Technical specifications of the botanical data interchange system called

"Digital Green Cadastre"

Hereafter the technical specifications of the botanical and environmental monitoring system of vegetation of the "Digital Green Cadastre".

Definition of the DGC

This document specifies an open and shared method of digital recording of information relating to the botanical heritage: trees and shrubs, green areas and wooded areas, parks and agricultural areas.

This specification proposes a standardized and interoperable data storage format that can allow the construction of a national digital “Green Cadastre”:

• distributed and non-centralized,

• non-proprietary,

• freely available as open data,

• capable of storing information about the botanical consistency of the green elements, the geographical location, the metric consistency, the historical sequence of maintenance, diagnostic and phytosanitary events.

The DGC proposes an open, evolutionary data organization that can be integrated over time to be able to respond to the needs that the community of professionals in the sector will express in the daily use of this tool, both on the statistical-scientific side and on the daily management maintenance operations.

The DGC project endorses the recommendations of the "White Paper for the Reuse

of Public Sector Information" (

The technical specifications refer to data management formats, in particular those

of a geographic nature, recognized and used by the scientific community at the forefront of these issues. In particular, the geographic standards certified by the OGC- Open Geospatial Consortium ( are proposed and for the storage of tabular data reference is made to open tabular structures (XML, JSON) that can be managed on platforms of NoSQL database, more flexible in managing datasets with very different data specification levels.

The open architecture of the DGC allows easy integration of the vast existing digital botanical information heritage stored in different, proprietary, closed and non interoperable platforms.

The DGC is not a software platform, but rather represents a guideline for a smart and structured storage of botanical data, a guideline that any software house or programmer can implement in its own node, on its own server, physical or in the cloud, which can then be integrated into the network of servers that will constitute the architecture of the Land Registry.

The relational structure of the DGC

The database that contains the data of the DGC is a distributed database consisting

of nodes managed in total autonomy and with operating methods on which this document does not enter into the merits. Each node contains botanical information

on a specific area (municipality, province, region, mountain community, basin), an area that does not necessarily have to be under the total control of that node.

Each node is autonomous, and can manage any portion of territory, and within that

it decides to memorize only some types of data and not others.

For example, more than one node of the DGC may be present on the same province. One managed for example by the province containing monumental trees, another managed by a farmers' association that only contains data on the agricultural crops present in that area, and still nodes headed to the main municipalities that manage the municipal public green.

The information redundancy is solved by the simple fact that the data is loaded and managed only by those who have their own maintenance / management responsibility.

A municipality manages its public botanical heritage. The owner of a private park within the same municipality could activate its own DGC node for its own maintenance purposes, publicly sharing information and actually integrating the municipal botanical balance.

As in the peer-to-peer model, which has had its most meaningful and effective use in the exchange of videos and music files, the model proposed for the organization of the data of the DGC also provides autonomous nodes that can dialogue with each other to form

a Green Cadastre distributed but visible as a single entity.

Classes of objects managed in the DGC

The entire information heritage of the DGC is divided into three classes of objects.

1. Punctual objects

2. Surfaces

3. Administrative boundaries

The first class “Punctual objects” includes all the botanical entities and the elements related to the theme of green management, which have a precise localization (trees, shrubs, games, benches, poles, fountains ...).

The second class “Surfaces” includes all the green surfaces or in any case referable to the green management chapter (meadows, cultivated land, woods, shrubbery, uncultivated land, horizontal and vertical green surfaces on buildings ...).

The third class “Administrative boundaries” defines a specific zoning (municipal perimeter of green areas, cadastral parcels, area and basin perimeters, zoning of regulatory plans, …).

The Green Cadastre is of a geometric nature, so each registered entity has its own spatial component related to the alphanumeric information component.

In addition to absolute data on the specific botanical or dimensional characteristics of the species, punctual objects and surfaces also record historical data of maintenance, diagnostic and phytosanitary interventions.

The three classes of objects are autonomous and unrelated to each other, if not spatially, or with respect to the absolute localization on the map.

The “Administrative Zones” are space objects that in many cases can be derived and not managed internally in the Land Registry. The municipal boundaries, the cadastral parcels, the zoning of the General Town Development Plan are examples of Administrative Zones that may not be duplicated within the DGC. Unlike the boundaries and the codes of the green areas imposed by the offices for administrative and accounting needs, they are Zones that find in the Green Cadastre the most suitable place for their memorization

and management.

The Trees & Shrubs database

The DGC interfaces with a database called Trees&Shrubs, a continuous and constantly updated archive, which today contains botanical information on about a thousand of the most common species present on the North-Italian territory.

The task of this database is to centralize all the information of botanical nature which, linked to the local information of any importance, allows for botanical and environmental monitoring relevant from an ecosystem point of view.

The database can be searched in REST web service mode, according to specifications that will be illustrated in a separate document, and the access key is the scientific name (Latin name) of the species.

The DGC promotes the scientific name as a unique relationship between every single botanical object and the Trees & Shrubs database and the name has to be selected from

a list generated by this database, to avoid frequent typographic errors in the Latin specification.

The information content of this database, structure and management does not fall within the specific contents of the DGC.

Scientific names can be retrieved from alternative information sources, such as the database of The Plant List (, while maintaining the same taxonomic syntax and classification.

Connection of the DGC nodes

Each node is represented by a server, physical or virtual, and by its public IP address.

The server enabling mechanism follows the DNS server management methods, i.e. the network of servers that translate each nominal call to a website into a call with a numeric IP address.

Once a node of the DGC is activated, in order to work in sync with the other nodes it will have to register one or more addresses of other nodes of the network, through which

the synchronization of the databases will take place and the possibility to interrogate them as if they were a single system.

If a single address is entered, in case of fall or malfunction of the node to which you are hooked, the new node will remain isolated. If otherwise you provide more addresses,

in case of falls or termination of nodes, the server will try to connect to other nodes until

it finds one that works.

This so-called peer-to-peer mechanism allows a distribution of the nodes without a predetermined hierarchy and therefore without having to be the control of an entity over the others.

This propagation mechanism must be guaranteed by the presence on each node

of a web service in REST mode that by accepting the address of a new node in input,

verifies if it has been registered or not in DB, records it in case of absence

and communicates it to all other nodes in your list.

The technical detail and the digital communication protocol to maintain the synchronization between the various nodes of the DGC will be the subject

of a specific detailed document.

Tecnical specifications of DGC