Implementation of sensor data in decision support systems

Accurate and up-to-date information is crucial for making informed decisions in operational environments. Nowadays, there is a wealth of geospatial data available to support decision-making, and the volume of data is rapidly growing. Carmenta’s range of flexible products has been designed to enable systems to seamlessly use any geospatial and sensor data, from any source, to create a complete situation picture.

The nature of geospatial data

Geospatial data is either static, e.g. aerial images or thematic maps, or it can be read in real time from various dynamic sources, fed from Digital Data Streams (DDS) or harvested from connected sensor systems.

Carmenta’s high performance, robust technology is able to transform, analyse and render geospatial data in real time. With direct access to all data sources, any changes will take immediate effect in the map display.

Geospatial data sources in decision support systems


Fig 1. Typical layers in a map-based decision support system

Background Layers

Map displays in decision support systems share many common characteristics. Static background maps serve as a geographic reference, typically showing topography, land use, nautical charts or aerial imagery depending on the purpose. Some background map layers are updated more frequently, for example up-to-date road networks with address labels, aeronautical information or tactical base maps.

Dynamic Application Layers

Application layers with domain-specific and dynamic information are overlaid onto the background map. These layers are updated more frequently, either with data from external real-time data sources or they are created in runtime by the application itself.

Dynamic layers can, for example, be used to display traffic information in an Intelligent Traffic System (ITS), the emergency situation in an Emergency Response System (ERS) or the tactical scenario in a military Command & Control (C2) system.

Real-Time Data Layers

In applications that monitor moving objects, the corresponding symbols are constantly being re-drawn into the most recent position. These real-time data layers must be updated very frequently in order to present a smoothly moving scenario.

Real-time data layers are, for example, used to display the position of ships in maritime Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), ambulance positions in ERS applications, and sensor data and GPS-tracked units in C2 systems.

The Carmenta advantage

Fig 2. Layers in a stand-alone application.

With Carmenta’s software technology, any geospatial data can be fused to form an updated situational picture on a wide range of different applications. It comes with ready-to-use adaptors, which enable connection to real-time data streams from sensors, data analysis and combination of its visualisation with background maps. The technology behind the software is powerful enough to allow the visualisation process to flow without intermediate data storage.

In a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) the rendering of background maps can be delegated to powerful web servers. This reduces the complexity of applications that would otherwise have to process large volumes of data in different GIS formats. A centralised map server is able to combine and transform this geospatial data and make it available through standardised web services. Centralising the distribution of background maps through a web server not only makes the data handling more efficient, it also guarantees a common and timely updated situational map for all connected systems.


Fig 3. Layers in a distributed solution.

Benefits for system integrators

System developers can benefit from a wealth of functions with which to build applications with advanced user interaction, top of the line cartography and real-time performance. Carmenta’s well-equipped SDKs, built by developers for developers, significantly shorten the time to market for applications being built in any domain, from web-based architecture to desktop and mobile solutions. Useful features include:

• Interaction framework with ready to use tools for both touch displays and traditional user interfaces.
• Support for domain-specific data sets with built-in visualisation (nautical charts, aeronautical information, military maps, etc.).
• Pre-configured symbol libraries (MIL-STD-2525, NATO App-6, IHO S-52, etc.), with custom interaction tools.
• Easy to extend, with adapters for real-time data streaming from any sensor systems.
• Ready to use connections to databases and web services.
• Advanced caching mechanisms for optimum performance.

Carmenta’s products have a unique way of reusing map rendering and geo-processing settings across products and platforms. All of our products are able to read from the same data sources and, using a map configuration saved from a desktop system, map services can be directly published in a web server and maps can be displayed in a mobile application. As a result, this ensures optimum resource allocation of development team competence.

You can trust products from Carmenta

Carmenta products are used in a wide range of system environments. Carmenta Engine manages real-time situations for all kinds of applications, and has been embedded into applications on everything from powerful PC workstations to mobile devices. Carmenta Server is the backbone of a number of high-capacity web map server solutions.

Both Carmenta Engine and Carmenta Server use the same software core, and extensive experience of use in a wide range of different situations has resulted in a set of very robust software modules. Organisations world-wide  trust Carmenta products to handle geospatial situation awareness in mission-critical systems.