Internet-enabled GIS for Planners


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A presentation and workshop presented at the 2009 Annual Conference of the American Planning Association, New Jersey Chapter. Originally presented at the Bloustein School, Rutgers-New Brunswick. Workshop materials available at

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Internet-enabled GIS for Planners

  1. 1. Internet enabled GIS for Planners John Hasse John Reiser Rowan University
  2. 2. GIS and Planning GIS has become a critical component in the planning process. A tool for initial research, further exploration, and formulation of a plan Initial: Base maps & demographics Exploration: Analysis, indicators, targets Plan: Visualization & presentation
  3. 3. Yesterday's GIS GIS used to be tied to the back office. Trade or purchase GIS data. Data stored on the same computer as the software. GIS was anchored to one place and only a select few had access. Computing is now distributed across a network that is accessible nearly everywhere.
  4. 4. Before, data was stored on disk, on site. Now, the data is available across the 'Net.
  5. 5. Internet GIS Internet-enabled GIS allows professionals and the public a level of access to information that was previously impossible. Professionals can report on and update maps and data in the field. The public can now access plans with ease; even contribute to the planning process via the web.
  6. 6. Internet GIS Making GIS accessible Accessing data using the web Web Map Services (ArcIMS, WMS & WFS) GIS servers & Location-based Services Keyhole Markup Language (KML) Distributing data using the web Basic and advanced distribution Basics of generating and distributing KML Overview of instituting a WMS
  7. 7. Data Accessibility We can easily share data now FTP ZIP files posted to the web Helps GIS users, but outsiders are left in the dark Inviting, easy to use map interfaces are the new way to share
  8. 8. Making GIS Accessible
  9. 9. Overview of Session Exploring Internet-enabled GIS Workshop – Zoning change analysis using IMS Short break Developing your own Internet-enabled data Exporting layers and maps to KML How to implement an open source GIS server Workshop – From ArcGIS to Google Earth Question and Answer, Review
  10. 10. Basics of Internet-enabled GIS Simple, open formats, usually XML based Data can be emailed or hosted on a webserver Uses a public or private GIS server for additional features KML is overlaid on top of images provided by Google Data is either geospatially aware map images, or actual GIS data in a web friendly format.
  11. 11. Images versus Data Map services usually deliver images of maps that include information allowing software to properly position the image on the Earth. Some map services deliver map images, along with attribute information about the features in the map image. Other map services deliver just GIS data, leaving it up to the client application to render the data on the screen.
  12. 12. Spectrum of Services Images Only Data Only Tile Services Web Map Service Web Feature Service ArcIMS ArcGIS KML
  13. 13. ArcGIS Server & ArcIMS ESRI's server-side software Allows ArcGIS desktop & mobile users access to a central GIS database Generates map images and exports feature info Many counties and large cities use this software Serves ArcGIS and web browser users Can also provide WMS and WFS services Incredibly feature rich, but expensive
  14. 14. Web Map Service WMS is a protocol for requesting rendered map tiles from a GIS server Data returned is a map image Allows access to the attribute information via XML REST-ful protocol – necessary info within the URL Open standard, free to implement
  15. 15. Web Feature Service WFS allows for retrieval of GIS features and properties from a remote server Data is GIS features; data, not maps WFS also allows updating GIS data on a remote server Returns XML data
  16. 16. KML Once a "closed" language, Google pushed for its adoption as an open standard KML is a subset of XML and related to GML KML stores vector data along with symbology KML can act as a wrapper for WMS services
  17. 17. Finding GIS Resources The Federal Government and each State maintains a Spatial Data Clearinghouse. Ours (in my opinion) is one of the best NJ Geographic Information Network Federal Geo Onestop
  18. 18. Geospatial One-Stop
  19. 19. NJ Geographic Information Network
  20. 20. NJGIN's Explorer Use Explorer to search metadata records Search by theme, keyword and area Downloads as well as live web services are indexed Provides links to connect to servers
  21. 21. Information Warehouse
  22. 22. County IMS Sites Several NJ counties have public ArcIMS websites that offer several county datasets None so far offer WMS services, so ArcGIS dependent
  23. 23. Cape May County's IMS
  24. 24. ArcGIS and IMS Sites IMS sites can be configured to allow access using ArcGIS Most of the NJ County IMS sites are configured allowing access Previously connected servers
  25. 25. ArcIMS Features Images and Features Image Features
  26. 26. Accessed via a web browser…
  27. 27. and ArcGIS.
  28. 28. Image Service allows for basic selections using the interactive selection tools.
  29. 29. Feature Service allows for selection using the Select by Location tool. 200' from this property
  30. 30. Selected features can then be exported to a shapefile or local geodatabase.
  31. 31. Zoning change analysis using Internet-enabled GIS Workshop
  32. 32. Using KML to Enhance Your Data
  33. 33. What exactly is KML? Keyhole Markup Language allows for an open exchange of GIS data, as well as: symbology for every data element 3D models (COLLADA) that have been georeferenced camera viewpoints and tours network links and web services XML based, human readable, text format OGC standard – open and license free
  34. 34. Why KML? There are free shapefile viewers for Windows – why don't we just use them? Shapefiles are just GIS data. KML allows you to define colors and icons for your GIS data, as well as set view points and include notes and links to other pages and data. KML gives your users access to your data, prepared the way you want.
  35. 35. KML Basics –
  36. 36. KML Structure Unlike shapefiles, KML is not just data. Container format for vector data, raster data, network links and dynamic data. Data is organized into folders that can be rearranged and nested. KML File Group Layer GIS Layer Polygons Image Overlay
  37. 37. KML and Network Links KML is a relatively new format and was designed with the Internet in mind. KML supports network links, allowing remote KML data to be accessed on the fly. KML also supports WMS layers, acting as a wrapper for the image service. Lightweight files can be distributed to your users Network links guarantee that users will always have the latest data.
  38. 38. KML Viewers The default data format for Google Earth is KML. Google Maps has some basic KML viewing capability – paste a URL into the map search. ESRI's free ArcExplorer can also view KML. Those without GIS can easily download any of these free applications to view your map data.
  39. 39. Google Earth In the workshop, you will export your data into KML format and view it in Google Earth. Google Earth provides the richest user experience of all the KML viewers. Google Earth also provides the largest library of GIS data. It doesn't mean that it's the only option – many of the other viewers have a purpose, too!
  40. 40. KML in Google Earth
  41. 41. Google Maps Google Maps supports points, lines, polygons, overlays and network links in KML files. You can host KML, provide the link to Google Maps, and share your data in the same way. Limited by browser's capabilities – most computers can only handle 100 features before a performance hit. Simplest way to share data to users without any need to install additional software.
  42. 42. KML in Google Maps
  43. 43. KML without ArcGIS If you have some GIS data – shapefiles tabular (CSV with coordinates) or just KML you'd like hosted there are several websites that will convert and host your data as an interactive map and KML. One of these sites is GeoCommons. Another site useful for quick KML point generation is MyGeoPosition.
  44. 44. GeoCommons –
  45. 45. GeoCommons Finder!
  46. 46. GeoCommons Maker!
  47. 47. Going Further KML is a great resource for distributing GIS data, but it has its limitations GIS specialists and developers that specialize in KML can help you push those limits. When your organization is ready to move up to a GIS server, you should know that there are several options available to you. Commercial and Open Source options.
  48. 48. Hosting with ArcGIS Server ArcGIS Server bridges the gap between your desktop GIS and the web browser Manages the generation of maps and distributes GIS data, as well as provide the rendered HTML. Access to information on Extendable via Flex, JavaScript, and Silverlight. Costly in price and hardware requirements.
  49. 49. Hosting with Open Source Unlike ArcGIS Server, there is no one open source package for complete web map hosting. Upside is that you can mix-and-match applications to create a custom service that works best for you. Open Source has no cost of entry, and support costs in line with commercial software.
  50. 50. Distributing Maps Using KML Workshop
  51. 51. Thank you for attending! Questions? Comments?