Friday, March 18, 2011

New Maps on New CRH Web Pages


Choptank River Heritage

Check out the new mini-maps embedded here and in all the new Choptank River Heritage web pages.  (Caution:  Many of the CRH pages are still being built.)

Start by clicking to zoom out till you see just the outline of the Choptank watershed.  Then click back in and see how the icons for the sites change, and then zoom in till the labels also appear. 

The GIS Tech Details

Web and online mapping technologies are really amazing.  Grab parts from different places on the Web, then plug and play.  If you've published a web site, you know what I'm talking about.  It's even cooler with web map servers running on GIS technologies and standards.  Make changes to the map once, and they appear in all the CRH web pages.

The mini map in the CRH web pages is actually a re-rendering of the Javascript map here.  This is much more capable map application than the mini-map.  You can change basemaps, turn layers on/off, add your own stuff and resave, etc.  These map viewers are easy to build at Esri's ArcGIS.com.

The trick is that you need a map service to build on.  The CRH map on ArcGIS.com is built on map services that I created and are listed in an industry-standard web map services ("REST API") directory here.  Those map services sit on a Univ of Maryland ArcGIS Server that the program director still lets me access and use.  (Thanks again to Dr. Jianguo Ma.)

Down at this foundation level -- map services -- is where the GIS/cartographer skills come in.  Using ArcGIS desktop software to author the map that produces the map service on the ArcGIS Server.  But once a web programmer (I don't mean me) knows the "/MapServer" URL above, she can build many types of Web maps and apps using my map services along with others.  Just like I've embedded mini-map for CRH pages into this blog also, here:








Pan, Zoom, Click the Points on this Map.


Or View Larger Interactive Map


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