Free and Open Source Web-GIS and the Cloud

Authors: Jennifer Clark*, University of Denver
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: web-GIS, web mapping, Free and Open Source Software, cloud server
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Web-mapping applications are increasingly gaining popularity in diverse fields. However, those interested in producing web-GIS must now choose between numerous proprietary and free and open source software options for desktop GIS, spatial databases, projection and geometry libraries and application program interfaces. The choice between proprietary and free and open source options is often driven by price and licensing constraints, customizability, accessibility of source code, ease-of-use, compatibility with data types and additional software packages, as well as cost and upkeep of a server to host the finished application. Therefore, the purpose of this poster is to highlight one potential web-GIS software stack that uses free and open source software packages, libraries and application program interfaces, and is hosted entirely on the cloud. The final prototype web application supports working groups at two universities; consequently, free and open source software and libraries are utilized due to non-restrictive licenses that enable products to be customized, shared, edited and maintained by stakeholders at both institutions. The web-GIS application employs the OpenLayers JavaScript library, GeoServer map server, and PostgreSQL PostGIS spatial database and is hosted on a cloud-based Amazon Web Services Electronic Compute Cloud Ubuntu Virtual Instance. Cloud-services allow flexibility for database storage expansions and data backups, increased performance with fluctuating web application user traffic, and are a simple solution to hosting free and open source web-GIS applications. Further work is needed to identify performance enhancing software configurations for deploying the web-GIS application in a production environment.

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