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ABSTRACT: For technical and other reasons there is a dilemma that data providers cannot find an appropriate way to redistribute spatial forest data and data users who need spatial data cannot access and integrate available forest resources information. To overcome this dilemma, this paper proposed a spatial forest information system based on Web service using an open source software approach. With Web service based architecture, the system can enable interoperability, integrate Web services from other application servers, reuse codes, and shorten the development time and cost. At the same time, it is possible to extend the local system to a regional or national spatial forest information system. The growth of Open Source Software (OSS) provides an alternative choice to proprietary software for operating systems, web servers, Web-based GIS applications and database management systems. Using open source software to develop spatial forest information systems can greatly reduce the cost while providing high performance and sharing spatial forest information. We chose open source software to build a prototype system for Xixia County, Henan Province, China. By integrating OSS packages Deegree and UMN MapServer which are compliant to the OGC open specifications, the prototype system enables users to access spatial forest information and travelling information of Xixia County which come from two different data servers via a standard Web browser and promotes spatial forest information sharing.Journal of Forestry Research 04/2012; 18(2):85-90.