Geographic Information System for the administration of Volgograd region

Autonomous spatial data infrastructure for a regional authorities

NextGIS together with Center for information technologies of Volgograd region (CIT VR) has developed the Spatial Data Infrastructure for Volgograd region (VR SDI). The goal of VR SDI is to provide operational access to regional spatial data to its users including access from external information systems.

The rationale for VR SDI development is the need to provide a uniform spatial data framework used by branches of the local government. The system is supposed to be fully autonomous, even when there is no internet access, VR SDI continues to provide full access to spatial data and all services continue to work.

Initially VR SDI was started on ESRI software. In 2020 it was fully migrated to the NextGIS platform.

Stages of implementation and system architecture

VR SDI is under continued development since 2019. The main development phases, each is one year long, are the following:

Phase 1 – prototype

  • create a prototype with basic functionality;
  • functional testing;
  • integration testing with adjacent information systems;
  • testing of data ingestion techniques;
  • training.

Phase 2 – full deployment

  • develop a full scale information system based on a prototype;
  • deploy VR SDI on a target server infrastructure;
  • implement information security measures;
  • system certification for security requirements, documentation;
  • adding production data;
  • official system exploitation starts.

Phase 3 – support and development

  • add autonomous cartography based on NextGIS Basemap;
  • process and publish regional mapping data (full reprocessing of regional authority data).

System parts

Whole VR SDI is based on NextGIS technologies and consists of four main components:

  • server GIS with additional expansion plugins;
  • desktop GIS;
  • geoportal of Volgograd region;
  • autonomous basemap service.

Server GIS

Server GIS (Web GIS) is implemented on top of NextGIS Web. Its main purpose is storage and publication of spatial data and creation of Web maps. It also supports:

  • flexible access management for spatial data, Web maps and all other resources;
  • creation of unlimited number of Web maps with different layers and layer styles;
  • web map setup, including layers list, starting extend, bookmarks;
  • reading, display and editing of spatial data from the external PostgreSQL database with PostGIS extension;
  • creation of publicly accessible (no authorization) Web maps.

NextGIS Web supports all common geospatial formats: ESRI Shape, GeoPackage, GeoJSON, GeoTIFF and many others. It is possible to import a set up project from a desktop GIS preserving all styles. When a project is published it is turned into an interactive Web map. It is possible to export data from Web GIS in GeoPackage, GeoJSON, CSV, ESRI Shape.

Data uploaded to Web GIS can be served to data users as TMS, WMS or WFS. This makes possible integration with adjacent information systems that understand these protocols. WFS-T is also supported for data editing. An additional integration method is the well developed REST API.

All Web GIS graphical interfaces are accessible via common web-browsers, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and others.

Desktop GIS

NextGIS QGIS – a desktop application to create and process large amounts of spatial data. We use it to prepare data before uploading it to Web GIS.

NextGIS QGIS can:

  • create point, line and polygonal objects, edit their geometries and attributes;
  • import spatial data from common formats as well as CSV and XLS files;
  • process spatial data (preview, convert, cleanup and query);
  • work with different coordinate systems, projections, measurements;
  • run intersection, union, buffer and other geoprocessing tasks;
  • connect to external databases, WMS/WFS services;
  • import and export layers and whole projects maintaining styles.

NextGIS QGIS has rich functionality to visualize spatial data based on attributes and types of data. Layouts are used to prepare data for printing or export as an image or a document. One can add a scale bare, north arrow, legend and coordinate grid.

Web maps and geoportal

The geoportal is used to show graphical and tabular information of spatial data using Web maps and services.  Geoportal is main access point for regional spatial data prepared as maps. The start page of the geoportal is a grid of available Web maps with some description. Maps and descriptions are automatically drawn from the server.

Web maps are a common instrument that can be used to:

  • explore data layers;
  • navigate around the map by panning, zooming, rotating;
  • identify objects on the map;
  • see table of attributes;
  • measure lengths and areas, get objects coordinates;
  • search objects.

It is possible to embed created Web maps into websites using iframes.

At the moment the following maps are created and accessible via geoportal for regional administration teams:

  • Highway atlas;
  • Land plots;
  • Electronic atlas of Volgograd region:
    • houses to reconstruct;
    • state services;
    • hospitals and schools;
    • state arthritis locations;
    • transportation;
    • locations of culture organizations;
    • locations of youth organizations;
    • locations of media organizations;
    • locations of social care organizations;
    • locations of sports organizations;
  • Telecom:
    • network coverage for regional settlements;
    • mobile network coverage;
    • television and radio infrastructure;
  • Базовые карты (подложки).

Autonomous basemap

To ensure uninterrupted functioning of the system in intranet (no internet access) we use NextGIS Basemap. NextGIS Basemap uses OpenStreetMap that are stored completely locally and updates with given time interval.

Even if the internet access is cut off the system will continue to be fully functioning in the administrator’s local network (intranet).

Regional map import

OpenStreetMap is great resource of open data, but it doesn’t always meet the requirements of the users. Because of that CIT VR has additionally provided a database for official maps of 1:10 000 and 1:50 000 scale.

To upload it to the server additional processing steps were performed:

  • data structure and layers list were developed to conform to more modern ways of storing spatial data;
  • conversion to GeoPackage;
  • styling for NextGIS QGIS and NextGIS Web;
  • adding field aliases for the content for more convenient use.

Prepare data were uploaded to the server along side as a alternative basemap. As a result, system users now have a choice to use official basemap or OpenStreetMap.

Integration with other systems

VR SDI is the base information system to provide spatial data for state run information systems used in state authorities and subsidiaries. The whole information system is run in the intranet of the Volgograd administration network.

Using spatial services geographic data stored in VR SDI are provided to a number of state information systems, such as:

  • Emergency response system (112);
  • State building construction management system;
  • Situational awareness system for the State governor;
  • State agricultural monitoring system;
  • and others.

User’s data

VR SDI not only provides spatial data and services to its users, but it also collects information to update critical data layers. Emergency response (112 system) relies on timely information provided by the system.

All committees of Volgograd region administration are providing CIT VR with their datasets to be included in VR SDI and put on Web maps. Typically this is done using Excel or KML files, but more and more branches are directly connecting to the database to edit their data themselves.


The development of РSpatial Data Infrastructure for Volgograd region project based on NextGIS allows the region to deploy a modern technological platform to work with spatial data. Modular system ensures it’s high adaptability and ability to grow based on growing use and demand.

NextGIS offers mature software solution working under any conditions. Software products by NextGIS together with autonomous basemaps provide protected independent infrastructure made sure to work with no interruptions.

Work to develop VR SDI continues and the system gets all NextGIS upgrades together with official support and maintenance.

Let us know if you need to start with spatial data infrastructure in your region.




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