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Alterra Uses TatukGIS DK-VCL to Develop Biodiversity Information System

January 17, 2011

Alterra, an institute which is part of the Wageningen University & Research Centre, has developed information systems for the evaluation and management of biodiversity among plant species, vegetation types and landscapes. The software is used by students, policy makers, ecologists, and nature conservationists. These systems - called 'SynBioSys' – are up to now developed for the Netherlands, Europe, and South Africa (Kruger park en FynBos).

The most valuable part of the SynBioSys systems – all written in Delphi - is the GIS. While former versions of SynBioSys made use of Map Objects, the ‘discovery’ of the TatukGIS Developer Kernel has resulted in the GIS part of the systems becoming a lot more sophisticated (for a very modest price). As a matter of fact, some universities already have adopted the system to offer students a free and easy-to-use GIS. Most of the strengths of TatukGIS are already mentioned many times (fast rendering, no additional DLL’s, numerous supported formats, on-the-fly reprojection, transparency, anti-aliasing, spatial analysis, etc.), but two features are greatly appreciated by us, namely:
  1. support of WMS layers (first screen shot)
  2. map storage in SQLite databases (second screen shot)

SynBioSys Netherlands: Aerial photographs retrieved from a Web Mapping Service. (http://gdsc.nlr.nl/wms/dkln2006)


SynBioSys Fynbos (South Africa). The vegetation map of South Africa is stored in a SQLite database (easily imported from a shape file using the TatukGIS Editor). As such, the map can only be used within the SynBioSys system, which prevents the usage of the map data in other systems.

This article was contributed by DK licensed developer Stephan Hennekens with Alterra, Wageningen UR.