I’m impressed with the analytical capability, the structured approach and the speed with which Danny Greefhorst from ArchiXL works. He always finds a way to quickly reach the heart of the issue. This, combined with a keen eye for service, makes for a very pleasant collaboration.
The Netherlands’ Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster) has spent two years developing a data platform that is making a wide range of geographical data accessible in line with internet standards.
“What started as a vague assignment with very little written down, has grown into an innovative project, thanks to the brainwork and support in the process by Danny Greefhorst,” explains Leo van der Sluijs.
As manager for the programme ‘Dutch Environment and Planning Act’, back in 2015 Van der Sluijs supported the need for Kadaster to contribute to digital requirements under the Act. The aim of the Digital System for the Environment and Planning Act is to make data regarding the living environment as available as possible to citizens, companies and government. But rather than simply making information sources available, the idea arose within Kadaster to use new technology to develop an intelligent system that could independently answer customers’ questions. “Back then, we didn’t know how we could realise this ambition.
My task for Danny Greefhorst was vague and came down to ‘come up with a creative solution’. Develop a project for us in which this is the goal,” says Van der Sluijs. ArchiXL began energetically by defining the scope of the question, defining the context, but also organising sessions with employees to take stock of the available knowledge and technology. After this inventory had been made, a technological roadmap was created and, by the end of 2015, the first experiments took place in a test environment.
Unique innovative project
Kadaster management was enthusiastic and agreed to the next step. In 2016 and 2017, the assignment was given a more project-based setup in which concrete business cases were defined for four periods of six months. Van der Sluijs: “ArchiXL mainly helped with the framework and defining the starting points for the architecture we needed. Together, we made the transition from the end-users’ requirements to the IT solution. This provided the basis on which our IT experts could start building the system.
At the end of 2017, the project team will transfer the final result to the people in the existing line organisation who will be responsible for managing it. We started out on an expedition into the unknown, and Danny Greefhorst was the person guiding us. He did a lot of brainwork and, together with others, enabled us to find the creative solution we needed. But his role as ambassador for the project within Kadaster has been just as important.”
Open data policy
Van der Sluijs is proud that Kadaster’s customers can use the possibilities of this new platform in combination with existing Dutch National SDI (PDOK) services. “Developers will soon be able to use our data easily in applications, and this technological innovation fits seamlessly within the open data policy of the Dutch government.”
Architecture for information centres
In the Digital System for the Environment and Planning Act, the government created an important role for the so-called information centres. They collect and coordinate information from various sources per sector. Kadaster is the proposed ‘host’ for the information centres Space and Construction. ArchiXL has already been asked to design the architecture for both centres. One of the ways in which Kadaster wants to use this architecture is to create a new way to make information regarding the land use plan available. Van der Sluijs explains they will be using the same technology they developed for the data platform. Kadaster is working together with other hosts under the new programme, including the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), which has also now deployed ArchiXL expertise. “Danny Greefhorst has produced a report about data quality that applies to all of the information centres. This document ensures that everyone in the entire chain of organisations involved with the new Act looks at data in the same way. He really deserves a huge compliment for this,” according to Van der Sluijs.
Kadaster collects and registers administrative and spatial data on property and the associated rights. It also offers tailored services and advice in the Netherlands and internationally. Through good provision of digital information, the organisation strives to optimise the availability of data on the living environment to a wide variety of customers.