Historical aerial imagery covering half a century available for Switzerland via

The federal office of topography swisstopo of switzerland is making over 320'000 historical aerial images dating back to the 1920 available via . 160'000 of them are available in full resolution. The website is based on, the federal geoportal of the swiss confederation.





Local maps one year on from Kuwait

Bloggage update: Hard to believe it's over a year since I left Kuwait - so just out of curiosity I looked for web maps of the area again. Google and OpenStreetMap left a little to be desired in the geography, but Leaddog's Syria GIS Map is very impressive indeed. Then I turn to my old employ's map of a Kuwait University project. It's a full Kuwait Municipality map, with GIS and geodesign of the new university, but also the whole city complete with directions including barriers, which I haven't seen on Google or Bing maps!, the geoportal of the Swiss Condederation, accepts the «United Nations Public Service Award 2012»


The E-Government project «» has achieved the 2nd place in the 2012 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of “Advancing Knowledge Management in Government”. A Swiss delegation accepted the «United Nations Public Service Award 2012», in New York under the attendance of the President of the General Assembly, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and high-level government officials from around the world. has won the 2nd place in the 2012 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of “Advancing Knowledge Management in Government”. With its outstanding services as a public platform for geographical information, data and services it is of great use for the citizen in daily life.’s outstanding achievement has demonstrated excellence in serving the public interest and has made a significant contribution to the improvement of public administration in Switzerland. It serves as an inspiration and encouragement for others working for public service.

Most prestigious international recognition

The United Nations Public Service Awards is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. The award was accepted in New York on the 25th of June 2012 under  attendance of highest international UN members by a Swiss delegation, consisting of members of swisstopo, the Federal Geoinformation-center and E-Government Switzerland.

Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.

A priorized project of eGovernment Switzerland is a high priority project of the Swiss eGovernment program. The goal of eGovernment is to enable both businesses and  citizens to carry out important transactions with the authorities electronically. The authorities in turn are called upon to modernize their business processes and communicate electronically with each other. The exchange of geodata is fostered by in a significant way.


Pictures under:
news20120626.html in short (video):

United Nations Public Service Awards:

Simple Feature or Full Feature Specification for OGC?

My latest blog post addresses:

  • some of the issues in direct read/write to spatial databases
  • confusion that arises from competing user and vendor needs
  • an attempt to clarify  from a standards & metadata perspective

Friday Geonews: ESRI's Open Source Geoportal Server, Yahoo Local Offers, REST Explained Again, MapQuest My Maps, and much more

Here's the weekly batch of geonews, finally on a regular Friday.

On the ESRI front:

  • Recently, ESRI open sourced the ESRI Geoportal Server. Some twitter users were quick to mention that you still need ArcGIS Server software to use the Geoportal Server. [UPDATE: see comments below, it seems such a license is not a requirement after all.] To me, that's still a nice step. Their definition of a geoportal: "A geoportal is a gateway to Web-based geospatial resources, enabling users to discover, view and access geospatial information and services made available by their providing organizations. Likewise, data providers can use the geoportal to make their geospatial resources discoverable, viewable, and accessible to others."
  • The popular blog SpatiallyAdjusted shares some elements that could be improved about the ArcGIS 10 user interface

On the open source front:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

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