The Knowledgebase Project

    An ‘interoperable’ web based portal for sharing spatial information and data relating to risk landscapes, to inform and improve fire and emergency management planning decisions. 

    This stakeholder led project is an Integrated Fire Management Planning (IFMP) initiative, administered by the Barwon South West Regional Strategic Fire Management Planning Committee on behalf of the Victorian State Fire Management Planning Committee. 

    This two-year collaborative project utilises existing data plus open source data overlayed on asset landscapes, in order to better understand risk and consequences across the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery spectrum.

    Fire and Emergency Management Planning Committees, government departments, utility providers, water authorities, businesses and the broader community alike, require timely access to relevant, current spatial information and linked documents, for better informed decision making and integrated plan development. To support the development of Knowledgebase for this purpose, the State provided funding of $248,000.00 plus there have been significant in-kind contributions from a range of stakeholder and partner organisations. 

    The knowledgebase portal utilises new technologies and innovative research to explore and expand datasets plus build features such as secure member login, printable maps and community crowd sourcing capabilities. It also utilises single source publishing technology to produce regional and municipal fire management plans.

    The major focus of the knowledgebase project is Interoperability as the key component of the web portal developed by UB researchers and their collaborators, empowering data managers and the broader community to share their data in the same virtual space without losing custodianship of their data and ownership of their purpose.  The Knowledgebase enables the federation of spatial data stored in databases with disparate schemas that are stored on disparate systems. 

    The use of open standards and interoperable technologies is the key feature of the system, built around open source software including Mapserver and Geoserver and the key principles of design are:

    • data custodians retain management of their data;
    • the web-GIS and its applications are intuitive to use;
    • spatial data is interoperable and discoverable by other interoperable systems;
    • spatial data links to images, reports, original documents;
    • end-users can add, edit or update data (subject to permissions and quality control); and
    • end-users can download data (subject to data manager's consent).

    The main objective is to allow all stakeholders easy access to the most current data needed to sustainably improve risk management decision making.