Amsterdam: In 2006 the twelve Dutch provinces shared open source GIS software called Flamingo to manage and view geographic maps. And soon they will publish a second tool, called CDS (Central Data and Service environment). The CDS will import geographic information from the provinces, validate it and then make the data available as a national data set.
According to an estimate, the twelve Dutch provinces have saved 4.5 million euro by working together and by using open source software solutions for their Geographic Information Systems since 2009. Earlier this year, the provinces created a foundation to support the Flamingo community. Next year, they”ll pursue a similar approach to CDS. By sharing its applications, the provinces aim to inspire public administrations to join them, explains Koen Rutten, one of the GIS-system administrators. He works for GBO Provincies, an IT service organisation set up by the twelve provinces. “Re-using software immediately saves costs. Similarly, when others pitch in, we share the burden for the tool”s further development and maintenance.” The provinces are busy combing all other tools that they developed in relation to the European spatial data rules (known as the INSPIRE Directive), as well as others, to check if there are efficiency gains to be made by re-use. Most of these are tools related to projects on environment and climate.