In 2000 forest ministers of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments
initiated the development of Canada’s National Forest Information System (NFIS
Canada) to respond to national and international reporting commitments on
sustainable forest management.
The development and application of open source geospatial software has allowed NFIS
Canada to deploy a Canada wide Web-based Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant
Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). A suite of software, documentation, and training
material has been packaged together (SDI-in-a-Box) to allow for the easy deployment
of a SDI node. The “SDI-in-a-Box” solution encapsulates all necessary software to
publish and analyze geospatial and non-geospatial data over a secured
The SDI-in-a-Box meets the all the requirements set out by NFIS Canada. NFIS Canada
has adopted several key business models. These include: NFIS Canada (1) is based on
international standards, (2) is vendor neutral, (3) is minimize licensing costs, (4)
is minimize impact on partner business practices and (5) is supporting common
services delivered over a common interoperable distributed infrastructure.
SDI-in-a-Box (or NFIS-in-a-Box) is based on a Linux distribution commonly used in
the informatics sector. Within the software footprint are Web services key to the
SDI: Web Server (Apache), Java Web Container (Tomcat), OGC Web Mapping Server
(WMS), OGC Web Feature Server (WFS), OGC Web Coverage Server (WCS), GeoLinking Data
Access Service (GDAS), Distributed Access Control (DACS) and many other services.
Linux Virutal Server (LVS) and other High Availability (HA) software are also used
to insure the Web resources (SDI-in-a-Box footrpint) are made tolerant and highly
available over the NFIS Canada SDI.
SDI-in-a-Box (or NFIS-in-a-Box) has been deployed in 14 jurisdictions and government