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Geo Information Systems and SAP – Brainstorm with us in project Sagres

We started a project at SAP dubbed Sagres (we want to show the world how to make better use of geography, as good old Prince Henry the Navigator did). It is about an evaluation where and how we should increase the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (think: ESRI and the other large GIS vendors like GE Energy, Intergraph, Autodesk, or MapInfo), other geospatial software (think: Google or Yahoo Maps, or Microsoft Virtual Earth), or Location-Based Services (LBS) (think: locate a cell phone) within the SAP suite. While we have several existing integrations points (e.g. the capability to show objects and areas on maps in BW, or to show the routing of trucks in Transportation Planning Vehicle Scheduling, to name just two (see below)), there are probably many, many more opportunities. If you are into GIS or LBS, you may enjoy to join us on this ride!!! While some postings will be about SAP, others will be just about intersting things we saw in the GIS/LBS world. As a warm-up, here is what BW Maps look like, in four examples. The way this works is that BW customers get a voucher for ESRI ArcView which they can use to “geocode” their data, and also get a sample set of free maps. The SAP Internet Graphic Server does all the rendering of the final map. 1) You can take any key figures in BW and map them onto an area (here revenue by state), and show business objects and size them by a key figure (here locatiosn of customers and their revenues). You can hover over one with your mouse and get the excat value. image 2) You can show the data broken down by an additional characteristic as a pie or bar chart on the map. Here the revenue by product category is shown, per state. The pies vary in size according to the total. You can also see how the mouse-over works for an area as well. image 3) You can do a drill-down into the the location characteristic by clicking on the south-west region on the map above and then get the data for the next lower zoom level (here by state): image 4) And last but not least, using the BW Web Application Designer, you can combine a map element with other charts. If you click on the different sales regions on the map the other charts update automatically. image And here is the example from TPVS, where the map gets shown in an area on the SAPgui. Here the Internet Graphic Server gets the map from an external map provider. image In project Sagres we are thinking of much more interactive maps, and of making more use of the powerful features of GIS servers and GIS web services. Here are some examples: 1) A citizen enters a service request for a broken hydrant directly onto the map. The map comes from the GIS and is mashed up in this Composite with SAP screens for collecting the repair information. And the application then triggers SAP to create a service request (calling it via SAP XI) and triggers the GIS to draw that hydrant with a red ring (so that other citizens can see that someone else already requested a repair). And the data with all the hydrant details? It is synchronized between the two systems using SAP MDM! image 2) A city supervisor wants to see where how many repairs have happened. We retrieve the data from BW and sure, we could just draw each asset using different colors. But instead we use further GIS visualization algorithms to further aggregate the data using a grid overlay, or draw hull curves showing where 40%, 60%, and 80% of all repairs were. Imagine to see this “blob” move over the map when you show this quarter-by-quarter for the last three years… it will move towards were more and more repairs in the city are due, e.g. in the direction of where new subdivisions were put in place 10 years ago. image image What are your ideas for meaningful, interesting, innovative SAP/GIS mashups?

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  • I don’t think there is much I can add in terms of innovation, but having seen the application of GIS software integrated with SAP I can tell you about some practical applications.

    One was with company who used the GIS with an otimizing tool at the time of sale to determine the nearest available truck and the estimate time of delivery. The algorythm took into account many
    variables including nearest depot, availability, backlog and traffic conditions. Thus giving them a innovative competitive advantage.

    Another was a City Council whose GIS system was the backbone to many of thier processes. They had many integration touch points to SAP functionality, RE, PM, FICO, CRM, BW, B2B and Self Service to name a few. I found integration very easy, the user highlights and area on a map and then this would pre-populate the parameters of a transaction or report. They used it for many different things including town planning, rates, enquiries etc.

    The processes that come to mind as being very interesting were mainly in the works execution, both planned and reactive maintenance, say someone in the public rang up to complain about grafiti, the offended area was easily pin pointed and a work order sent electronically to a worker or a contractor as an SMS. Also if they were going to do road works somewhere, notifying the public was easy, highlight the affected area and send them notification in the mail.

  • One thing I like doing with the Google Earth is to zoom in and out of the map and see more or less locations depending on a key figure. For example, by looking to the whole US map I would only see the top 5% biggest customers, but doing zoom on some region I would see more and more customers. It would be very interesting to easily choose the key figure and do this directly from the SAP GUI.

    PS. Nice project! Did you know you can have a sagres beer (

    • Hi Pedro,

      I have to admit that I don’t have much experience with Google Earth, we deal more with ESRI’s ArcGIS Server. There you define all layers with a min and max zoom level range.

      What you are doing with Google Earth, is that for a client of your’s (you are a consultant, right?) or do you do it for you own fun? Can you share more about it? You can reach me at

      Regards, Oliver

  • i didnt clearly understand point 3 which is the requirement to me.initially i am showing us map with all top customers in respective states. this is fine.
    if the user wants to see top customers in all the regions of new york state. how to show it.because onclick functionality is not available and how to show newyork map with all regions from the initial us map.if i provide buttons in wad i need to provide for all fifty how to drill down from state details to region details showing map of respective state.
  • Hey
    I need to integrate SAP Enterprise Portal(EP) with GIS via SAP PI.I know i can use webservice to integrate EP with PI but i m not really sure about how to go ahead with integration of PI with GIS.Could you please throw some light on it.
    Appreciate your help.
  • hello, on the screen of TP/VS I see the use of Navetech GIS provider ? Which other providers can be used in TP/VS GIS funcionality ?