Work Native Vegetation Information Management system (NVIM)

An online tool that allows Victorian landholders to generate an on-the-spot biodiversity assessment report.

nvim

The NVIM system is in operation and significantly reducing red tape for landholders.

 

Self service

A biodiversity assessment report is required when submitting a permit for the removal of native vegetation. The system is managed by the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI).

Previously no “self service” option was available to aid in generating an assessment report, hence landholders were usually required to engage both external consultants and DEPI to complete the compliance process.

In order to assess existing native vegetation conditions, DEPI required the ability for a member of the public to mark clearing areas on an interactive map. It was also necessary for the map to display contextual information in the form of background layers, including aerial photography and vegetation condition.

We were engaged as part of the NVIM project team to provide expertise in spatial data management, web mapping application development, advanced geoprocessing and automated GIS web service deployment.

Responsive data visualisation

The NVIM map display makes use of the ESRI Javascript API to provide a responsive (cross browser) data visualisation and editing experience. The map display was built using modern Javascript libraries, including Angular.JS as the web application framework, and the open source Jasmine unit testing platform.

Significant design effort was undertaken to ensure the complex task of creating spatial data could be completed easily by members of the public without the need for training. Cartography on the map display was developed to meet government accessibility guidelines.

Automated Deployment

It was a requirement of the project that the GIS code, data and services support full automated build and deployment.

This was to allow development and testing to occur in multiple environments, and to support final production deployment to the Telstra cloud. Geoprocessing scripts were developed to automatically extract and process spatial data, build map service definitions and deploy both data and services to a destination server.

Server side

To support both the NVIM map display, and other pages on the NVIM site, a series of geo-processing services were developed using ESRI ArcGIS Server.

These services perform calculations on the areas marked by a user to determine the location risk (class of vegetation present), in turn helping determine the administrative pathway an applicant must follow when submitting their application.

Due to the statewide nature of the datasets, and hence their large size, a range of optimisation techniques were employed to ensure the results of calculations could be returned in a matter of seconds.

Result

The NVIM system is in operation and significantly reducing red tape for landholders. The system is also helping protect important native vegetation by providing an improved ability for the public to identify those areas of medium and high vegetation significance.

We played a critical role in the project by providing a combination of expert GIS and software engineering skills to the collaborative multi-disciplinary project team that delivered the work.