The aim of DEMOS-Plan is to encourage a shared management of the spatial planning process among all competent authorities and a reduction in the amount of time and cost implied by the collection of formal and informal comments and observations to the plan draft.
Moreover, a direct link can be established between text-based and geographical planning components. Any OGC-compliant Web Map Service (WMS) can be incorporated into the participation module’s map client to provide a cartographic representation of land use plans, survey data and geodata sets. This enables the parties formally involved in a consultation to incorporate their own geoservice data (e.g. utilities networks, nature reserves, etc) from any external geoserver, as overlays to the current draft of the land use plan for comparison. In addition, DEMOS-Plan makes it possible to make annotations in the participation module’s map client as a dot, line or polygon. These annotations can be linked with their associated comments or observations to the plan draft. The geometric markings are saved in a geo-referenced database using an OGC-compliant transactional Web Feature Service (WFS-T). The submissions are then incorporated via OGC services (WMS, WFS) in the participation module’s map client application and external specialist information systems and checked for relevance or further processed. This combination of digital submission opportunities and Web GIS functionalities aims to go beyond what has hitherto been available to public authorities.
Overall, DEMOS-Plan facilitates the handling of the whole planning process without any media discontinuity, from the drawing up of drafts, through the evaluation stage, to tabling of the project before the decision-making body. It supports the user with a wide range of functions in referencing particular sections of text, linking to map locations, attaching documents, editing and adding to draft submissions. The user is kept up to date with the process through automatically generated information on the status of the consultation and the processing of his or her submission(s).
In 2008, the first application of DEMOS-Plan in Hamburg was awarded with the second prize at the 8th eGovernment competition for German speaking countries organised by Cisco and Bearing Point. Currently, Hamburg is preparing for a City-wide roll-out of DEMOS-Plan in the context of the PARTERRE Project.