Implementing Web GIS Solutions using Open Source Geospatial Software

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The talk gives an overview on building web GIS solutions using open source geospatial software components. A selection of the most advanced and popular open source components and their roles and functionality in an application framework are described. A complete stack for building web GIS solutions may include a client-server application framework, a web mapping engine supporting cartographic rendering functionality and basic GIS capabilities, data storage solutions such as spatial databases, and additional tools extending or enhancing the GIS capabilities of the mapping engine. The concept of an interoperable software solution is illustrated using a variety of examples. Web GIS application frameworks are either complete client-server solutions such as MapFish and Mapbender or Web GIS clients such as Open Layers and Ka-Map. Internet mapping engines such as MapServer and GeoServer render images, provide basic GIS functionality and/or provide the functionality for serving Web mapping services (WMS) and Web feature Services (WFS). Using cached and tiled data in a web GIS application can substantially speed up its response time. TileCache is a server and caching solution that can be used for the creation of cached data from WMS. Feature Server provides data conversion of simple features from a variety of input formats into target formats such as JSON, GML and KML and can be used to integrate the framework with additional applications. Spatial databases include solutions such as PostGIS and MySQL. PostGIS itself provides comprehensive GIS capabilities that can greatly extend the mapping engine’s capabilities and simplify execution of geo-processing tasks using spatial SQL. Additional tools can be integrated with the framework to provide specific GIS capabilities.

Presenter(s): 
Karsten Vennemann
Biography: 

Karsten Vennemann is a GIS professional with a background in Geography and Soil Science. His work mostly focuses on GIS in the context of natural resources, sustainable development and social justice. In 2007 he started his own company, Terra GIS (http://terragis.net), based in Seattle, Washington, USA.

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