Javascript Mapshaper: new foundation for polygon handling in DHIS2?

Mapshaper now comes in a completely new implementation and interface, and can also produce javascript formats directly.

Furthermore, since it is now implemented in javascript and open sourced, it should be possibly to achieve closer integration with DHIS.

I think this opens up a number of possibilities:

  1. Most importantly, it should allow a radical simplification of the current laborious process for getting polygon coordinates into DHIS2:

  1. Beyond this, it could allow users to construct the whole hierarchy, replete with GIS by simply uploading well-structured shapefiles

  2. It would also make it possible to preserve the original shapes in full detail, while allowing users to choose the degree of simplification - though probably limited to superusers to allow for efficient caching. But a web service could then provide a different degree of simplification than that exposes in the GIS module to accommodate slow connections.

Perhaps this would serve well as a Master’s project? Much of this could be suitable for the new App framework? Of course, preserving shapefile coordinates in full detail would probably require some changes to the core model.

Suggestion 2) above of course relates to the larger issue of metadata import from existing source formats such as Excel. There is currently exciting work being done on this front as well, again probably resulting in an App in it’s first iteration.


Knut Staring

Dept. of Informatics, University of Oslo