Specification for the standardization of navigation databases*
"To make a standard successful, it is extremely important to supply specifications that are comprehensive, up-to-date, and highly accurate. For this, NDS e.V. requires professional assistance, which parson AG and its well qualified and highly reliable staff provides in an outstanding manner."
Dr. Volker Sasse, Vice President and Chairman of NDS e.V.
To enable various manufacturers and navigation systems to work with the same map data, all databases have to use a standardized format. For specifying this standard format as well as the associated update and certification processes, NDS requires a set of documents that all members of the consortium can access online.
Approach and methods
We write the NDS specification in close cooperation with the subject matter experts. The specification comprises several documents:
- Specification of the database format
- Rules and instructions for compiling NDS databases
- Description of update processes
In addition, we assist with documenting NDS-specific applications and processes, such as certification. For this, we also train authors from other groups.
Documentation work is integrated with development and part of the development cycles (Scrum). We write based on DITA XML, primarily with the oXygen XML Editor. This way, we can, for example, optimize content reuse and traceability.
The documentation is published in a web portal, which is available to the NDS teams of the consortium members, but also to partners with evaluation contracts and subcontractors. The portal offers access to several versions of the standard and provides cross-document search functions. To further enhance the linking of documentation content and code documentation as well as traceability, we support the introduction of a semantic knowledge portal. This portal will make it easier for users to search for particular information. It will offer various search filters and dynamic links between content from different IT systems.
We also write meeting minutes for the NDS working groups and create tasks in the central project management tool.
We provide the following services:
- Research information in interviews, documentation workshops, and developer documentation
- Create and revise the English documentation as members of the Scrum team
- Create and maintain NDS terminology and NDS writing rules
- Customize the DITA XML authoring environment, PDF and WebHelp output formats, including automatic generation of documents on a build server
- Requirements management and project management for the knowledge portal
- Publish documents in the knowledge portal for NDS developers (content delivery)
- Develop the information architecture for the documentation and the content strategy for the entire project
- Define documentation processes
- Train other authors
- Write meeting minutes and create tasks
* This article is translated from the German by parson AG.