Archiving of geodata. A joint preliminary study by swisstopo and the Swiss Federal Archives

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1 Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DCPS) Armasuisse Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) Swiss Federal Archives (SFA) A joint preliminary study by swisstopo and the Swiss Federal Archives

2 Information about this document Status Project name Project head Study commissioned by: Committee Authors Finalised Preliminary study on the archiving of geodata Jérémie Leuthold, SFA Directors of swisstopo and SFA Jean-Philippe Amstein, Andreas Kellerhals Dr. Krystyna W. Ohnesorge, Urs Gerber, Jérémie Leuthold Marguérite Bos, Helen Gollin, Urs Gerber, Jérémie Leuthold, Dr. Urs Meyer Version 1.0 Date December /71

3 Summary The preliminary study was based on digital archiving at the Swiss Federal Archives (SFA) and the official geodata of the federal government (in particular in consideration of the new legislation governing geoinformation). The study also took account of the international context. It was ascertained that no solution for the archiving of geodata currently exists. The aim of the preliminary study was to develop an integral solution for the entire federal administration, but also to find a good supplement for securing long-term availability. In addition, the intention is to secure nationwide co-ordination of all aspects of geoinformation, including the archiving of geodata. The co-operation between swisstopo and the SFA meant that the perspectives of both geodata specialists and archivists were represented in the study. In order to find a solution that would receive broad-based support, various other players were included in the study already at an early stage (e.g. as observers, or to participate at workshops, etc.). By studying a variety of models it was found that the existing digital archiving solution in use at the SFA could (and should) serve as the basis for the archiving of geodata. The options of adapting the SIARD model (SFA solution for archiving relational databases) and the Data Warehouse model of MeteoSwiss were examined, but both models were found to be inadequate for the declared purpose. The true information content of geodata is obtained through unrestricted combinations of geodata, that is how geoinformation is achieved. An aim is to enable geoinformation in the Archives as well. Another important aspect in this connection concerns the co-ordination of thematic geodata with geospatial reference data. In principle, the appraisal of geodata can be made on the basis of the standard method used by the SFA (procedure and criteria). It was found that an objective thinning before the appraisal was not a feasible option. In order to carry out a thorough appraisal, what is required is a firm basis (classification of geodata) with supplementary information that can also be used for archival description and the providing of access. A first prototype for delivering geodata to the archive was developed, that was based on the already applicable requirements for digital transfer. Components of a documentation and procedures for the integration of metadata had already been identified. These are being recorded in existing standards: archiving metadata based on the criteria of the SFA, and geospatial metadata in accordance with the official GM03 model. The preliminary study put forward a first proposal for formats that would be suitable for archiving for both vector and raster data. These were selected on the basis of the criteria of the already existing catalogue of specifications of the SFA concerning suitable formats for archiving, to which additional criteria specifically for geodata were added for the purpose of evaluating geo-formats. The findings of the preliminary study form the basis for a follow-up project in which solutions for all aspects of archiving are to be developed and tested. The requirements and the next steps to be taken in the various fields were specified in the course of the preliminary study and are presented in this report. 3/71

4 Acronyms and abbreviations Abbreviation AIP AIS BGA DIP DIR FLAG GBD GBDK GEVER Name in full Archival Information Package Archive Information System Bundesgesetz über die Archivierung vom 26. Juni 1998 (Archivierungsgesetz), SR / Swiss Federal Archiving Act dated 26 June 1998 Dissemination Information Package Digital Information Repository application Führen mit Leistungsauftrag und Globalbudget (Führungsmodell für Organisationseinheiten in der Schweizerischen Bundesverwaltung) / Management with a service level agreement and global budget Official geodata Geobasisdatenkatalog: Katalog der Geobasisdaten des Bundesrechts (Anhang GeoIV) / Catalogue of official geodata (appendix, Geoinformation Ordinance) Elektronische Geschäftsverwaltung / electronic records and process management GeoIG Bundesgesetz über Geoinformation vom 5. Oktober 2007 (Geoinformationsgesetz), SR / Federal Geoinformation Act dated 5 October 2007 GeoIV Verordnung über Geoinformation vom 21. Mai 2008 (Geoinformationsverordnung), SR / Federal Geoinformation Ordinance dated 21 May 2008 GIS Geographic information system GM03 Geo-metadata 2003 INSPIRE ISAD(G) Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community ( Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Community, which entered into effect on 15 May 2007) International Standard Archival Description (General) KOST Koordinationsstelle für die dauerhafte Archivierung elektronischer Unterlagen / Centre for the Co-ordination of Permanent Archiving of Electronic Data NGDI OAIS SIARD SIP UUID National geodata infrastructure Open Archival Information System Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases Submission Information Package Universally Unique IDentifier VBGA Verordnung zum Bundesgesetz über die Archivierung vom 8. September 1999 (Archivierungsverordnung) SR / Federal Archiving Ordinance dated 8 September 1999 XML XSD Extensible Markup Language XML Schema Definition 4/71

5 Glossary Term Appraisal Archival Information Package (AIP) Archive Archive records Archive Information System (AIS) Archiving Authenticity Business management Classification system Commercial services Delivery Delivering authority Dissemination Information Package (DIP) Explanation Process by which the archival value of records is determined on the basis of defined criteria. Archival information packages result from SIPs in the course of the process of archiving digital material. They represent the form of information packages in which digital material is saved in the database. 1. Institution or agency responsible for selecting, acquiring, preserving, and making available archival materials.. 2. Archived material of an organisation. 3. Building or institution that was constructed or established for the purpose of archiving material. Refers to material that has been acquired by the SFA for archiving, or that is archived independently by other authorities in accordance with the Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Swiss Federal Archiving Act. Central software in the SFA, manages information concerning analogue and digital inventories in the archive. Act of transforming administrative records into archival material. Encompasses the input, appraisal, description, preservation and provision of documentation (a); contributes to a secure basis for law, as well as to continuity and efficiency in administration; in particular, it shall create the necessary conditions for historical and social research (b); Unlimited conservation of selected documents. Documentation is authentic if a) it corresponds to what it is claimed to be b) it has been created or delivered by the authority claiming to have created or delivered it c) it has been created or delivered at the indicated time. Refers to all activities and rules for the planning, steering and control, as well as verification, of business activities. GEVER encompasses the management of documents and dossiers, as well as business-related process management. It secures the effective and efficient business activity of administration units. Structure that comprises the whole of the tasks of an administrative unit and guarantees that records are filed according to their administrative context. Services, supply of products, etc., provided by public sector organisational units outside the scope of their official activities, in competition with private suppliers (Article 2g, Geoinformation Ordinance). Refers both to the process of handing over material to the SFA, and to the overall volume of material handed over by an authority. Refers to the authority or organisational unit that delivers documentation to the SFA. It is often (but not necessarily) identical to the archive compiler. A DIP is a container for dossiers that are requested by a user via an ordering procedure. 5/71

6 Term Documentation Dossier File archive Geodata Geoinformation Geo-metadata (Geospatial metadata) Geospatial reference data GG25 (municipal boundaries) Historicisation Integrity Long-term availability Metadata Of archival value Explanation Documentation (or material) as defined by the Federal Archiving Act refers to all recorded data, regardless of the used medium, that are received or created during the performance of official tasks of the federal government, as well as all tools and supplementary data that are required in order to ensure that the information concerned is comprehensible and usable (Article 3m paragraph 1, Federal Archiving Act). This term refers to all documentation relating to a specific business. A dossier basically corresponds to a business. However, by combining similar dossiers or dividing dossiers into sub-dossiers, this basic structure can be adapted to meet the corresponding needs. The compilation of dossiers is carried out on the basis of the file system. Refers primarily to a quantity of files. Within the scope of digital archiving in the SFA, it is used for deliveries that contain files that are submitted via a GEVER system (without a file system in the strict sense of the term). However, files can also be archived using another management system. Spatially related data that describe the extent and properties of specific areas and objects with a specific chronological reference, in particular their location, features, utilisation and legal circumstances (Article 3, paragraph 1a, Geoinformation Act). Spatially related information that is obtained by through the evaluation of, or in combination with, geodata (Article 3, paragraph 1b, Geoinformation Act). Formal descriptions of characteristics of geodata, in particular their source, content, structure, validity, update status, accuracy, utilisation rights, access options or processing methods (Article 3, paragraph 1g, Geoinformation Act). (Official) geodata that are used as the geometric basis for other (official) geodata (Article 3, paragraph 1f, Geoinformation Act). Depicts the national, cantonal, district and municipal boundaries in vector form (swisstopo vector data). Recording the type, extent and time of modifications of official geodata (Article 2b, Geoinformation Ordinance). Refers to the properties of documentation in terms of complete and unaltered reproduction of their content. (The appearance, structure and form of digital data can change as the result of preservation measures.) Storage of official geodata in a way that ensures their long-term preservation in terms of volume and quality; securing official data on the basis of recognised standards and in accordance with the status of technology; periodical outsourcing of data in suitable formats, and safekeeping of outsourced data (Article 14, Geoinformation Ordinance). Metadata can be described as information about primary data (data about data), since they have a descriptive nature. Material that is defined as worthy of archiving encompasses documents of the federal government that are of legal or administrative importance or contain information of great value (i.e. documents that are valuable from a historical, social or cultural point of view). Official geodata Geodata that are based on federal, cantonal or municipal legislation (Article 3, paragraph 1c, Geoinformation Act). 6/71

7 Term Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Original documentation Primary data Public services Record producer Safeguard period Submission Information Package (SIP) Suitable for archiving Updating Universally Unique IDentifier (UUID) Usability VECTOR25 Explanation As a reference model approved in accordance with ISO 14721, OAIS describes an archive as an organisation in which people and systems work together to preserve information and make it available to a defined group of users. In the context of digital archiving, the digital material submitted by the delivering authority represents the original documentation. It is archived in unchanged form, and the originals are retained after preservation measures have been carried out. Thanks to a clearly specified migration path, the source of the migrated material can be traced back to the original at any time. Primary data are data that are created directly by each compiler in association with the corresponding (official) competencies. Services or tasks to be performed by an organisational unit of the federal administration on the basis of federal legislation (cf. commercial services). Refers to the authority or organisational unit that compiled and managed the documentation. Access to archived material is regulated by safeguard periods. Material that is still subject to a safeguard period may only be viewed if this has been approved in an official approval procedure (this does not apply to the delivering authority itself). Access is regulated by the provisions of Articles 9 to 16 of the Federal Archiving Act. SIPs are information packages that are submitted to the archive by the delivering authority. They contain primary data and metadata). The SFA defines data formats that are regarded as suitable for archiving. Such formats have to meet the SFA s requirements for the preservation of digital material. Ongoing or periodical adaptation of official geodata to changes of the location, dimension and properties of recorded areas and objects (Article 2a, Geoinformation Ordinance). This is a special ID that represents a universally unique means of identification. UUIDs comprise 32 hexa-decimal digits that are always constructed in the same way: 5 groups of characters, separated by hyphens ( characters) = 36 characters in all (example: ab-cdef abcdef). Documentation is usable if it can be identified, found, depicted and interpreted. Swiss digital landscape model which in terms of content and geometry is based on the 1:25,000 national map (geospatial reference data). References Description SFA web site swisstopo web site Federal geodata portal Location 7/71

8 Contents SECTION A - INTRODUCTION PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT STRUCTURE OF THIS DOCUMENT BACKGROUND INFORMATION Digital archiving in the federal administration Official (i.e. federal government) geodata International context OBJECTIVES OF THE PRELIMINARY STUDY ORGANISATION Planning Composition of team for preliminary study Group of observers Methodology...17 SECTION B RESULTS OF THE PRELIMINARY STUDY GENERAL FINDINGS Progress Findings Findings relating to archiving models Findings relating to the adaptation of SIARD (Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases) for geodata Findings relating to the adaptation of the MeteoSwiss Data Warehouse (DWH) model Findings relating to data volume Findings relating to geoinformation and geospatial reference data Findings relating to need for action regarding delimitation Findings relating to the archival description and designation of geodata Findings relating to the providing of access of archived geodata /71

9 7 APPRAISAL OF GEODATA APPRAISAL OF GEOINFORMATION Progress Findings Findings relating to the working paper General comments Thinning Appraisal process General findings PACKAGES FOR GEODATA GEO SIP Progress Findings General comments regarding Geo SIPs Complexity and data volume Documentation Metadata Primary data Use of content in a package Tools FORMATS Progress Findings Catalogue of criteria General criteria Specific criteria for geo-formats Other criteria Criteria that were rejected or not given consideration Geo-formats Format categories Raster data candidates Vector data candidates Rejected formats Rejected format category: observation data, measurement data, raw data Provisional list of candidates for suitable geodata formats for archiving Format registry Feedback from swisstopo management...57 SECTION C NEXT STEPS, CONCLUSIONS NEXT STEPS CONCLUDING REMARKS...59 SECTION D APPENDIX /71

10 12 FACT SHEETS ON GEO-FORMATS Raster data candidates Vector data candidates Rejected formats COMMENTED CATALOGUE OF CRITERIA FOR APPRAISAL IN THE SFA...70 List of illustrations Figure 1: Legal bases...14 Figure 2: Work packages in the preliminary study...16 Figure 3: Organisational chart for the preliminary study...17 Figure 4: Definitive road map of the preliminary study...19 Figure 5: Thematic geodata and geospatial reference data...22 Figure 6: Scenarios...23 Figure 7: Updating long-term availability archiving...25 Figure 8: Road map of activities relating to appraisal...29 Figure 9: Possible processing stages for geodata...31 Figure 10: Structure of an SIP...37 Figure 11: Road map for Geo SIPs and formats...37 Figure 12: Geo SIP structure: geodata as new content...39 Figure 13: Arrangement of geodata by complexity and volume...40 Figure 14: Documentation in a Geo SIP...42 Figure 15: Content of documentation in Geo SIP...43 Figure 16: Archiving metadata and geo-metadata in the Geo SIP...44 Figure 17: Geodata in the Geo SIP...46 Figure 18: Geodata in the Geo SIP view with Package Handler /71

11 Section A - Introduction 1 Purpose of this document This document summarises the results and findings that were obtained within the scope of the preliminary study entitled Archiving of Geodata. It describes the status of activities and cites those activities that can be pursued further within the scope of a project. 2 Structure of this document The final report of this preliminary study is divided into four sections: Section A Introduction Section A contains the introduction in which the purpose of the document is described. After the explanation of the structure of this report, the situation leading up to the preliminary study is described in chapter 3, which explains why the Swiss Federal Archives (SFA) and the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo) decided to carry out the study. Chapter 4 describes the objectives that were defined at the beginning of the preliminary study. Chapter 5 explains the organisation of the preliminary study, and describes the co-operation between the various involved players, as well as ways in which the issue of archiving of geodata was approached. Section B Results of the preliminary study This section encompasses the findings obtained from the involved areas. It is divided into four parts: General findings (chapter 6) Appraisal of geodata - appraisal of geoinformation (chapter 7) Packages for geodata Geo SIP (chapter 8) Formats (chapter 9) All four chapters have a uniform structure. Each chapter opens with a depiction of the progress of the preliminary study in a specific area (or in general). The aim here is to describe the acquired methodology and explain how the findings in each area were obtained. The next step focuses on the actual findings obtained from each area. The findings and the resulting requirements to be placed on the future project are presented at the end of each chapter. For the purpose of easy identification, blue type has been used to indicate these findings and requirements (next steps). In addition, they have each been numbered and indicated using a special icon: 1 1 Icon obtained from (26 August 2010). 11/71

12 Special remarks concerning these four chapters: Chapter 6 provides an overview of the study. In addition to general findings, it also presents those that were made in specific areas but are actually of a comprehensive nature. These include findings relating to geospatial reference data, geoinformation, responsibilities, delimitation, use, location and cataloguing of geodata and geoinformation. Chapter 7 focuses on the question of which geodata should be archived, and why. This chapter, too, opens with a description of how the question at hand was approached in the course of the study, then presents the findings concerning a working paper on the appraisal of geodata, followed by those relating to the appraisal of geodata in general. Chapter 8 provides information about the findings relating to the acquisition of geodata into the archive. It briefly describes archiving-related as well as technical findings, and structures these thematically. These findings are supplemented through feedback from the conducted user test with processed geodata for the archive. Chapter 9 deals with questions relating to suitable formats for archiving geodata: Which are the most suitable formats for archiving geodata? What do we mean by suitable? The acquired methodology is described and the initial findings are presented in this chapter. Section C Next steps, conclusions This section contains details regarding the new priorities and the next steps to be taken for the follow-up project. Section D Appendix The appendix contains fact sheets concerning potentially suitable formats for archiving geodata, and a commented list of criteria for appraisal in the SFA. 3 Background information 3.1 Digital archiving in the federal administration The SFA is the federal government s services and competence centre for sustainable data management. In accordance with the Swiss Federal Archiving Act, its duties are to appraise, secure, describe and provide access to archive-worthy records of the Swiss Confederation to users upon request. These duties also apply to digital material. To facilitate its performance of these duties, the SFA launched a project called ARELDA (archiving of electronic data) within the scope of the strategy of the Federal Council that was introduced in 1998 with the aim of establishing an information society in Switzerland. The first stage of the ARELDA project ran from 2001 to 2004 and was of an exploratory and experimental nature. During this stage a pilot infrastructure for the storage of digital material was developed, together with a methodology for the Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases (SIARD). In the second stage from 2005 to 2009 a solution was developed that created a standardised archiving process ranging from pre-archiving consulting and the securing and archiving of data, through to the provision of data to users upon request, and which took account of both the organisational and the technical dimensions. The digital archive was handed over for operation in summer In accordance with the 12/71

13 resolution of the Federal Council dated 23 January 2008, the Federal Chancellery and departments of the federal administration are required to convert all their business processes to electronic form by the end of This means that more and more documents of the federal administration are now being generated in digital form, and as of 2012 they will all have to be generated in this form only. In addition, a large proportion of administrative, scientific and economic data will be archived in databases. The SFA is well prepared for these developments, and is already in the position today to archive standard data types, e.g. digital dossiers from GEVER systems, or data sets from relational databases. To date it has received more than 250 data sets (including 21 relational databases) for archiving. The archiving of digital material in the SFA is based on the following principles: separation the data from specific IT environments (applications, database and operating systems, hardware) open, standardised environments that are as generic as possible homogeneous storage infrastructure reduction of the number of file formats to a few file formats that are suitable for archiving purposes migration procedures (especially format conversions) 3.2 Official (i.e. federal government) geodata The term geodata refers to digital data that can be allocated to a specific geographic location. The Swiss Federal Geoinformation Act defines geodata as spatially-related data that within a certain timeframe describe the extent and properties of specific regions and objects, in particular their location, nature, use and legal properties. 2 Geodata are normally created, managed, updated and utilised in a geoinformation system. They are normally provided by administrative offices. In accordance with the definition in the Geoinformation Act, the term official geodata refers to data that are based on a legislative document issued by the federal government, a canton or a municipality. 3 Geodata and official geodata can be divided into georeference and thematic geodata. Geospatial reference data serve as the geometric basis for other geodata (thematic geodata). Thematic geodata are data from a specific sector (e.g. environment, statistics, transport). In addition there are geo-metadata, which describe actual spatial data. According to the Geoinformation Act, the term geo-metadata refers to a formal description of the characteristics of geodata, e.g. origin, content, structure, validity, status, accuracy, utilisation rights, access options, processing methods. 4 Switzerland s legislation on geoinformation (Federal Geoinformation Act) entered into effect in It governs all aspects of the collection, revision, archiving and utilisation of geodata that are based on federal legislation, and it stipulates that all geodata must be duly archived. Article 9 of the Geoinformation Act stipulates that the availability of geodata must be secured in two ways: firstly, each responsible local authority (in accordance with Article 8, paragraph 1)is required to secure the long-term availability of its official geodata, and secondly the official geodata for which the SFA is responsible 5 must also be permanently archived (Figure 1). If, in accordance with Article 8, paragraph 1 of the Geoinformation Act, a canton is responsible for official geodata, that canton is required to officially designate the authority responsible for archiving (Article 15, paragraph 2, Geoinformation Ordinance). 2 Article 3, paragraph 1a, Geoinformation Act 3 Article 3, paragraph 1c, Geoinformation Act 4 Article 3, paragraph 1g, Geoinformation Act 5 Swiss Federal Archiving Act (SR 152.1) and Article 15, paragraph 1, Geoinformation Ordinance (SR ) 13/71

14 Legal bases Geoinformation Act Collection, updating and management (Art. 8) Responsible authority (Geoinformation Act, Art. 8, paragr. 1) Securing long-term availability (Art. 9) e.g. FOEN, SFSO,, swisstopo Updating, Historicisation Securing long-term availability Geoinformation Ordinance Updating (Art. 12) Historicisation (Art. 13) Responsible authority (Geoinformation Act, Art. 8, paragr. 1) Long-term availability (Art. 14) e.g. FOEN, SFSO,, swisstopo Archiving (Art. 15) SFA Figure 1: Legal bases For the documentation and archiving of official geodata by the cantons or in cantonal archives, it is important for a variety of reasons (including commercial deliberations) to secure co-ordination between the federal government and the cantons. Switzerland s legislation on geoinformation is formulated in such a manner as to ensure that all aspects of geoinformation are co-ordinated throughout the entire country. In order to ensure that geodata yield high economic benefits and can make a significant contribution towards economic growth and sustainable development, it is necessary to develop a national geodata infrastructure. 6 The infrastructure that is currently being developed takes the form of a generally accessible system of procedures, institutional facilities, technologies, data and personnel that permits the exchange and efficient use of geographic data. Archives and their content are also to form an integral part of this infrastructure. 3.3 International context The problem of archiving geodata is not limited to Switzerland, of course. Numerous articles and projects in many other countries deal with the widely varying aspects of this matter. For example, the North Carolina Geospatial Data Archiving Project (NCGDAP) 7 and the National Geospatial Digital Archive Project (NGDA 8 ) are groundbreaking projects in the USA that focus on the collection and long-term preservation of geodata. The Digital Preservation Coalition (dpc) 9 publishes a series of Technology Watch reports. One report of importance for the archiving of geodata was 6 (20 August 2010). 7 NCGDAP: (19 August 2010) 8 NGDA: (19 August 2010) 9 dpc: (19 August 2010) 14/71

15 published in May 2009 under the title, Preserving Geospatial data. 10 It provides a detailed description of the generally applicable challenges relating to long-term preservation and archiving of geodata, as well as information about solutions that are being applied in the USA. The international context and already published reports were used as background material for the preliminary study. All related efforts have one thing in common, namely that deliberations are still in their infancy, even in the international context, and are currently being tailored to meet specific national requirements. Neither the SFA nor swisstopo are aware of the existence of a globally recognised and tried and tested solution for the archiving of geodata. In view of this situation, the activities in the preliminary study carried out jointly by swisstopo and the SFA focused on the specific requirements of Switzerland s administration system, paying particular attention to the provisions of Swiss legislation governing geoinformation and archiving (Geoinformation Act and Federal Archiving Act). 4 Objectives of the preliminary study The overlying objective of the joint study was to identify a solution for the archiving of geodata in order to implement the applicable legislation governing geoinformation. For this purpose the SFA and swisstopo carried out a joint preliminary study with the following declared goals: To define the most important aspects of archiving and the framework for securing the long-term availability of geodata, and to identify the related issues and problems Based on the findings obtained from the preliminary study, to formulate a proposal for the next steps to be taken in order to secure the implementation of the geoinformation legislation relating to the archiving of geodata The preliminary study is to form the basis for deciding on the next steps to be taken, and deliver valuable findings for identifying the most suitable solution. Here the main aims were as follows: The solution should not be specific to swisstopo, but should be developed for the entire federal administration A well-founded integral solution needs to be found for archiving and securing the long-term availability of data The solution must permit archived digital geodata to be (subsequently) re-integrated into a geographic information system one of the fundamental requirements to be placed on the archiving of geodata is that it must be possible to restore and evaluate geoinformation at a later date 5 Organisation 5.1 Planning In the initial phase of the joint study, swisstopo and the SFA focused on developing a shared understanding of the issues and problems relating to the archiving of geodata. The main aim here was to 10 dpc Technology Watch series report, 9 May 2009: (19 August 2010) 15/71

16 build up know-how and gain an insight into one another s working methods. The next step was to plan the preliminary study in detail. It was decided to divide the activities into three thematic areas: policy and financing, appraisal, digital archiving and practical solutions. Co-ordination Policy Financing Appraisal Legal aspects Digital archiving Solutions Objectives Long-term availability SFA Swisstopo Planned Prioritiesi General aspects Selection What is to be archived? Use Redundancies Formats Infrastructure Migration Standards SIP/AIP/DIP Metadata Data structure OAIS SIP (SFA) DIP (swisstopo) GIS-portal DWH MeteoSwiss Research Figure 2: Work packages in the preliminary study The first area concerned all political and administrative aspects of archiving of geodata, and facilitated the co-ordination of all other activities in the preliminary study. The other areas involved two aspects of archiving that were examined in depth in the course of the study. In this way, within one work package the focus was on the appraisal of geodata, while in the other package it was on the acquisition of geodata to the archive, and thus on more technical aspects (digital archiving and practical solutions). Questions relating to utilisation (including research) were not dealt with in a given work package, but were always included in discussions on both legal aspects as well as practical solutions. At the beginning of the study it made good sense to divide it into different areas in order to ensure the greatest possible degree of progress. However, in the course of the study it became increasingly clear that the three areas were more closely intertwined than it originally appeared. In view of this, the exchange between the various work packages was already intensified at the end of 2009, and the involved personnel participated at joint workshops in order to benefit from one another s findings and co-ordinate discussions. 16/71

17 5.2 Composition of team for preliminary study Principal Directors of SFA and swisstopo Preliminary study committee K. W. Ohnesorge (SFA), U. Gerber (swisstopo), J. Leuthold (SFA) Head of preliminary study J. Leuthold (SFA) Support L. D Incau (SFA) Policy / financing J. Leuthold (SFA) Group of observers work package appraisal H. Gollin (SFA) U. Gerber (swisstopo) (M. Bos, SFA) work package DA and operational solutions M. Bos (SFA) U. Meyer (SFA) U. Gerber (swisstopo) S. Flury (swisstopo) K. Spälti (swisstopo) W. Balmer (swisstopo) Figure 3: Organisational chart for the preliminary study 5.3 Group of observers For the preliminary study, federal offices that have geodata at their disposal, plus cantonal authorities (responsible for geographic information system and archives), municipalities and the Centre for the Coordination of Permanent Archiving of Electronic Data (KOST) were brought together to form a group of observers. In this way it was possible to obtain initial reactions, feedback and suggestions at an early stage. 5.4 Methodology In the preliminary study, analogies and proposed solutions for the archiving of geodata were drawn up on the basis of the known procedures (existing toolboxes ) for archiving (digital) business documents and data from relational databases. One of the most important outcomes of this bottom-up approach was the identification of the relevant issues. This approach was very pragmatic. Using the geospatial reference data of swisstopo, attempts were made to develop solutions that could also be used for the archiving of official geodata by other federal offices. One of the main success factors in the preliminary study was the close co-operation between geoinformation and archiving specialists that took place right from the start. This resulted in the constant improvement of the developed solutions, and was thus an important factor in terms of quality assurance. The proposed solutions were repeatedly presented for discussion, and thus underwent constant improvement. This close co-operation also meant that the involved players were informed at an early stage about new topics and challenges relating to the archiving of geodata. The aim here was to significantly increase the level of acceptance for later implementation. 17/71

18 But of course co-ordination also had to be secured at the cantonal level. In the preliminary study, the integration of the cantonal archives already at the initial stage was regarded as an essential step. This cooperation formed the basis for the desired co-ordination, and is both necessary and beneficial for economic reasons. It would hardly make sense if the federal government and the 26 cantons were to deal with the same issues simultaneously, and perhaps even come up with different solutions. It was therefore important to ensure that the activities in the preliminary study were constantly presented and made available for discussion in open platforms (workshops), in publications and through transparent decisionmaking processes. Thus the involvement of cantonal offices responsible for surveying, geographic information systems and archiving was secured right from the start. 18/71

19 Section B Results of the preliminary study 6 General findings 6.1 Progress The SFA and swisstopo commenced the initial preparatory tasks in autumn 2008, based on the situation described in chapter 3. In 2008 it was decided to intensify the co-operation within the framework of a preliminary study, and the first steps to be taken were defined at a kick-off meeting in February The next few months took the form of an introductory phase, during which five workshops were organised. The idea here was to obtain a shared overview of the existing solutions. The SFA was able to gain an insight into geoinformation technology and geodata, while swisstopo received information about the principles and solutions of digital archiving. In the first stage of the preliminary study, a highly optimistic initial concept was presented at the kick-off meeting in February 2009, which served as the working basis until the end of August that year. In the original concept the aim was to conclude the preliminary study by the end of 2009, but as the complexity of the subject matter grew increasingly apparent during the early stage, the timetable for the preliminary study had to be revised. In order to create a firm basis for subsequent activities, the period for the preliminary study was extended until November 2010, and a new schedule was drawn up (see Figure 4 below). The completion of the preliminary study towards the end of 2010 meant that the requirement had been taken into account that the findings can be presented prior to the beginning of the new strategy period (2011 to 2015), and follow-up projects can be initiated without delay. swisstopo SFA T T T Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec swisstopo Colloquium Legal and SFA Colloquium Geodata for eternity DA (GIS) 26 March 2010 (10- commercial Documentation a.m.) aspects Discussion SFA Resources Res. CORE ACTIVITIES (sub-projects) Geo SIP proof of concept / prototype, objectives, formats, solution, evaluation WS formats Metadata WS Appraisal (GKG Si) Results with observers Documentation Results with observers CORE ACTIVITIES (sub-projects) Geo SIP proof of concept / prototype, objectives, formats, solution, evaluation MGMT WS Appraisal (GKG Si) Preparation of final findings WS Appraisal (with group of observers) Preparation of final report Next steps Review Draft SFA management SFA management Swisstopo management 1st draft review PT Reviewing DRAFT -> SFA management Doc -> both managements T Preparation for publication Concept (project) Both managements Concept (project) Figure 4: Definitive road map of the preliminary study 19/71

20 6.2 Findings Thanks to a stronger focus on the archiving of geodata it was also possible to examine the various topics and issues more closely in all areas. As soon as findings had been obtained on a given topic, these were presented to the group of observers and/or the general public for discussion. The general findings are described below Findings relating to archiving models The SFA solution for digital archiving was presented at one of the first workshops. 11 This solution was based on the Open Archiving Information System (OAIS) model. 12 The initial activities in the preliminary study were based on the assumption that the OAIS model could form the basis for the solution for archiving geodata, and this assumption was confirmed in the course of the study. This means that the solution for the archiving of geodata complies with the SFA solution for digital archiving and is also oriented on the OAIS model, which is recognised worldwide and is recommended for the archiving of digital data. Furthermore, within the scope of the preliminary study the question was examined whether a federal authority that wants to deliver geodata also needs to have a solution based on the OAIS model at its disposal in order to guarantee the preservation of its own geodata and a simplified delivery process. The solution to this matter was also defined in the course of the preliminary study: for future deliveries of geodata to the SFA, the federal authority that produces the data does not necessarily have to orient its own solution on the OAIS model. This aspect only applies to the archiving solution of the SFA. On the other hand, it is important to ensure that every authority that supplies geodata to the SFA observes the requirements placed on digital archiving by the latter so that the data concerned can be fully integrated into the SFA's own solution. E Since, in accordance with the Federal Archiving Act and the Federal Geoinformation Act, the SFA is the authority responsible for the archiving of geodata at the federal level, it was decided that the existing solution used by the SFA (which is based on the OAIS model) should form the basis for the archiving of geodata within the federal administration Findings relating to the adaptation of SIARD (Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases) for geodata Within the scope of the ARELDA project, the SFA developed a solution for the archiving of relational databases, which is based on two components. Firstly, the SFA developed a suitable format for the archiving of relational databases (SIARD format) and published the format specifications. It then developed an application by means of which data from the database can be prepared, viewed and reintegrated into a relational database (SIARD Suite). 13 This solution fills a previously existing gap in the area of archiving of databases. At the initial workshops the main focus was on this already existing solution, which appeared to offer a great deal of potential. But before long it became clear that, based on present-day findings, SIARD is not a suitable solution for the general problem of archiving geodata. Although geodata are primarily organised in relational database systems, the data can no longer be interpreted if they are merely stored in the form of a database. In order to interpret geodata and utilise their information content it is necessary to transfer them to a geographic information system again via a specially designed interface. This requirement cannot be met with the existing SIARD solution. 11 For further information about the SFA solution, please refer to the article on digital archiving in the Swiss Federal Archives on the SFA web site (24 August 2010) 12 For further information about the OAIS model: (24 August 2010) 13 For further information about SIARD, please visit the SFA web site (24 August 2010) 20/71

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