Intro & Contents
Site & Course Structure
The material on this site is organized around two college-level courses: Web Programming and Web GIS Development.
What do all these technologies have to do with Web GIS? Well, they are the tools you need to build an actual site, even with the sophisticated Web GIS software available today.
In the first half of the Web GIS Development course, you will learn about Web GIS technology and complete a "Web GIS Sampler" lab for each of the most popular systems: Autodesk MapGuide, ESRI ArcIMS, Intergraph GeoMedia WebMap, and Open Source MapServer. During the same period, you will also build on the project work completed in the Web Programming course to create your first fully functional municipal web GIS site with MapGuide. In the second half of the summer course, you will learn about Cartographic Design and Web Services, two important topics for those building web GIS sites, while re-creating the municipal site using MapServer.
You can immediately jump to the site map which provides links to all lectures, labs, quizzes, and projects in all modules of both courses or, for more information on the entire course, you can view the complete course
outline, or jump to any of the first three modules using the following links...
Lectures (...the sometimes boring, but necessary, stuff)
We will cover the various types of Web GIS applications, and the concepts and technology behind them, along with introductions to all of the practical topics mentioned above. By the time we finish, you will know what is meant by: Client/Server Computing, Thin/Thick Client, Light/Heavy Server, Dynamic Web Browser, Remote Map Generators, and a whole bunch of other neat terms you can use to impress your friends!
The lectures will be delivered using PowerPoint presentations and HTML pages for the most part. Copies of the slides will be provided as handouts at the beginning of each lecture and the presentations will be posted here. Nevertheless, make sure you're in class every week (Tuesdays, 10:00 - 12:00, in room 250)!
Week 1: Getting Started - learn about the fundamental principles and advantages behind Web GIS and get introduced to Internet concepts and practices including topics like Client/Server architecture, Internet and Web protocols, URLs, Domain Names, and the difference between static and dynamic web pages. The lecture is presented in two parts: Web GIS Overview & Demo and Web Basics.
Week 2: Client/Server Strategies - this lecture covers more technical aspects related to Client/Server architecture introduced in lecture 1. The material is organized in two parts: Client/Server Processing and Programming.
Week 3: HTML Basics & Tables - this presentation first introduces the most fundamental HTML codes in a very concise way in the HTML Basics lecture, followed by an introduction to HTML Tables which come in very handy for formatting web pages for all kinds of things, like output results of database queries, or organizing user input forms.
Week 8: - Reading Week - get caught up or take a well-deserved break!
Week 9: Introduction to ColdFusion - a brief presentation on ColdFusion history, positioning, and advantages is presented before we get right into some of the more common tags for working with data, controlling program flow, passing parameters, and accessing databases over the web.
10: Querying Databases and Displaying Data - ColdFusion has great tools for retrieving data from a database and displaying them in dynamic
Week 12, 13: Autodesk MapGuide - these lectures start with an overview of MapGuide system architecture and then cover the features of each of the main components: the Viewer, the Author, and the Server. Information on Map Window Files and the SDF loader is also included.
Week 14, 15: Web GIS Services - these final lectures deal with technical topics related to Web GIS in general and focus on seven services that can be built into web sites to deliver GIS data and functionality over the Internet.
Lab Exercises (...the fun, but sometimes frustrating, stuff!!)
These labs should be completed during your scheduled lab time on the Geomatics intranet. However, you may need to finish them on your own time outside of class.
Lab 1: MapGuide Viewer and Author - use the Autodesk MapGuide Viewer to manipulate mapping data over the internet (or in our case, over our "intranet"). And then use the Author to put together your own web-ready map files, complete with point, polyline, polygon, text, and raster layers, an SQL data source, thematic mapping, and cartographic styles.
Lab 3b: Web Calculator - get into something a little more challenging and versatile in this lab when you build your own web-based numeric calculator that can be used to perform simple arithmetic operations.
Lab 4b: Building a Web-Database Application (part 2) - Now that you can query a database and display the data in HTML pages, you will develop the other half of this application with ColdFusion Forms and templates to populate and update the database.
You must complete these assignments on the Internet so that you can follow links to external sites and submit your work for evaluation via email.
Assign 1: Web GIS Sites - visit a selection of sites that go all out by incorporating spatial data for display and analysis.
Assign 2: More HTML - complete another 10 tutorials in Alan Levine's series as you become expert in writing HTML.
Assign 3b: Dynamic Web Pages - learn and see the difference between static and dynamic web pages. These sites sit between ancient (i.e. early 1990's) web technology and emerging web technology (e.g. as seen on the sites visited in assignment 1).
At the end of each module, you get to complete a quiz with questions based on the material covered in the lectures and lab exercises (although questions specific to the assignment will not be included, it's still a good idea to get each assignment done before the quiz if possible since it will reinforce the lecture and lab topics).
These little open book multiple-choice tests will be completed and evaluated electronically using a custom "WebQuiz" system I put together using ColdFusion.
To access the quizzes, you must have an account on the Geomatics intranet (sorry) as well as a login name and password for the WebQuiz system. To complete a quiz (once I enable it for access!), type the following URL into the address field of your browser (or just click on the link) to display a page of handy links, including one for the quizzes:
For this project, you will create a "Parcel Locator" web site to locate city parcels by address. The address number and street name will be specified by the user, and the Parcel Locator will display the corresponding map image and database attributes.
Project 0: analyze the problem at hand, design a possible solution in the form of a web GIS site, plan the implementation, and prepare the necessary map images and attribute data.
Project 3: build on the earlier versions of your Parcel Locator to add dynamic database functionality using ColdFusion to populate the Select pull-down field with attributes from the STREET table and to generate a dynamic report for the specified parcel.
Project 4: develop the final version of the Parcel Locator, incorporating the MapGuide plug-in for displaying and manipulating spatial data delivered over the Internet, and add other enhancements to the interface and more GIS functionality.
Some of the material presented on this website has been adapted from other sites and from books and individuals. Proper credit has been included wherever possible. I'd also like to especially thank the following people:
Your comments and suggestions on any part of this site or course are always welcome! Please contact me by email, phone, in person, or whatever (see below).
Professor, GIS Cartographic
College Phone: 705-324-9144 (office: room 219, ext 3708 /lab: room 339, ext 3360)
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