Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB

Environmental Information Systems


Environmental Information Systems (EIS) of today's characteristic must take into account the technical dependencies between environmental phenomena from different fields to assist the responsible experts and authorities in handling of complex and interdisciplinary questions. An example is the assessment of the groundwater situation in the context of industrial contamination.

In addition to the coordination effort on the purely technical level, this is also a challenge to the applied information and communication technology. Therefore it is essential to create an IT architecture which is most appropriate in terms of

  1. taking networking into account
  2. being open for future extensions,
  3. allowing economical further development and
  4. integrating existing databases and specialist systems.


Solution principle 

The Ministry of Environment (UM) in Baden-Wuerttemberg is promoting the development of Environmental Informations Systems since 1994 through the cooperative research and development project KEWA (Cooperative Development of economical applications for the Environment, Traffic and neighboring areas in new administrative structures). Since July 2011, the cooperative acts as the "MAF-UIS-cooperation" (Modern application-oriented research and development for environmental information systems "as part of the KoopUIS). The service oriented strategy developed in KEWA / MAF-UIS aims at the multiple use and reusability of components for technical information systems. As a practical application, this was implemented among others in the land-commune combound project WIBAS (information system of water, emission protection, soil, waste, health and safety).

Fraunhofer IOSB was commissioned from UM and the State Research Center for Environment, Measurements and Nature Protection (LUBW) to the conception and devel-opment of the WIBAS groundwater module in the programming language Java. Flexibility and expandability were one of the essential criteria for the IT concept besides the requirement to integrate KEWA / MAF UIS components into the subject application (eg, a database search system and a GIS tool). In addition to programmatic support for environmental business objects (eg persistence, uniqueness of the identifier, administrative information) the Java-Framework developed for WIBAS-applications includes the WIBAS service ‘address management’ and the ability of establishing a controlled linkage between administrative objects of different WIBAS modules via Java interfaces. 

Application fields

Possible fields of application are e. g. specialized applications in the context of environmental information systems. An example is the WIBAS-application of ‘groundwater’ GWDB which is successfully in use since 1999 in the LUBW, in the water directorates and in the urban districts and counties of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The application is based on the WIBAS framework.