The Singapore Land Authority Saves US$11.5 Million in Application Costs for 70 Government Agencies Through Geospatial Data Sharing
 
 

The Singapore Land Authority Saves US$11.5 Million in Application Costs for 70 Government Agencies Through Geospatial Data Sharing

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is a statutory board under Singapore’s Ministry of Law. SLA’s key business functions include managing government-owned land and buildings, land sales and leases, acquisitions, and allocations. The authority is the leading geospatial agency in Singapore, and it hosts the national geospatial information database.

Using Oracle’s internet, database, and middleware technologies, SLA developed GeoSpace, a portal that provides powerful integrated data and metadata searches for textual and spatial data. The portal enables more than 70 agencies in Singapore to discover, share, and analyze over 360 layers of geospatial data provided by 34 government departments, saving a total of US$9 million in application development costs and US$2.5 million in annual system maintenance costs.

 
The Need for Integrated Geospatial Data

A word from The Singapore Land Authority

  • “Without our GeoSpace portal, developed using Oracle solutions, 70 government agencies would need to spend a total of US$9 million on application development and US$2.5 million in annual maintenance to enjoy the data sharing capabilities and benefits that this portal offers.” – Chan Chin Wai, CIO, Singapore Land Authority

Government agencies, such as the Land Transport Authority, Urban Redevelopment Authority, and Health Promotion Board, rely on accurate, current geospatial data to allocate and manage land and provide the best possible amenities to the public. Between 2001 and early 2011, SLA used its land information exchange network (LandNet) system to share land data between departments.

Although LandNet served its purpose by providing Web-based access to a central repository of geospatial data, it lacked a fully functional service-oriented architecture (SOA), needed for the capability to decentralize access to Web-based data and metadata-based search and evaluation.

“For Singapore public agencies to make better decisions on planning, operations, and service delivery, we needed to enhance the geospatial information’s potential by linking and integrating geospatial and textual data from various sources,” said Ng Siau Yong, director, geospatial division, Singapore Land Authority. “This would allow it to be quickly discovered, evaluated, assessed, and analyzed by multiple government agencies.”

 
Realizing the Vision of Collaborative Government

 
Improving Service, Cutting Costs with Innovative Web Applications

 
Reducing Time and Effort Required to Share Relevant Data

 
Future Plans

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Eliminate duplication of geospatial data—such as maps, and documents that define geographic locations—and nongeospatial data, such as textual documents and images, across government agencies in Singapore
  • Unlock vast amounts of geospatial data by linking and integrating data from various government departments and other sources, so it can be discovered, evaluated, and assessed by multiple agencies
  • Enable 70 government agencies to share and analyze geospatial and nongeospatial data
  • Develop innovative Web-based applications that improve services that the government provides to Singaporeans

Solutions

  • Enabled 70 government agencies in Singapore to discover, share, and analyze more than 360 layers of geospatial data provided by 34 government departments
  • Saved government agencies a total of US$9 million in application development costs and US$2.5 million in annual maintenance costs, by deploying SOA to take advantage of reusable data
  • Enabled agencies to make changes to applications 30% faster than before due to GeoSpace’s robust SOA framework
  • Cut storage costs by 60% and eliminated data duplication, by implementing rules to ensure spatial information in GeoSpace is only created once and can be used multiple times
  • Ensured up-to-date geospatial information is always available for agency staff to analyze, by updating it daily rather than quarterly
  • Increased the number of government departments in Singapore providing online spatial and nonspatial information from 14 to 34, an increase of 142%
  • Encouraged 1,500 agency staff to use the portal by improving data sharing, compared to 363 staff sharing data before the solution was deployed
  • Reduced the cost of publishing and consuming geospatial data and nongeospatial data, and made it easier to share across multiple agencies, by using customized, integrated, Web-based geocoding and data-modeling tools
  • Improved productivity, served the Singaporean public more effectively, and enabled staff to make better informed decisions by developing richer and innovative Web services
  • Allowed different government officers to potentially collaborate and work more effectively by discussing common issues through online forums
  • Provided online and offline data modeling capabilities that could enable government officers to generate different views of geospatial data and integrate data from other sources

Why Oracle

The SLA’s initial LandNet solution was the first geospatial system in the world to use Oracle Database with Real Application Clusters, which enabled the agency to deploy a single Oracle Database across pools of servers to provide protection from unplanned server outages.

As GeoSpace potentially needed to serve hundreds of data services and thousands of tools and API services used by several agency applications, adequate monitoring, faster service response, and high service availability were critical to its success. SLA decided to remain with Oracle technologies as it could see Oracle Service Bus 11g offered the reliable infrastructure it required.

The authority then chose Oracle WebLogic Server 11g as a stable application that can quickly adapt to and support potential changes in GeoSpace. It chose Oracle WebCenter 11g, as it was imperative that GeoSpace was highly integrated with the rest of the architectural components but still provided social-media–style collaboration and portal features, such as real-time, map-based communication, discussion forums, and document sharing.

Implementation Process

SLA began the GeoSpace project in 2009. It completed the system design, development, and testing in December 2010 and successfully rolled out GeoSpace on April 1, 2011.

The implementation was completed on schedule and within budget.

Partner

SLA engaged Oracle Specialized Partner Mahindra Satyam to provide system integration, development, testing, maintenance, and operational services during the GeoSpace project.

SLA was happy with Mahindra Satyam’s services during the implementation, as the team met all the project’s needs and requirements. Mahindra Satyam continues to provide SLA with services for system enhancements, new applications, facility management, and helpdesk support and maintenance for GeoSpace.