Web Mapping with MongoDB

Authors: Paul Hunt*, University of Nebraska
Topics: Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: web mapping, API, geojson, mongodb, ajax
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon C3, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There are many tiled-based, multi-scale panable base maps readily available in the cloud for web mapping. The challenge in working with these systems is how to handle the “dynamic” vector layers that can be overlaid on these base maps. The current solution has been the use of JSON which is based on JavaScript. JavaScript is a powerful web scripting tool that serves as the foundation for many mapping APIs. Most of the operational vector layers we use in web mapping applications originate from this JSON structure, whether it is the generally popular GeoJSON or a proprietary version like ESRI-JSON. During the data layer request, usually in the form of Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), the server has to format and send the JSON representation of the requested spatial data. In most cases, the returned spatial JSON data is then used in a JavaScript based client-side mapping application. However, the server side spatial data infrastructure still relies heavily on traditional relational spatial databases. Relational databases are difficult to work with and require considerable overhead. MondgoDB is an open source system that uses a simple NoSQL model to store data in JSON like documents of associated information as key-value pairs. The native JSON data structure of MongoDB lends itself to simplicity and efficiency in web mapping. This session evaluates the use of MongoDB for mapping with some of the most popular mapping APIs like Leaflet and ESRI.

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