BLOG: First international Masterportal Replication Workshop with Bradford, Ghent and Gothenburg

25 November 2020 - Published by SCORE comms
Stakeholders in cities have different, but also numerous overlapping, requirements for their webmapping applications. We here discuss a new solution – the Masterportal, a modular open source toolbox supporting OGC APIs. The Masterportal is now being internationalised and replicated within SCORE.

The Masterportal (Open Source Geoportal, https://www.masterportal.org/), first developed by the Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying in Hamburg, has now a growing developing community of German-speaking cities and municipalities (e.g.: Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt a.M.) and it is used by even more. With Masterportal functionalities, spatial content and styles can be reused and errors can be eliminated centrally. The source code of the Masterportal is published under MIT licence (https://bitbucket.org/geowerkstatt-hamburg/masterportal/src/dev/). With an implementation community of 29 partners (November 2020) the software is becoming known and more and more popular.

As also non-German-speaking cities show increasing interest in the software, a multilingual frontend and documentation are required. Therefore, the code has been adapted, so that languages can be added easily via variables and language files. In a nutshell: each function, e.g. for the command “print”, is assigned to a variable which accesses different language files with translation (see figure 1). With this method, it is simple to change between the selected languages.

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Figure 1: Internationalisation of the Masterportal with the i18next framework (Source: LGV)

The City of Hamburg (Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying, LGV) and its IT provider Dataport invited the SCORE Cities to be part of a Masterportal Hackathon to create a simple Masterportal on the participants' server. As the documentation for the Masterportal is currently still being translated to into English, the workshop was the easiest way to showcase the replication.

Before the workshop, the cities were asked to check with the system administrator whether the server fulfils all requirements. The few requirements for a successful implementation are internet access, a web server (e.g. Apache webserver) and geo-services (e.g. WMS/WFS).

Nicholas Schliffke (Dataport) led the participants through the typical first steps to successfully implement their own Masterportal. In the workshop, he explained the code-architecture (see figure 2) and showed how to add new services as well as how to configure the Masterportal and the GUI.

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Figure 2: Code Architecture of the Masterportal (source: LGV)

Within this framework, Nico also explained the idea of internationalising the Masterportal and how to implement new languages. Ghent took this as a challenge and immediately started adding a Dutch translation (see figure 3).

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 Figure 3: Ghent's result with a Dutch tool name added (source: Ghent)

Bradford and Ghent had a running Masterportal implemented within about two hours. (see figure 4). Besides exemplary data, both cities were also able to add their own services. Gothenburg was following the process and is planning to create a pilot in the future.

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 Figure 4: Bradfords Masterportal result (source: Bradford)

Whether or not the cities will identify use cases for a sustainable implementation of a Masterportal is open. Regardless, we (Dataport and the Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying) enjoyed the workshop and are happy about great feedback:

“I was expecting to do a lot more configuration, a lot more, very deep technical things and I think that’s a credit to yourself about how easy you’ve made this to be able to make the changes, etcetera” Adrian from Bradford

“…this has been a really quick way, an easy way to get started with it.” Jef from Ghent

“…it doesn’t have to be all this technical, but I loved the method that we did today, that somebody who has done it, takes you on a journey, and looks at your implementation methods.” Kim from Gothenburg

We at LGV are delighted to see that this Hamburg-born OpenSource software is now also being piloted in other European hubs! Thanks to all participants for their time and will to run this test replication with us.