Gemeente Overpelt (pop. 17,000) in Belgium has successfully implemented a custom GIS solution for multiple users built on the TatukGIS Editor for geographical administration of real estate property parcels and permitting procedures. The GIS solution is closely integrated with the Corsa Workflow document management system (DMS) which the Municipality uses to manage its permit registration and fulfillment process.
In 2012 Gemeente Overpelt contacted TatukGIS value added partner for the Benelux countries, SmallToGo, for guidance on adding GIS mapping features and functionality to its existing parcel permits registration management system. Because the entire permit registration and management process – including all documents, agendas sent to the city council, data exchanges with 3rd parties, etc. - is done in Corsa Workflow, a key requirement was the GIS had to be integrated with the existing Corsa Workflow DMS and work processes. A second key consideration was the budget limitation for the project. Due to budget and functionality considerations, Overpelt decided against a live database linkage between the GIS and Corsa Workflow, opting instead for a batch exchange-of-data solution using bi-directional export and import tools. Following a series of presentations of the TatukGIS Editor functionality and extensive customization possibilities, Overpelt engaged SmallToGo to deliver the project.
SmallToGo used the Editor’s built-in scripting environment with object API to develop a custom module (a scripted plug-in) named Vergunningen-Percelen menu (translates as Permits-Parcels menu) to fulfill the project requirements. Each night the script runs to prepare updated data from Corsa Workflow as CSV (comma-separated-value) files for import to the GIS. In this way, all recent changes (with a maximum one-day delay) are updated and reflected in several GIS layers. The GIS module stores administrative data in a SQLite database linked up with the geographical data. Despite the absence of a database linkage between the GIS and the Corsa document management system, users of the GIS have one-click access to documents in the Corsa Workflow system. This is achieved using links in the GIS to documents which automatically open the corresponding Corsa Workflow file.
Data exchange process between Corsa Workflow and the GIS.
In the opposite direction, the GIS exports data for selected parcels, including touching or nearby located objects identified by spatial query, to the Corsa Workflow DMS. This gives Corsa Workflow users access to geographical data not otherwise available in the Corsa system. The GIS tool generates Microsoft Word documents with bookmarks automatically understood by the Corsa DMS. The main bookmark is permit type, which triggers the correct workflow process in Corsa. The GIS can be configured by the municipality’s own administrators, such as to add additional map layers, etc.
Permits-Parcels module running in the TatukGIS Editor.
As Overpelt administrator, Jan Vermeulen, summarizes: "The result is high data quality and fast data exchange between Corsa and the GIS, enabling very effective use of our parcels and permits data. The TatukGIS Editor based custom solution fulfills the Municipality's requirements and, happily, the project was implemented on time and on budget.”
Automatic spatial query for nearby parcels touching the parcel of interest.