The Spatial Hub is built using predominantly open source technology and software. It has been designed to be scalable i.e. incorporate new requirements and more data, and improved as technology and innovation allows. A fundamental requirement was to help meet organisation's EU INSPIRE Directive obligations and commitments (which are written into Scottish law). The Spatial Hub incorporates a dynamic connection to the Scottish Spatial Data Infrastructure, which meets INSPIRE's metadata discovery component. Essentially, this just means that anyone can easily find details about the Spatial Hub datasets over the internet. The other key aspect of the Spatial Hub is the way that it enables the sharing of data over the internet using web services (or APIs - Application Programming Interfaces). Again, this meets INSPIRE's view and download requirements.
- A Web Map Service provides data in the form of an image over the internet. It cannot be used for inetractive or analytical purposes. It is supplied as an internet URL but can only be used within GIS software or a web application (i.e. not through an internet browser). Very basic data attribution transfers can be made through a WMS i.e. click on an image and get info about it. Therefore, it isn't as useful to a data users as a WFS, though it will normally render far faster (useful for web maps). Multiple data layers can be provided within the same WMS - which is what we do for some of our datasets that comprise more than one layer (e.g. school catchments).
- A Web Feature Service provides full dataset access over the internet. It is supplied as an internet URL but can only be used within GIS software or a web application (i.e. not through an internet browser). Unlike a WMS, a WFS provides all geometry and data attribution to a data user's application. Therefore it can take longer to render the data.
The Spatial Hub provides access to web services with authorisation keys (apart from Open Government licenced datasets, which are totally open). Each PSGA organisation has their own unique key.
Local authority data custodians and providers, who have a responsibility for regularly uploading data to the Spatial Hub, require login credentials (user name and password) to access the UPLOAD DATA pages. Once logged in they should have access to any dataset that they are required to add data to.
Details about how to upload data to the Spatial Hub or use Spatial Hub web services are provided in the videos below.