Adding Analytic Muscle to Spinning Globes: Bulking Up Google Earth and Virtual Earth With PostGIS.

Presentation | Presented

  • Brian Timoney, The Timoney Group

We've all heard the rap from GIS' high priests and priestesses that the Google/Yahoo/Microsoft map interfaces are merely "consumer-oriented" and not suitable for "real GIS" in the workplace.

This presentation will include live demonstrations (using real data to answer real questions) of the integration of the Google Earth and Virtual Earth platforms with a PostGIS backend . Using PostGIS on the server opens the door for incorporating spatial analytics (buffers, intersections, etc.) and creating easy-to-use web-based analysis tools for a general audience already comfortable with these eminently usable interfaces.

The simplified web architecture--no proprietary server-ware, database middle-ware, or complicated object model--combines common bits of web development (PHP scripts, SQL commands, and HTML forms) to create a web experience that's practical, scalable, and able to reach that important audience of decision-makers who don't want another acronym in their lives but rather just need answers to their pressing spatial questions.

Developers will come away with a road-map for extending their own web applications to take advantage of PostGIS' capabilities while managers will see the benefits of a flexible, lightweight, hybrid proprietary/open-source web deployment unburdened by the limitations of single-vendor solutions.

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