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Internet GIS software

The immense popularity and acceptibility which Internet gained over the last few years attracted GIS vendors throughout the world. The vendors thought of converging Internet and GIS resulting in ‘Internet GIS’. But GIS software had to be redesigned according to Internet specifications. This did not pose any difficulties in way of acceptance of Internet GIS as the already available softaware had to be only modified and extended to meet the internet specifications. With time Internet GIS specific software were also designed. Today the client is offered a wide range of software and the client can choose from this range any software according to the need. A compilation of the Internet GIS softaware available for use. Visit the websites to know more about the product and their ordering procedure.

MapXtreme Java Edition
MapXtreme Java Edition although borrows its algorithm MapInfo Professional® and MapInfo MapX™ but has been designed exclusively for the web and written for the Java environment. It is fully object-oriented with a simple, yet complete object-model hierarchy, providing access to a comprehensive set of mapping display, query and manipulation methods and properties. MapXtreme’s open architecture is compatible with virtually any wb environment.

For low bandwidth deployments, it sends small GIF images to clients but it can also be used with a Java Applet enhancing client-side ease-use. www.mapinfo.com/software/mapxtreme

Autodesk MapGuide Server
Autodesk MapGuide® server is a software that requests and delivers live interactive maps over the Internet. Along with Autodesk MapGuide Viewer which enables access and interaction with intelligent maps through web browsers and other custom applications by which viewers can pan and zoom, make queries, create dynamic buffering zones, measure distances etc. and Autodesk Map Guide Author with which one can define a map’s appearance, security, GIS interactivity, allows the SDF Loader to import all major mapping formats,

it forms a complete web mapping software. www.autodesk.com/products/mapguide

Internet Mapper
Internet Mapper is a system designed to publish interactive maps connected to databases on the Internet. It mainly permits two main types of functions; to display using maps the results of database queries and to obtain information regarding elements within the maps. Internet Mapper supports several different types of output formats like BMP, GIF, PNG for browsers with no add-on, Flash for standard browsers with a pluggin from Multimedia, VML for Internet Explorer 5.x and SVG for future 6.x browsers. www.imapper.com/iindex.htm

ArcIMS is specifically built to serve GIS on the Internet and is designed to make it easy to create map services, develop Web pages for communicating with the map services, and administer sites. It allows distribution of geographic information via the Internet and allows real-time integration of data. The ArcIMS server technology is part of a multitier architecture.

The wide variety of supported clients and the server potential are what set ArcIMS apart from other Internet GIS competitors. www.esri.com/software/arcims/index.html

Map Viewer Web ™
Spatial Age ® brings out the Map Viewer Web ™, a software which allows access of AM/FM database. The software, residing on a server, is accessible using the Internet and it provides a view-only mode for Web-enabled Java ™ technology. It contains an Intelligent Locate feature which helps to locate and display maps based on user defined queries. The Attribute Review allows viewing of database information associated with a feature. It allows ‘view manipulations’ like pan, zoom, etc. It supports popular database systems apart from Oracle 8i Spatial. www.byers.com/sp_about_product_map.html

Cadcorp SIS
The Cadcoro Spatial Information System ™ (SIS) bring out an Internet Developer Kit (IDK) comprising a Cadcorp SIS Map Modeller Licence, the Active Server Component (ASC) plus two client licences to allow the development and testing of sophisticated Internet GIS applications. The SIS ASC allows users to develop server based fully functional GIS applications which can be assessed through HTML browser. When combined with ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), powerful Internet Applications can be written which combine SIS mapping technology with database retrieval. It can read and display any of the standard data formats read by all other Cadcorp SIS products. www.cadcorp.com

AltaMap Server
AltaMap Server has been designed to add mapping capabilities to a web site. Dynamically generated maps can be easily included with AltaMap Server components. A custom web-based GIS application can be easily developed with the MapServer components using any scripting language. Both, raster as well as vector data can be used with AltaMap Server. In a raster map, the map server returns a GIF or JPEG image of the whole map, whereas in a vector map, the map server sends the vector data to be rendered on the client’s side by AltaMap ActiveX control. Another important feature is that it has been designed and optimised for Oracle 8i Spatial but it also supports other local data files. www.geomicro.com

ModelServer Discovery
ModelServer Discovery is a product for web-based dissemination of geoengineering data brought by Bentley. Images are displayed in standard Internet formats including SVF, CGM and JPEG. Attribute information can be obtained from a relational database which can also be queried using SQL. ModelServer Discovery can be used with any MicroStation project (Microstation GeoGraphics, Intergraph MGE etc.). It provides an ideal environment for development of GeoGraphics and MGE viewing applications. It allows integrated, on-demand query of graphical and tabular geospatial data via Internet. www.bentley.com/products/discovery

GeoMedia Web Map 3.0
GeoMedia Web Map allows communication geographically through smart maps on the Web. This windows-based technology enables to combine and distribute GIS information from multiple sources over the Internet.

A website using Geo Media can be seen below. www.ingr.com/software/geo_map/geo_web.asp

Maptitude for the Web is a special edition of Maptitude® Geographic Information System (GIS) for Windows. Maptitude for the Web includes all of the regular capabilities of Maptitude, plus special capabilities that make it easy to design, test and publish interactive map applications on web sites. Maptitude for the Web produces HTML output and does not require installation of additional application server software or browser plug-in. The program includes a collection of Mapplications® (web application templates) that you can use to quickly create your own web-based mapping applications. Mapplications are active server pages (ASP) written using popular scripting languages such as VBScript, JavaScript and HTML. Maptitude for the Web can create image files using either the JPEG format or the PNG format. A PNG map is sharper and generally half the file size of a JPEG map. Maptitude for the Web was distributed as a pre-release version in December 1999 and will be shipping in the second quarter (Q2) 2000. www.caliper.com/maptitud.htm

EtakMap® Web Server
EtakMap Web Server software helps to locate business locations via web sites. It provides address-to-address driving directions from anywhere to the desired locations. On the map it not only locates the desired spot but also displays the addresses on the map. The map includes pan and zoom features so that viewers can explore surrounding area. For faster display, it provides sample HTML templates for address matching, route planning and map display. It includes icon overlay feature to apply custom location data on maps. www.etakmap.com

WEBGIS Version 3.0
WEBGIS Version 3.0, developed by NAC Geographic Products Inc. contains the JAVA applet, which publishes Geographic Information Systems and intelligent maps created by the GIS editing software NACMAP on web pages. It also includes the WEBGIS applet, required customised ASP scripts and database files, web pages and map files for a country, a state/province, a city or any user defined area in the world. Any combination of three different coordinate systems for map objects: screen pixel, longitude/latitude and UTM can be used. The scroll map window can support an unlimited size of maps. www.globalserve.net/~nac/WEBGIS

One of the first commercial Java GIS, Active Maps is a powerful, flexible, and popular online GIS for web authors, GIS specialists, and all users. The main features include Vector GIS for display, query, and analysis of spatial data. Functions include zoom in, zoom area, zoom out, unzoom, pan, identify, table, query, label, hyperlink, tracking dynamic objects and database connections etc. Feature classification is based on attributes in the database. It is both client and server platform independent (compatible with Unix, Windows, Mac etc.). A multi-frame support allows the user to click on a map feature and display a related html in another frame. Internal support for shapefiles is present. It can convert from MIF, DBF, and ASCII files.

The Lava GIS browser is a 100% Java GIS browser, completely hardware independent, fast, customisable, and the ideal solution for corporate intranets or the Internet. It supports map integration from different servers, access to large, seamless databases, raster and vector data and advanced caching to reduce network traffic. The Magma GeoData Publisher connects the http server to various geospatial datastores. LAVA demonstrates that it is possible to design high performance vector- and raster-graphic applications in pure Java. LAVA keeps a cache of geographic objects that have been retrieved and allows to pan around and zoom-in on a selected area without having to consult the server. Lava can be integrated in web-pages with JavaScript or Java or used as an Active-X component in a standard Windows application. Applets can be added on geographic objects to customise the response of Lava when a geographic object is selected. www.pgs.nl/lava/home.html

Free Internet GIS Software

GIS needed to modify itself for Internet users. It resulted in the development of Internet GIS. But something was still missing. Internet GIS could only deliver the results of a few available datasets. A large number of datasets present with researchers could not be utilised in this field. Universities realised that the unavailability of the costly sotwares was perhaps the biggest bottleneck in the restricted use of the GIS. It was then they began to bring out their own versions of the GIS software which were freely distributed and Internet was a good medium for the free distribution of the softwares as they could be easily downloaded from the Internet. The trend brought them into focus and soon GIS industrial giants saw the opportunity to capitalise on the situation and so they too started releasing their own versions of GIS softwares in the Internet. Now there are quite a few softwares available on the Internet which are free to download and their performance too is satisfactory. A brief introduction to a few of the freely available Internet GIS softwares along with the site from which they can be downloaded is presented below.

BBN Technologies’ OpenMap™ package is a JavaBeansTM based programmer’s toolkit. Using OpenMap, one can quickly build applications and applets that access data from legacy databases and applications. OpenMapTM provides the means to allow users to see and manipulate geospatial information.At its core, OpenMap is a set of Swing components that understand geographic coordinates.

These components help to show map data and help to handle user input events to manipulate that data. The software can be downloaded from:

GeoTools is a free Java based mapping toolkit that allows maps to be viewed interactively on web browsers without the need for dedicated server side support.The project is open source and is covered by the GPL.

The software can be downloaded from www.ccg.leeds.ac.uk/geotools/beta Only

Sites using Geo tools
The virtual Slaithwaite (www.ccg.leeds.ac.uk/geotools/demos/village) depicts a digital map of the village of Slaithwaite that was created for a recent ‘Planing for Real’ project.

Practical Map Server (PMS)
The primary impetus behind the initial development of PMS was that commercial map servers available at that time required too many resources and were too unstable for use on a high-traffic website. It is easily configurable to be self-starting, and can easily be monitored by standard HTTP server monitors. PMS is 100% Pure Java and will run on any platform to which the Java 2 Runtime Environment has been ported.

PMS reads geographic features from standard ESRI shape files, allowing simple exchange of data with ArcView and other ESRI products which together command an overwhelming share of the market for commercial GIS software. PMS is the first GIS software package to implement the Dynamic Map Transport Protocol (DMTP) which was created to overcome the static limitations of most map services for the web. The software can be easily downloaded from

Public sites using PMS
Scorecard (www.scorecard.org), a service of the Environmental Defence Fund. Scorecard relies extensively on PMS to distribute data about the health hazards of pollution.

MAP SERVER Current Version: 3.3.011
MapServer provides enough core functionality to support a wide variety of web applications. Beyond browsing GIS data, MapServer allows creation of “geographic image maps”, that is, maps that can direct users to content. MapServer is an OpenSource development environment for building spatially enabled Internet applications. MapServer runs easily on Linux/Apache platforms and is known to compile on most UNIXes and will run under Windows NT/98/95.

The MapServer system also supports MapScript which allows popular scripting languages such as Perl, Python, Tk/Tcl, Guile and even Java to access the MapServer C API. MapScript provides a rich environment for developing applications that integrate disparate data. There is also the MapServer CGI application which provides a significant number of “out-of-the-box” features. The software can be downloaded from:

Sites using Map Server
The Minnesota DNR Recreation Compass, a dynamic map interface for locating information about Minnesota’s recreation areas.

State Park, SNA, canoe route, lake and river information are available.

HTML Image Mapper 2.1
HTML Image Mapper 2.1 is the easiest and most affordable way to transform ArcView GIS maps and data into great looking interactive maps for the Internet. The wizard based ArcView extension quickly converts any ArcView view document into an HTML image map. Some features of the Image Mapper are auto-generated legend which appears in pop-up window, overview map for easier navigation, support of multi-point and multi-line shapes, bug fixes and no duplication of ImageMapper buttons when reloading the project.

The software can be downloaded from: www.alta4.com/eng/products_e/im/download.htm

Public sites using HTML Image Mapper 2.1
City Tourist Information System : HTML Image Mapper 2.1 has been used to develop a City Tourist Information System of the Cathedral of Trier, Germany and surrounding historical buildings.