Innovation Explore the world of Geo-information
  • Projects
  • Nov 2016

    Use Cases & Requirements for Spatial Data on the Web

    The OGC/W3C Working Group Spatial Data on the Web tries to improve possibilities of working with spatial data on the worldwide web. On the 25th of October 2016 the third and probably final version of the Use Cases & Requirements has been published by W3C, in collaboration with the OGC. This document, of which Geodan’s Frans Knibbe is editor, forms the basis of other results from the working group, such as the Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices.

  • Dec 2015

    OGC/W3C Spatial Data on the Web Working Group

    For the realisation of ideas like the Internet of Things, Big Data, Smart Environments and Smart Organisations, putting spatial data to work on the web is an essential requirement. To enable this, standards need to be improved, harmonized and clarified. This is the mission of the joint OGC/W3C Spatial Data on the Web Working Group. December 2015 saw the publication of the second public working draft of the Use Cases and Requirements. This document, of which Geodan employee Frans Knibbe is co-author, forms the foundation for further work in the group.

    Read the blog post ‘Spatial data on the Web: Why?’ by Frans Knibbe

  • Apr 2014

    Dynamic Holland Shading

    Dynamic Holland Shading

    Dynamic Holland Shading

    The National Height Model of the Netherlands (AHN) which has now been released enables the height differences in the Netherlands to be identified very precisely. Using the very latest web technologies, we have created a dynamic ‘hill-shading’ map, which depending on the time and the day, shows the position of the sun using shadows.

    By releasing the National Height Model of the Netherlands (AHN), the government wants to encourage the reuse of this data. The data are measured to help to manage the water in the Netherlands. However, the accuracy and the complete coverage of this data also means that it is attractive for all sorts of other uses, such as the dynamic ‘hill-shading’ map. This enables you to see which areas receive more or less sun based on the time of the day and the day in the year.

    What is it?

    The Dynamic Holland Shading uses techniques that are comparable to the AHN-viewer (in Dutch). By dividing the height data into small tiles and encrypting these in a particular way, the browser is able to calculate the gradient and direction. The angle of the sun is determined based on the day and the time. Then, using Web Workers a calculation is made in the background to work out the light intensity in that location (‘shadow’).

    Unique attributes

    The AHN is a very large data set which requires powerful computers to work with. By serving the data in small tiles to the browser, only the data being looked at by the user has to be processed. This enables dynamic visualisations to also be created, such as a hill-shading based on the time and date, but also dynamic classification of the height in order to properly map out small height differences.

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  • Mar 2014

    The National Height Model of the Netherlands as Open Data

    Since the 6th of March, the National Height Model of the Netherlands (AHN) has been freely accessible to everyone as Open Data. The AHN contains very accurate height data for the whole of the Netherlands and is used by the district water boards and the Department of Waterways and Public Works for water management. By making the AHN data freely available with no conditions attached, the government is encouraging the reuse of the available data.

    Read more about the practical implementation
  • Discover More


Geodesign brings various disciplines together and challenges the thinking in terms of how our space is used. It enables geographers, architects, planners and geo¬ICT specialists to work together during the design phase. Because, when designing a building, city, region or even the world, you want to clearly define the impact of each individual design on the regional development.

Not only does Geodesign provide surprising insights, it also provides tools and processes which can be used in regional developments that are on the agenda, including in the Netherlands. For example, being prepared for high water, but also laying new asphalt or the generation of renewable energy. Geodesign stems from the GIS, CAD and landscaping. In 2008, during a workshop on Spatial Concepts in GIS and Design and in 2010 during the first Geodesign summit, experts from these disciplines, including Carl Steinitz, held discussions that defined the Geodesign concept.

In 2013, the Geodesign Summit Europe was an important milestone in placing Geodesign on the map in the Netherlands. Once again this year – along with the VU University Amsterdam (VU) and Esri – Geodan is organising the Geodesign Summit Europe 2014. This time it will be held in Delft. On the 11th and 12th of September, various speakers from the Netherlands and abroad will share their vision of geodesign.

skyline_lichtjesSmart Cities

Expectations are that within 30 years 70% of the world population will live in cities. Growing urbanisation will entail numerous physical and social challenges. A way of looking at these challenges is by using the Smart Cities vision. In a Smart City, sensor networks, smart grids and analytical models will determine the urban layout. In a Smart City everything is interconnected.

Geodan is involved in various (international) research projects that are responding to the Smart City ideology. For example, Geodan is developing the CityBench Webtool,with which European cities can be compared to one another based on certain sustainability indicators. The Urban Green indicator project is also an example. The Urban Green Indicator can, for example, be used to make an objective comparison of the quality of life in various parts of a city and between cities.


Ideally, as far as possible, a Geographic Information System (GIS) represents reality. 3D-GIS describes the reality even more accurately than 2D-GIS. The use of 3D-GIS has really taken off during the past few years. Technologically a lot is possible using 3D-GIS, for example Smart Cities models can be generated increasingly more easily from 2D data based on standard software, the gathering of 3D spatial data is on an upward trend, as is the integration of multiple data sets into 3D GIS files. Geodan has many years of experience with 3D-GIS and is committed, along with its customers, to put 3D-GIS into practice and to take advantage of its benefits. As an example, you can read how 3D-GIS is used in the research projects ‘3D Roof detection and analysis from AHN2 (National Height Model of the Netherlands 2) and BAG (Basic Register of Addresses and Buildings)’ and ‘Tree Database’.

Linked DataLinked Data

The concept of Linked Data consists of a few simple rules for making raw data available on the World Wide Web (WWW). Linked Data is a solution for the problem of data silofication: data are often stored in isolated systems with their own rules, models and formats. When data from different sources can be related many beautiful things can happen, but the practice of silofication stands in the way of efficient utilization of data.

With Linked Data all data are contained in one system: the world wide web. All data (resources) are modelled using one data model: the Resource Description Framework (RDF). And all resources have their own HTTP URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), which acts as an identifier and access key at the same time. Through application of these principles all data in the whole world can be linked together and be used in the same way. In the new web of data that is being formed spatial data naturally play an important role. Not only do many data have a geographical component (either explicitly or implicitly), also spatial relationships can help in adding connectivity to data that are originally unrelated.

Geodan Research is investigating many aspects of Linked Data, like the development of shared semantics, publishing datasets and access and visualisation of data. We try to do our research as part of national and international communities, like the W3C, the OGC and the PLDN.