Putting the Pieces together: Combining different Open Source components toward developing a powerful, Open Source WebGIS application framework.

Presentation | Presented

  • Shriram Ilavajhala, University of Maryland
  • Diane Davies, University of Maryland

This presentation describes the development of an open source, custom WebGIS application that displays, queries and disseminates satellite-derived information on the location of NASA MODIS global hotspots. Our objective was to develop a stable system that would allow our full dataset, stretching back to the year 2000, to be queried with reasonably fast query-response times while improving the overall user experience with the system. Essentially, we were seeking to overcome the limitations encountered using out of the box commercial WebGIS solutions. To achieve our goal, we used open source components for WebGIS (Minnesota MapServer), spatial database (PostgreSQL/PostGIS), and user interface (Google Web Toolkit).

During the talk, we will elaborate on how we integrated these open source components to custom design a full-scale, powerful, open source WebGIS application with advanced visualization options like caching, pre-fetching, and tiling of rasters, and intelligent vector display capabilities as well as the regular features of a WebGIS, like query, search, zoom, and download. We also describe how this WebGIS is being extended to evolve as a WebGIS application framework that can support non-browser mapping applications like Google Earth.

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