Comparing GeoPortal vs. Build From Scratch


A GeoPortal implementation saves time, money and effort.  Here's why::


Leverage GeoPortal


Building Your Own

Web mapping software built in.   Buy software and annual maintenance.
Easy to learn   Training / specialist required for GIS
Business database software included (Oracle / SQL Server)   Need to acquire, maintain business database software.
Solution hosting and management included in subscription - includes network, O/S software, hardware.   Hosting web GIS software is specialized and can be expensive. May need to acquire and manage hardware and O/S software.
Desktop GIS access direct to the server.   Direct access may not be permitted - therefore requires duplication and copying of data.
Data updating - various ETL processes already in place.   Design / create updating rules and processes.
GeoPortal is secure.   Need to build security into the application.
User account creation and management provides access rights, passwords and definition of what users have access to.   User account management would need to be created and appropriate rule-based processes put in place.
Backups and logs are automated and in place.   Backups and logs need to be defined.
Client support through an online system with feedback.   Client support KPAs and procedures would need to be established

Content and Functionality

Google Maps base (with imagery and terrain) included   If desired, would need to acquire Google or Bing and develop the ability to integrate it with client map layers.
Google imagery integrated with LIO / MNR imagery   Incorporating imagery is expensive.
Document management - add, update, manage folders and files.   Few solutions offer document management.  Would need to be built.
Business data reporting.  Query, report, map the results, export to Excel, inport your own data.   Requires specialized system - often not generic, so each new database would need to be re-developed.
Geo-code tabular data.   Geocoding requires a specialized service and can be expensive.

Generic map viewer with multiple functions. 

  Geographic viewers available but need modification / programming to interact with documents and data.
"Topic" concept enables content to be managed and published in logical groupings with separate security   Would need to be built if you want multiple ways to view some of the same data with other data.
Map-enable business applications to edit / manage spatial data. Readily available.   Mapping capability would need to be built in to each application that needs it.
Some Ontario content - including Land Information Ontario, Ontario parcel, admin boundaries, IO's property mapping, and more (availability subject to license arrangements)   Would need to incorporate the data on your own.  May require license arrangements.
Can incorporate web services.  e.g. Teranet (subject to license).    Incoporation of web services can take time and money.

Ease of Implementation

Timing: 3 months or less.  Fewer architecture and data decisions means more time and effort to work on the data, which is the most important aspect of any system.   Timing: few IT / GIS projects can be completed in less than 12 months, particularly if the vendor or underlying technology is not obvious.
Acquire services through Infrastructure Ontario (Ontario government) using a government to government MOU already in place.  Vendor relationship established with SKE Inc. through provincial RFP.   Acquire services through RFP and vendor selection process. 
Municipal GeoPortal is a service offered by Infrastructure Ontario and SKE Inc. footer