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VPS Logo How to order VPS.system?

The VPS software is available for each country if the necessity can be declared by a formal letter to

Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization
Department for Water Management, Ocean and Coastal Protection
Mr. Claus Böttcher
Mercatorstraße 3
24106 Kiel

Phone  +49 431 988 3460
E-Mail  claus.boettcher@melund.landsh.de

We obviously recommend to start the procedure with some training to understand the system and the data processing in detail.
The delivery will include software only, without any data, because these German data are protected - and in any case would not be applicable abroad.
Starting Phase 1997-2000

The scope of the whole project contained:
  • the contentual conception of the provision planning,
  • the creation of technical possibilities for its implementation and
  • the elicitation of respective usage along the ca. 3,600 km of the German North and Baltic Sea coasts:

  • Topographical master chart of coast regions with a coast kilometerage in a 0,5 km-grid
  • Electronic sea chart (Electronic Navigational Chart ENC)
  • Additional topographical information such as shore type (norm profile), accessibility, industrial buildings, flood protection buildings, etc.
  • Symbolic display and interpretive data regarding protection zones, tourist facilities, storage for locations for response equipment, etc.
  • Technical data for existing response equipment
  • Address- and phone data of relevant corporations and individuals
  • Alarm plans for coastal states and emergency prevention cases as well as for complex pollution accidents
  • Electronic response manual including combating proposals for defined shore types
  • Photos of the entire coast line

Project implementation

After the decision of the project initiator for the creation of a data processing system, a low-cost solution was compiled with the guidance of a project management team, created under the auspices of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and with assistance from a project accompanying commission (Working team of one person each from the coastal states and the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies).

The first working step consisted of:
• the development of a professional detailed concept,
• the conceptual planning of the data processing system in a detailed concept,
• the development of the software,
• the data elicitation for two pilot areas.
One measure for the implementation of a short-duration (and with that low-cost) project was an isochronic development of the IT-system and the data collection for two pilot areas that contained different norm profiles. To implement that within the IT-detail concept, software from a data collecting module was provided.

The data collection module was a tool for several contractors that collected and edited data of two pilot projects ("Wurster Küste", ca. 30 km of North Sea coast and "Klützer Winkel", ca. 12 km of Baltic Sea coast), that are relevant for pollution response.
With the data collection module, the data formats planned in the IT-detail concept were given. Through this it was secured that only data were collected that could be managed from the IT-system without restrictions.
Simultaneously, there was a permanent coordination between the developer of the IT-system and the data-collection engineering offices. That was important for making adjustments to the IT-system or to the data collecting module.

Finally, after the data transfer, functional tests were made in the coastal states concerned and a contentual and structural control of the collected data was done.

The development of the topographic Basic Maps was necessary before the data collection, to exactly define and specify the situation in the whole exploration area. A different interpretation, for example of the coast section borders, by the different contractors was excluded by that.
The basis of the basic maps are ATKIS-data from the land surveying offices, which supplemented integrated coast features such as dike kilometerage. An intensive structural and contentual control by the project initiator after the presentation of the depiction of the both pilot projects led to a revision and the commision of extensive data collection along the coasts.
During the 2 ½ years of the project duration, from 1997 to 2000, 40 orders were placed for a total 1,8 Mio EUR.

Updating of data

Every IT-application will be only accepted if it is user-friendly, is an essential help, and can be maintained with the smallest cost effort.

Firstly, the local user of VPS knows how to update data and these data will be recognized by the users of the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies. The new datasets are provided to the users as a download from the VPS-website or by the update service of this software.
New chart sets are provided every year in the same way.

This mode has been successful since the start of the regular operation of VPS.system in 2000 and will be continued.

Further development of the system

VPS.system has been developed in many respects since the launch in the year 2000. This development is primarily a permanent modernisation of the software, which is now available as the version VPS.system 2009.

The working group Contingency Planning, including the the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME) since it´s formation in 2002, made functional modification and amendment proposals that were implemented over the years, and some subsequently revised when the proposals didn't prove effective.

Resulting from the request of the CCME, some operative programme elements (such as routine logbook or progress tracking) were necessary. Asa result, the rather static programme became a more operational progress and accident management tool.

In the year 2002, VPS came into international focus when the German provision methodology was transfered to the needs of St. Petersburg in 2002. An independent Software CPS, based on VPS, was created.

A similar project was initiated in Malta in the year 2006 and the result, a VPS.system-version named MERMS+10, became operational in May 2007 at the Malta Maritime Authority.

Furthermore, the usage of VPS.system was tested in Denmark through a pilot project.
For this purpose, a VPS-dataset was build for the Island of Bornholm and it was used with VPS.system 2007.

In February of 2008, a version of VPS.system for the Estonian Rescue Board of the Environmental Minister was created and installed in Tallinn. The name of this software is 'Estonian Emergency Situation Information System (EESIS)' and not only functions in the matter of maritime contingency planning, but in the wider field of disaster management.

The assumptions for international programme such as multilingualism, flexible saving of programme settings, and the use of an international common UTM-coordinate system were created with the version VPS.system 2007, and offers a basis with which the project can be continued successfully after more than 10 years in operation.

Additionally the system contains components that can be used for the preparation, performance, and analysis of exercises and components.
Further components were made for the operative work of the Maritime Emergency Reporting and Assessment Centre.

Because all these components are bundled and linked to each other, VPS.system is a comfortable programme system, which covers many fields of duties within martime accident provision and the accident management.
The VPS-System deals with several data types:
Alphanumerische Daten Alphanumerical data describe the wide spectrum of coastal zone characteristics, response equipment, protected areas, alarm plans, etc., and are stored in a database. Access to this data is possible through an easy-to-use front end database.
Geodaten Geo-data are the ATKIS-based basic maps, the information of the Electronic Nautical Chart, as well as the geo data that are collected in a project-specific manner, and the data containing the relevant information for response measures.
The geo-data are stored as shape files in a file system and made accessible to the user by means of a GIS-module embedded in the VPS.system front end.
Textdaten Text data form the basis of the response manual. The former paper manual contained the response know-how which, in the case of a pollution incident, has to be available immediately on demand and must be well structured. The text data together with the graphics and photos are stored as compiled hypertext documents (CHM) in an ‘electronic book’. Access to this file system is via the VPS.system front end or directly by the user.
Bilddaten Photo/image data result from the extensive photographic documentation of the coast. Aerial overlapping photos of the coast were taken, both from the direction of the sea and of distinctive coastal sections or objects. The digital photos are stored in a file system and are each related to a set of data. Presentation is through the database front end or the electronic response manual.