Petrol Stations Geoportal (MITYC) (geoportal mityc)

Published on: 12/05/2009
Document

Geoportal MITYC provides citizens with information about gas prices and public opening hours in gas stations, in order to reduce the amount of money spent in cars and in gasoline. It disposes of  a version for mobiles phones, PDA´s and a version for GPS navigators in order to allow drivers to get information about prices while they are driving. A version for TDTI has been developed to get this information in new TDTI channels.

 

Policy Context

Gas stations operators are obliged to provide weekly information about prices for the different liens of fuel by the Industry, Tourism and Commerce Order 2308/2007. They must also send this information every time they make a change in oil prices. This measure was taken in order to increase competition within petrol sector in Spain. This market was considered to be an example of oligopolistic market because the main operators fixed oil prices. This measure was adopted in order to enhance transparency in the market.

The National Energy Regulator (CNE) and Competition Authority (CDC) in Spain are assessing this petrol market to avoid these oligopolistic behaviors between operators, using this information.

Geoportal MITYC has been developed using WMS (Web Map Services) and combines the maps provided by the National Geographic Institute of Spain and the maps provided by MITYC, with information online about prices and public opening hours of gas stations. The project has been selected as a successful case in the  eSDInet and  program and the e-content program. The project is based on a SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) using open source and web services to allow interoperability.

 

 

Description of target users and groups

Citizens and operators in oil and energy sectors. The information of these applications is used by several organizations (CNE, Ministry of Economy etc.) in order to study these markets and promote competition in oil prices. Citizens can get information about prices in order to get the most economic fuel in their area and several enterprises use this information in their studies and reviews about the relevant sectors.

 

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Geoportal MITYC  is a collaborative project between different administrations (IGN, D.G.CATASTRO, MITYC) and enterprises of the energy sector (operators in gas stations businesses, Repsol, Cepsa,BP, etc.). These operators send information each week and every time they change prices using a web form or by sending an SMS. The application receives the information and refreshes these prices online in order to get the most recent information about prices and public opening hours of gas stations. This information is shown on a GIS system that combines alphanumeric information with maps, where users can see the location of each gas station. It has a gateway with Google Earth in order to  be updated regarding routes and distances, also present in versions for mobile phones, PDA´s, GPS navigators and TDTi.

The version for mobile phones combines the possibility of seeking in an alphanumeric way by region, address or postal code for each kind of fuel; or looking this information over the maps and photos provided by the National Geographic Institute of Spain using Geoportal Tools.

 

 

Technology solution

Based on WMS (Web Map Services), it uses Open Source software (Maps Server) to publish the maps, and AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and Xml) to provide this information to  all users consulting the system.  The project for multi-channel access (mobile phone, PDA´s, GPS navigators) uses java and xml and some libraries' open source in order to provide information.

Version for GPS navigators allows drivers with these gadgets to get daily the file including the location and prices of gas stations in the format used by their navigator(for example Tom Tom users can get an .ov2 file in order to copy it in their Iberia maps folder to obtain this information while there are driving).

TDTi version is based on a Java framework and uses MHP (Multi Home Platform) standard to provide interactive services on TDT (terrestrial Digital Television) channels with interesting information managed by Public Administrations.

 

The project is based on the ideas of the web 2.0 trying to provide users attractive information. There are several mashup services using information provided by the MITYC to get economic benefits with this information(for example gassmappers).

 

 

Technology choice: Mainly (or only) open standards, Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

The system can reduce the amount of money spent on refuelling in an area.

Petrol prices information is considered useful for citizens, for example, it can be a useful tool to plan the refueling stops during a long travel, minimizing the overall cost of fuel of the travel.

 Geoportal was the first project in Industry, Tourism and Commerce Ministry using an Open Architecture based on Web Map Services

Geoportal was the first project that used WMS-C (web map services Cache) in order to obtain each map divided into tiles (small pieces) to increase the performance and reduce the time the maps are showed. Now it is considered the best option in Geographical Information Systems and there is a group studying the standardization of it.

Geoportal provides the first Geographical web form that allows operators to get their gas station coordinates from their address using web services while they are filling this form. If they can not get these coordinates automatically they can place their gas station on a map to avoid localization errors in this procedure.

This measure was included as an example in the Burdens Reductions for citizens and enterprises approved by the Ministry of Presidency in Spain in August 2008. It affects more than 10.000 gas stations and tries to make this obligation easier for them.

 

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

GEOPORTAL MITYC is the most visited page among those generated by the said Ministry.  Last year more than 2 million people visited the portal to get information in more than 40.000.000 pages.

 There are several mashup services (gassmappers, gasolinaeeconomica.com, elpreciodelagasolina.com…) using the MITYC information in order to make profit of it what shows how useful it is.

More than 20 articles in one year in newspapers in Spain (including national, regional and local newspapers) and several references in the most important blos in Spain (microsiervos,blogIDEE,…) show their relevance.

These project was selected as better practices in TSDI (Tematic Spatial Data Infrastructure) and presented in Lisbon 2009 eSDInet+  Workshop.

This case was selected as a case of success in the SITI ASLAN Forum in March 2009 as an example of public sector multi-channel delivery solution. 

 

 

Lessons learnt

All Collaborative projects within public sector and initiatives based on open source software need less money to invest and the results show that SDI based on collaborative networking are now the best option in order to develop GIS projects.

 

Public Administrations manage a lot of useful information for citizens. Taking into account citizen needs can be the firs step into a successful case. With the new vision of Web 2.0 Public Administrations will notice that they should look for interoperable systems, using collaborative tools and standards to allow interactive services with citizens and enterprises.

This new point of view will change the public administration portals to provide more useful and accessible pages for citizens, because they are demanding this kind of services.

 

Scope: National, Regional (sub-national)