Spectrum Spatial (SSA/LIM)

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How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

  • 1.  How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Posted 04-07-2019 19:42
    I am interested to hear how others have organised data for use in SSA in their Spectrum repository.

    I am finding that as I add more and more maps for use in SSA the current structure of our repository is becoming difficult to manage.  I am particularly interested in how organisations with large amounts of layers are keeping everything organised.

    Thanks

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    Ben Stephenson
    IT/GIS Officer
    Corangamite Shire Council
    Camperdown
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  • 2.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Posted 04-08-2019 23:53
    Hi Ben,

    Right from the start I realised the importance of managing the repository effectively, just like with folder structures and database objects.  It's much easier to organise things properly right from at the start, rather than to undergo a clean-up down the track!  In the repository, I try to use folder names that match the main GIS folders in Windows Explorer.

    I then use sub-folders - one for each SSA Map (where each SSA Map corresponds to a MapInfo workspace).  Each Map/MapInfo Workspace also has a prefix, so they can be grouped together and found more easily in SSA Project Manager.

    Using one sub-folder per MapInfo workspace helps when there are issues and you need to delete and reload.

    Here for example is what has been set up at one client site.  The "MapBase" folder might alternatively be called "Property":

    Spatial Manager Folder Structure

    In Project Settings - Manage Layers (indicating the importance of prefixes):
    Project Settings

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    James Nolet
    Dooley Mitchell & Morrison Pty Ltd
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  • 3.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Posted 04-10-2019 21:48
    I tend to use a similar strategy to James, I hadn't thought of creating a separate folder for each map but I try and keep each sub-folder to two or three related maps.  I find that prefixing is an absolute must as it will make it much easier to find the map you want when adding them to SSA.


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    Duri Bradshaw
    Spatial IT Consultant
    Insight GIS
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  • 4.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 04-09-2019 00:26
    ​I am very interested in this. Our repository is designed around the idea of end user organization. I have seen quite a bit of flat ones like 1500 resources in one folder.
    I will watch this discussion and hope others do too.  the key, to me, is something that is memorable. If you can't remember any of the folder or resource names, it seems something is wrong.  But I will watch what goes on here.

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    Eric Blasenheim
    Spectrum Spatial Technical Product Manager
    Troy, NY
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  • 5.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Posted 06-14-2019 05:29
    Hi there,
    We are facing exactly the same challenge after upgrading to the latest SSA2018.2. In our previous setup everything was put under 5 default folders (NamedLayers, NamedMaps, NamedStyles, NamedTables & NamedTiles):

    SSA Old folder schema
    Now, with the new version, the schema has changed and a new folder is created for each map, containing all resources inside.

    This is a great concern for us because we're dealing with hundreds of workspaces and thousands of tables and we want to keep them as organized as possible. Now we have a huge repository structured in the old manner and new maps being added in the new structure, which of course is not the ideal solution.

    I do believe that using prefixes is a good advice. I'll keep an eye at this thread and look forward on hearing from other users to get the best solution as possible.

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    Miquel Roy Sunyer
    Kirklees Council
    HUDDERSFIELD
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  • 6.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 07-02-2019 18:20
    This could be a really good discussion but I ​am not sure how to do this best. I would be open to an actual call or some way to improve the interactivity.
    Let me throw out my perspective.
    Keeping tables and maps organized is a goal that everyone agrees with and we see the spatial repository as a start in centralizing this information. That means that how this is organized is very important and we want to allow you, the administrator to organize things the way you see it.

    That said, separating all the information by "type", named tables, layers, maps ....., seems a bit arbitrary to me. Also the names "NamedMaps" were never expected to be a user facing name.   It also makes it more difficult to provide access control. Folders are easier to manage.
     Organizing things by "project" with even sub-projects is available to you today. We are expanding the abilities of the "sub-admin" to allow delegation of responsibilities as well.  Providing a folder for a sub-admin to manage is an obvious start.

    Note that things are not as different as perhaps you think.
    If you want, you can have a folder called NamedMaps (or just maps or anything else) and all your maps will be put there from the Map Uploader, assuming you choose that. The last location is always remembered.   So that would be the same.

    The named tables do default to the same folder as the map when it creates a new one. . However, the uploader does find Named Tables wherever they live. So one could, if you wanted move all your named tables  to a NamedTables folder and the uploader should always find them. You can also bulk configure tables in the repository before you upload maps and the uploader will find them. You can have them in project folders, in a combination of project and shared folders or in one folder if that is what makes sense to you.

    Layers are a bit trickier. Having subfolders is not perfect. It serves the purpose of allowing descriptive names (the layer name from Pro or any name you choose) without long and hard to remember names (mapname_layer_table/layer) without name collisions and reducing the chance of overwriting layers used by other maps.
    This is an area we should improve in my opinion but it is tricky.  Sharing named tables (the same table used in multiple maps) is a fairly simple concept. But layers have so many properties (zoom levels, thematics, styles) which  makes it tricky. One would not want to upload a map or update a map and have the layers change from other maps without warning. . So reusing named layers is still a difficult thing to do automatically. Note that you can do it manually in Spatial Manager.

    The older tool solved this problem by the very long name mentioned above. We took the tactic of letting those layers keep their friendly names from Pro but to preserve their integrity, we put them in subfolders.  Analyst now lets you pick layers to having those friendly names is a plus, I think.
    We are certainly open to discussions on this topic.
    Also in case you are not aware,  Spatial Manager can be used to reorganize the repository elements after the upload.  It makes sure that references are updated so that things don't break. So you can move and rename named elements safely in Spatial Manager.
    Anyone interested in this topic?  We could organize an ideas session.





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    Eric Blasenheim
    Spectrum Spatial Technical Product Manager
    Troy, NY
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  • 7.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Posted 07-03-2019 21:20
    I have used a structure as per attachment which is same as some others have done basically, I have recently altered it to this structure to make it more manageable I have also started to match the folder structure on the GIS file storage area the same for the same reason make it easier to manage. Welcome any other ideas too the easier it is the understand and manage the better. Has anyone ever done a model of the GIS system for documentation purposes , if not, have you documented the system, if so what did you use and how did you do it.

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    Russell Ferguson
    Ararat Rural City Council
    Ararat
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  • 8.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 07-08-2019 04:27
    Edited by Monica Di Martino 07-08-2019 04:32
    Hi All,

    this is a very interesting discussion. From my experiences with  creating demos and solutions for partners and customers I think the main targets are
    - to find easily the Named sources, when there are many Administrators and Sub-Administrators
    - to find easily the Named Maps uploaded by MI Pro using the Spatial Map Uploader tool, and to recognize them from MI Pro
    - to no upload or create many times the same data table from MI Pro, Spatial Database, Shape file in SSM
    - to no replicate the same Named sources in SSM
    - to re-use the same Named sources in different  Named Maps in SSM
    - to re-use the same Named Maps in different maps Projects in SSA
    - to recognize Views
    ...

    What can we do? I would say using:
    -  a name suffix for each Admin and Sub-Admin, for myself it would be MDM
    -   the map Project name for each folder in SSM
    - the Country suffix in the Main Folders - like UK, ITA...
    - Named Maps names with the same name of the Map Windows of MI Pro - so we can recognize easily them in MI Pro and SSM
    - Named Tables of data in a single folder - with sub-folder - and not in each SSM folder or Map Projects folders, so we can re-use the same data in different map Projects. This helps also us to understand where is the table to upload when we use the Spatial Map Uploader
    - use always different names
    - use Views as suffix
    - write descriptions where it is possible

    As Eric wrote, we can use Spatial Manager SSM to re-organize the repository elements.
    "Spatial Manager can be used to reorganize the repository elements after the upload.  It makes sure that references are updated so that things don't break. So you can move and rename named elements safely in Spatial Manager.
    Anyone interested in this topic?  We could organize an ideas session."
    I would like to join this session - or we can prepare a presentation and a demo, and then a discussion on this. @Eric Blasenheim

    Do you agree with me? What might we add to this list?

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    Monica Di Martino
    EMEA LI/GIS Presales Engineer
    Pitney Bowes
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  • 9.  RE: How have you structured the data in the Spectrum repository?

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 07-09-2019 15:33
    I would just add that in regard to Tables, the uploader searches for Named Tables throughout the repository to minimize duplicates. If currently uses the name of the TAB or SHP or database table to "match" but outside of that, putting all the tables in one folder does not help find them.  The repository is indexed to help find them pretty quickly.

    The only exception to this is that when you fix or update an existing map by overwriting it, we try and reuse everything from the old map.

    For example, if an existing map had a layer that used tables in /Proj1/Table1 ​ and your map was in /Proj2 and there were tables in Proj2 of the same name, the uploader would not look for them there. If the table in /Proj1 was the right one.  it would continue to use that one.

    Overwriting a map uses this special logic to try and ensure that only changed things are changed.  It rewrites the styles/themes into the layer and re-creates the map with the latest layers and ordering but only looks for new tables when there is a need for one.

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    Eric Blasenheim
    Spectrum Spatial Technical Product Manager
    Troy, NY
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