Exploiting the Potential of Environmental Information Systems for Risk, Crisis and Environmental Management Applications
Traditionally, Environmental Information Systems (EIS) allow the user to store, query and process environmental information and visualize it in thematic maps, diagrams and reports. However, there is a trend that, beyond their fundamental role in the monitoring and assessment of the environmental situation, EIS are increasingly used in practice to support higher-level management tasks. Examples of this next step are management systems to accompany environmental measures (e. g. planning and operation of flood retention areas), applications to assess environmental and technological risks as well as emergency and crisis management systems. This paper discusses this trend from the design and architectural perspective. It describes how EIS software architectures have been adapted to changing demands concerning the integration of thematic domains, the distribution to user communities and the functional enhancements. Furthermore, recognizing the established paradigm of service-orientation, it argues for using a service-oriented analysis and design methodology and presents the SERVUS methodology. The paper concludes with an outlook how the design of EIS may be influenced by using generic and environmental enablers of the Future Internet.