Web Mapping Services Overview (2/7)

Part 2: Tile Maps and APIs

Say you’re playing around on Google Maps. You click and hold your mouse button to magically drag the map around from Timbuktu to Connecticut. Then you zoom in on Schenectady until you can see your cousin’s car parked in his driveway and his kid playing with his dog in the yard. You might not think much of it now, but let’s remember that all of this was novel just a few years ago. This new (circa 2005) sort of interface is called a slippy map. Continue reading


Web Mapping Services Overview (1/7)

Part 1: What is a WMS?

A Web Map Service (WMS) is an OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) specification that “defines a common interface for disseminating digital maps, rendered from spatial data, across the Internet. WMS supports the networked interchange of web based map layers, which are generally rendered in a digital image such as JPEG, GIF, PNG, etc.”1

In English, a WMS is computer language (script) that tells a server, “gimme your map!” The server then responds by sending an image file to your (the client’s) browser (e.g., Firefox, etc.). It is important to note that a WMS is not a map mash-up or a slippy map, which are increasingly the norm of interactive web maps made for public consumption. For information on how those work, see Part 2. Continue reading

Technology Research Memo 2: ArcGIS Online

TYPE: Applications


LANGUAGE: MapViewer: JavaScript; Explorer: Silverlight

REFERENCE MAP SUPPORT: Toggle Map Type (1), Custom Vectors (1)

THEMATIC MAP ISOMORPHS: Choropleth (1), Proportional Symbol (1), Graph/Chart (1)

CARTOGRAPHIC INTERACTIONS: Reexpress (1), Arrange/Linked Views (1), Sequence/Animate (2), Resymbolize (1), Overlay/Toggle Layers (1), Pan (1), Zoom (1), Retrieve (1), Calculate (1)

OTHER ISSUES: Requires a free account to use. Good documentation and full tutorial. Functionality continues to be updated.

WEBSITE: www.arcgis.com

DOCUMENTATION: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisexplorer/help

EXAMPLES: Links in Gallery: http://www.arcgis.com/home/gallery.html Continue reading

WCA Technology Research Memo 1: ESRI Story Maps

To assist in the development of the Wisconsin Coastal Atlas, we are undertaking a project to research the web mapping technologies that are of potential usefulness to coastal atlas developers, and further develop sets of best practices for their use of interactive web mapping technology. A pilot evaluation was conducted using ESRI’s Story Maps framework, which is of interest as a platform for developing a narrative map to describe the impact of Sea Grant programs on communities in Wisconsin. This report may undergo future editing, and we hope to add new reports on different technologies throughout the summer.

TYPE: Framework


REFERENCE MAP SUPPORT: Toggle Map Type (1), Custom Vectors (2)

THEMATIC MAP ISOMORPHS: Choropleth (1), Proportional Symbol (1), Isoline/Surface (1), Flow (1), Animation (1), Dot Density (3), Graph/Chart (3)

CARTOGRAPHIC INTERACTIONS: Arrange/Linked Views (1), Sequence/Animate (1), Resymbolize (1), Overlay/Toggle Layers (1), Pan (1), Zoom (1), Filter (2), Search (2), Retrieve (1),

OTHER ISSUES: Currently in beta, with little developed support for web application templates. Although ESRI products, built in JavaScript with minified library files, so open-source, and the “Story Maps” term is not copyrighted.

WEBSITE: http://storymaps.esri.com/wordpress

DOCUMENTATION: http://storymaps.esri.com/downloads/Building%20Story%20Maps.pdf

OTHER RESOURCES: White paper, “Telling Stories with Maps,” http://storymaps.esri.com/downloads/Telling%20Stories%20with%20Maps.pdf

EXAMPLES: Links in Gallery on the home page.

Click “Continue reading” for full description.
Continue reading