Five years ago…

At the start of the NexSIS project in 2019, the Digital Agency for Civil Security (ANSC) chose to entrust the development of the cartographic features of its applications to the teams at Camptocamp.

The NexSIS project involves creating a set of web applications that allow Civil Security actors to receive and geolocate emergency calls, qualify these calls (location, circumstances, victims, etc.), inform other forces (rescue, order, etc.), select and alert the most relevant resources (human and material) to intervene on the ground, and draft the report for each of these interventions. Other applications allow for the configuration and administration of NexSIS, supervising operational activity, ensuring the proper functioning of the application, etc.

Over the years, to support the growth of the project, Camptocamp was entrusted with the development of additional NexSIS features, and by 2023, it had more than fifteen collaborators, divided into three Agile teams. To achieve this, Camptocamp involved project managers, architects, Ops specialists, developers, data administrators, etc.

Geographical data, a wealth for NexSIS

The richness of NexSIS’s cartographic features comes mainly from the geographical data that feeds them. Some of this data is “internal” and comes from the SIS. Due to the existence of different information systems, the collected data showed great heterogeneity. Camptocamp had to face the challenge of homogenizing, mutualizing, and ensuring the consistency of the data. Its expertise was recognized, as in 2020, Camptocamp was selected by the ANSC to officially support the SIS during the deployment of NexSIS in the departments.

These internal data complement national repositories such as the National Address Database (BAN) or certain layers of the BD TOPO from the National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information (IGN). Data from other providers were also collected to enrich the NexSIS GIS: SNCF, Voies Navigables de France (VNF), etc.

In the end, several tens of millions of geographical objects will feed the cartographic and operational features of the various NexSIS applications.


NexSIS and open-source

From the early stages of the NexSIS project, the Digital Agency for Civil Security has been strongly committed to using Open Source technical components and, as far as possible, contributing to these components.

This is one of the reasons why Camptocamp was selected. Since 2019, in the cartographic domain, various Open Source solutions have been implemented in NexSIS: OpenLayers as an engine for cartographic interfaces, pgRouting as an engine for route calculation and tour optimization, Addok as an address and place name geocoding engine (used notably by, InkMap as a map integration engine for printing PDF documents, etc. In the context of these implementations, contributions, more or less significant, have been made to these open-source projects.

NexSIS features also led to the implementation of two different map servers. To expose vector tiles of NexSIS data, the Apache Baremaps server was chosen, whose performance avoids the need to manage a tile cache. The other map server implemented within NexSIS perfectly illustrates the virtuous circle of Open Source. Indeed, the ANSC accepted Camptocamp's proposal to design and develop a Cloud-Native version of GeoServer and to make this work Open Source. The solution thus created and opened has since been adopted by several other companies, forming a community of users. As for the ANSC, it now benefits from the new versions of GeoServer Cloud that are released regularly, which is a form of return on investment that rewards the ANSC’s interest in Open Source principles.

Five years (and more than a hundred sprints) later…

Wishing to accelerate the production deployment of the NexSIS system, the ANSC helped the Fire and Rescue Services prepare for the arrival of NexSIS by implementing Real-Life Tests. This practice supported change management and led the Fire and Rescue Services (SIS) to discover NexSIS under real conditions and for increasingly long periods (from a few hours to a few days). Ultimately, for an SIS, the production deployment of NexSIS is just another Real-Life Test, but without an end date…

Following this strategy, in late December 2023, the first SIS, that of South Corsica, decided to start an indefinite Real-Life Test on the NexSIS system. After nearly five months of use, in May 2024, the SIS 2A decided to officially switch definitively to NexSIS.

In early February 2024, another SIS, that of Var, also decided to test NexSIS daily. The size of this second SIS (classified in Category A) led NexSIS to have to absorb a growing volume (with nearly 2,000 phone calls handled and nearly 400 interventions carried out per day throughout the Var department).


And now?

At the very beginning of this year 2024, the ANSC chose to renew the trust it had placed in Camptocamp's teams (as part of a new call for tenders). Thus, these teams will be able to continue working on the NexSIS project for a few more years to ensure its evolutionary maintenance (adding new features, maintaining operational conditions, etc.).

For the coming years, the ANSC's objectives are clear:

  • ensure a high quality of service to the SIS that have chosen to use NexSIS
  • enrich the features of its applications
  • accelerate its national deployment to all other SIS

By meeting these objectives, NexSIS will fully become the national, collaborative, modern, and sovereign tool it promises to be through its mission.

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