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Innovative Software Development in GIS by Florence Le Ber, Benedicte Bucher

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Chapter 2

ORBISGIS: Geographical Information System Designed by and for Research

2.1. Introduction

ORBISGIS1 is a geographical information system (GIS) dedicated to scientific modeling and experimenting. ORBISGIS has been developed at the IRSTV, a French research institute dedicated to urban science and techniques2 since April 2007, within the “urban data” Federative Research Project (FRP) framework whose goal is to provide methods and tools to gasp the challenges of urban environments.

There are three main objectives within the “urban data” FRP:

  • – data acquisition techniques (teledetection, model reconstruction, on-site measurements, etc.);
  • – representation and processing of spatial information (storage, modeling, multiscale simulation: time + 3D);
  • – sharing geographical information.

ORBISGIS was built on top of free and open source libraries. It is distributed under a GPL 3 license (open source)3. ORBISGIS's goal is to be a federating tool, gathering within the research units of the IRSTV all the methods and processed data linked to geographical information, irrespective of the research field they come from (sociology, civil engineering, urban architecture, geography, economy, environment, etc.).

This chapter is divided into five sections in which we describe the background history of ORBISGIS (section 2.2), present its major functionalities (section 2.3), detail its architecture (section 2.4); present three use cases (section 2.5), and end by giving a few elements of information ...

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