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Research Laboratory on Territorial IT Systems

One of the research groups in the Cremona Campus and the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione [Department of Electronics and IT] is SpatialDBGroup, which focuses on territorial IT systems (SIT) and is coordinated by Professor Giuseppe Pelegatti and by Jody Marca, an engineer who deals with activities in the Cremona area. The group's main research line is "GeoUML Methodology", which consists in a set of methodological solutions and tools for the construction and management of a territorial IT system based on the Modello GeoUML (this model was the subject of a number of publications in international journals). Working with CISIS (Centro Interregionale per i Sistemi Informatici, geografici e statistici [interregional centre for geographical, statistical and IT systems]) the group created the GeoUML catalogue software for the definition of the contents of topography databases.

The software was used to create the national catalogue of territorial data published on the DigitPA (former CNIPA) website, which defines the national requirements for geo-topographical DB content specifications. This topic was the subject of a course held in the Cremona Campus in September 2009, which many technicians from different regions attended. The special role of the Cremona Campus in this context is linked to the fact that the SIT office in the Municipality of Cremona has the technical skills that allowed this body to be the first to apply the GeoUML Methodology. The project was co-funded by DG Territorio e Urbanistica [Central Department of Territory and Urban Planning] of the Region of Lombardy. Another topic of general interest and the subject of a collaboration between SpatialDBGroup and the Municipality of Cremona is the interoperability between the Municipality and AEM [municipal energy company] for the integration of the information on underground technological networks in the municipal SIT. The problem of knowing about everything existing beneath the surface of the municipal area is considered crucial for many municipal management and planning processes.  

The collaboration between SpatialDBGroup and the Municipality of Cremona on the interoperability of data on structures and elements below ground began in 2005. It started as a request by DG Reti and Public Utility Services of the Region of Lombardy. With regard to GeoUML Methodology issues, the collaboration began in 2006 thanks to the creation of a research fellowship funded by the Municipality and the Province of Cremona.

The catalogue of territorial data and the new version of the GeoUML Model were recently published on the DigitPA website. The catalogue of territorial data is the document that defines the content specifications for geo-topographic DB in Italy. The definition of those contents was made by SpatialDBGroup with the help of CISIS.

With this tool, the document containing contents defined via interface can be generated automatically, effectively removing the introduction of errors and misalignment when drafting. The new Modello GeoUML version, laid out by SpatialDBGroup, defines the interpretation rules for content specifications inserted in the catalogue of territorial data.

The first experimentation for the definition and adoption of content specifications that comply with the ones approved for Italy is currently ongoing in the Territorial Systems office in the Municipality of Cremona.