Development of a Web Based GIS Application for Spatial Natural Resources Information System Using Effective Open Source Software and Standards
Singh, Puyam S., Chutia, Dibyajyoti, Sudhakar, Singuluri, Journal of Geographic Information System
Geographical data services via internet require proper management of spatial and non-spatial data. Geographic Information System helps in effective analysis and management of spatial data. Spatial data attributes can be efficiently managed using open source [1,2] based Object Oriented Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS). The development of a Web-based system by integrating GIS and ORDBMS allow the user to operate the system without having to understand with the underlying intricacies of GIS and ORDBMS technologies. Moreover, it would allow sharing of spatial information and technical expertise among varied users. The following sections describes various steps and methodologies of WebGIS development as part of potential sites mapping for sericulture development in "Champhai" district of Mizoram, India. It is developed by integrating the Minnesota Mapserver  (UMN), PHP, Apache Web Server, Chameleon, PostGIS  and PostgreSQL  Object-Relational data-base by adopting a Web based client/server environment. The system described here aims at providing a web-based platform for collaboration and data sharing between specialists, planning agencies, citizens, and private entities. To access the spatial database by the user, a Web browser and access to the Internet only is needed.
2. Designs and Implementation
The development of WebGIS [6-8] can be categorized into fatclient and thin-client. In fat-client systems, a significant proportion of data processing happens at the client, whereas the server is primarily responsible for data storage. The thin-client system on the other hand strives to minimize processing on the client; except for presentation and user interaction, most of the data processing occurs at the server. Here, in our current implementation, the thin-client approach was adopted. Some of the criteria's like software portability, optimization of user network traffic, scalability and ease of server administration have been considered before adopting and implementing the WebGIS.
2.1. Application Architecture
The MapServer , an Open Source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications to the web have been used as spatial data server. It creates map images from spatial information stored in digital format. It can handle both vector and raster data. MapServer can render over 20 different vector data formats, including shapefiles, PostGIS and ArcSDE geometries, OPeNDAP, Arc/Info coverage files.
MapServer is template based. When first executed in response to a web request, it reads a configuration file (called the map file) that describes the layers and other components of the map. It then draws and saves the map. Next, it reads one or more HTML template files that are identified in the map file. Each template consists of …
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Publication information: Article title: Development of a Web Based GIS Application for Spatial Natural Resources Information System Using Effective Open Source Software and Standards. Contributors: Singh, Puyam S. - Author, Chutia, Dibyajyoti - Author, Sudhakar, Singuluri - Author. Journal title: Journal of Geographic Information System. Volume: 4. Issue: 3 Publication date: June 2012. Page number: 261+. © 2010 Scientific Research Publishing, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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