Geospatial Portal Beta
I recently deployed a new web mapping site as a beta (ala Google): Geospatial Portal Beta.
I bring it up here because it uses a bunch of bits I haven’t used before, and I’d like to post my happy thoughts about the whole affair. In particular:
- It utilizes the OpenLayers mapping library.
- It uses Tilecache to serve the maps (WMS), which in turn uses GeoServer as the back end (which in turn uses PostgreSQL/PostGIS).
- All tabular data is pulled from REST web services (JSON) dynamically via AJAX, including spatial analysis via PostGIS. No page refreshes.
This is a whole different framework for me. Previously, my framework was PHP-MapServer-SOAP web services, which is a very stable framework and is just fine in and of itself. But after doing my first app with OpenLayers-Tilecache-jQuery-REST, unless I need some of the more powerful server-side features MapServer can bring to bear, I’m going to stick with the new stuff.
An added bonus is the infrastructure itself. GeoServer is a highly capable WMS/WFS-T server, and Tilecache is an extremely quick WMS server. These projects can form a big part of your GIS service oriented architecture, acting as a server to web, desktop, and mobile applications.