated system designed to improve the response to emergencies. The system offers sophisticated action plans, easy access to vital information and tight control over the resources allocated to face an emergency. The system is applicable to pipelines, oils terminals, oil refineries and offshore installations, and it proved a valuable training tool. InfoPAE works with local emergency action plans, which are structured collections of actions, coupled with information stored in geographical as well as conventional databases. During an emergency, the team follows a previously stored plan, backed up by its ancillary information.
The team registers the actions taken and documents eventual difficulties. Later on, upper level management may use the system to generate reports that are useful to detect eventual problems with the plan or to assess the performance of the team. The system is structured into four major modules, one to create plans and to insert new information into the databases, one that controls the execution of a plan during an emergency, one that manages the geographical as well as conventional data stored in the database and finally the visualization module, that allows users to browse data related to the location where an emergency occurred. TerraLib is used with the visualization module, to support typical geographical information system functionality. The system is exclusive for PETROBRAS use (TERRALIB, 2016).
This paper has as general objective to describe spatial open data sources in Brazil. Goal reach has shown that the data is mostly provided by govern in federal instance and institute of research partnerships. Few universities participate on this process even though geography, economics and management are common graduate courses in Brazil. That exhibits a lack of high technology application under their teaching and formation human resources process. Other results points to INPE, which was the pioneer on the use of this technology and maintains trough Terra (and its derivations) many partnerships with different institutions to different applications.
Most important sources for open data were found to be SPRING and Terra both developed by INPE with financial support of Cnpq and partnership with EMBRAPA (for agriculture means) and universities as PUC-RIO and UFMG mostly, for diverse means including health and geographical mapping and statistics. Other applications were found relevant on MMA when it comes to environmental purposes.
Limitations were in finding a major organization in Brazil that complies all data or organize spatial data source. The research required the sites visitation one by one and the tracing of evidences to evidences. As future research is highly recommended developing a paper that can explore the most used, more usable, easer operation software in Brazil and make simple tutorials to geography and management courses on graduation disciplines.
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1. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org