GIS & Cartographic Services
Geographic information systems
In our experience, a geographic information system (GIS) consists not only of computer hardware, software, data and procedures for collecting, storing, retrieving and disseminating information about locations on Earth. A GIS is also about people, organisations and institutional arrangements for analysing and using the data. Since the company was founded, we have used and developed various brands of multi-purpose GIS and worked on several open-source projects. Consequently, we have acquired wide-ranging and in-depth thematic and global experience in the use and development of new applications.
Thorough database design is a fundamental part of establishing a successful GIS and its related applications. A major element in this context is the complexity and volume of current and future spatial data, including integration with Earth observation and other large raster datasets. Furthermore, linkage with other databases, data access and security are also important elements. We design and implement databases ranging from single-use to enterprise-wide solutions in multi-user environments, for in-house use and customer needs, all in accordance with international standards when applicable and possible.
The processing of spatial and attribute data starts with its capture or collection, followed by data normalisation and homogenisation, quality control and integration into a database. At GAF, dedicated tools are used to assist this process, either on a GIS server, desktop or mobile GIS app. Data processing and storage services with various levels of detail are provided in our production facilities in Munich and Neustrelitz. All data are furnished with associated metadata, in accordance with the EU INSPIRE directive and applicable international standards.
Whatever the database content of a GIS, performing spatial analysis and modelling are key elements for their exploitation. Geospatial analysis and statistics are valuable in, for example, the fields of land-use planning, watershed management, urban planning and infrastructure management. Monitoring and modelling have acquired even greater importance in light of the changes being inflicted on the environment by climate change and mobility. GAF has long-standing experience with GIS analysis in various thematic applications and comprehensive experience of merging data from heterogeneous sources and content.
With decades of experience, we have programmed hundreds of applications to automate data generation, processing, quality control and data analysis procedures for in-house use and customer needs. We develop Web-GIS, web-services and mobile-GIS apps (including GIS servers) on various platforms (private or public cloud), as well as desktop applications, for supporting decision-making. Our application programming and data management procedures adhere to international standards, as defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) or ISO, and various programming languages and interfaces are used.
Geographic information is typically presented in maps that are either printed or displayed digitally on desktop computers or the Internet, via a Web-GIS. The content of such cartographic representations depends mainly on the purpose, scale, level of detail and type of media. Our thematic experience in the field of cartography ranges from agriculture, forestry, geology, and topography to land and infrastructure management applications. For maps used by the international community we apply the relevant standards as defined by FGDC, NATO or FAO.
The main GIS workhorses at GAF are Esri products and GAFmap. We are a member of the Esri, IBM and Oracle partner networks. Major open-source projects include QGIS and PostGIS/PostgreSQL.