Unlocking Geospatial Insights with an Open Source Framework

A more efficient way to create geospatial applications

Unlocking Geospatial Insights with an Open Source Framework

Story Snapshot

A major agriculture company wanted to reduce costs, increase flexibility, and create efficiencies by using open source technology to create geospatial mapping applications, but needed a framework to standardize across the organization.

Key Services

  • Geospatial development
  • Web development
  • Open source development


  • Reduced development onboarding from 6-8 sprints to just one
  • Lowered cost of ownership of applications
  • Empowered geospatial decision making and accessibility across the organization
  • Enabled flexibility with open source tools to scale and add functionality as needed

The Challenge: Manual Creation of Geospatial Applications

Even for companies that have teams dedicated to using data to optimize operations, ensuring you can do so in a cost and time-effective manner is a significant challenge. A major agriculture company struggled to make use of its geospatial data.

This organization wanted to move to an open source solution, recognizing that it would be cheaper and provide greater flexibility for their teams. They had a solution to collect and store their geospatial data; however, they didn’t have a way to create front-end applications that take geospatial data and render it visually in an efficient manner. Current efforts to create applications were taking 12 to 16 weeks to produce generic geospatial data applications.

The Solution: An Open Source Framework to Create Standardization

The client worked with us to create a framework for building front-end geospatial applications, the Velocity Mapping Framework. This open source geospatial mapping framework, built in React, was created to make it easier to set up mapping applications using OpenLayers, an open source JavaScript library for displaying dynamic maps.

The framework minimizes redundancy in creating functionalities and standardizes both the design language and workflows across the applications. This makes the process exponentially faster, providing a template for all development teams across the business to build their own geospatial applications.

Our Process: Human-Centered Design Agile

By leveraging our HCDAgile process, we worked to understand the needs across the business and develop a framework that helped several different development teams and applications across a matrixed organization. We collaborated closely with the teams to understand how they operated and what was needed to empower them to work more efficiently.

Additionally, we also worked with users across the organization to understand their needs for the front-end applications and developed many intuitive components that allowed them to answer their questions quickly and effectively.

The Outcomes: Greater Efficiency For All

Thousands of users across this global organization now use the open source geospatial framework, with benefits including:

Exponentially faster development

The client development teams are saving 10 to 14 weeks at the beginning of each project because of the framework. Working with their team on enablement and education has also established standardized practices across the business and allowed them to tackle much more complex problems going forward with the framework.

Increased flexibility

By moving to an open source solution, the client’s team can easily scale based on demands, meaning they are no longer paying for more than they need. They can also customize and maintain applications in a much simpler way, giving them greater power to add functionality (including 40-50 features that they can simply turn on for each application at any time that they require while also not having anything they don’t need).

Ease of use

Users are now able to answer geospatial questions themselves in seconds through the self service the new interface provides. Finding answers to some of these questions previously could take up to six weeks. Now users can simply access the geospatial catalog, draw shapes on the map, and generate PDFs.

You can read more about how we built ol-kit here.


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