The best of both worlds: Using open and closed source s/w to manage Transportation Networks and associated LRS

Gopi Kumarappan, Mike Huitson and Pano Voudouris

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Imagine having a leading-edge application that manages Transportation Networks. Every aspect is user configurable and it can deal with any type of network. You can define multiple linear referencing methods (LRM) that can be network-type specific or across all your network types. You can also define any type of asset or event and the users can locate or retrieve the location of these features.

Although the server-side "LRS engine" is going strong and getting more intelligent, the same cannot be said for the UI. Which it's a thick desktop client, on underlying technology you cannot control and looks dated.

This was the situation Bentley found itself in, a while back. The way we solved it, which is the subject of this presentation, was using a mixture of open and closed source components. The UI was moved to the web and the communication mechanism was re-written. Using Oracle Mapbuilder, map definition files were created and dynamically fed to MapServer to render the maps which were then displayed through an OpenLayers interface.

The end result, Assetwise ALIM LRS, is a living proof of the advantages of using this "best of breed" approach which benefits the end user from both a commercial and technical standpoint.