QGIS and OpenStreetMap

German municipalities attracted by open source GIS


The public works department of Bad Oeynhausen (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) is the most recent user of the QGIS geographic information system to have signed up for support at the KRZ municipal data centre Minden-Ravensberg/Lippe. The data centre counts 20 QGIS users among its 36 municipalities and 3 districts.

According to a press release, Bad Oeyenhausen officially switched to QGIS for managing public waterways and wastewater infrastructure in January. The software and related GIS data are hosted by KRZ.

Bad Oeynhausen is now using QGIS to combine aerial photographs, topographic and elevation maps, OpenStreetMap and other geographic datasets related to its wastewater infrastructure. Using QGIS, department specialists can quickly see which parts of the infrastructure are located on the city’s properties, and which parts cross private land.

Next generation GIS

The KRZ first started working with open source software in 2002, QGIS specialist Jürgen Hemeke tells the European Commission’s Open Source Observatory. KRZ began offering QGIS to its municipalities seven years later: “One of our customers asked us for an alternative GIS application, to be used on 20 or 25 workstations.” The diagram uses colored blocks and arrows to show how the KRZ links its QGIS components,

The data centre offers a complete open source GIS application stack, combining QGIS, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, Mapbender, mapserver, geoserver, QGIS server and other components, all running on Debian GNU/Linux servers.

“We are currently studying a completely new stack of open source GIS applications,” Mr Hemeke says. “In six months to one year from now we hope to offer web-based GIS applications for smartphones and other mobile computing devices. We will also greatly improve search, to make it easier for users to find and use the data that is already available.”

More information:

Press announcement on Bad Oeynhausen (in German)
QGIS at the KZR (presentation, in German)

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