URL parameters are no big deal for web map programmers. They use URL parameters all the time to configure complex web applications at use-time. But they're a big deal for Configurators -- map makers who are only programmer wannabes. We could never make a living programming. But we can do a lot of web mapping by reconfiguring other people's code.
San Mateo County (Calif.) took advantage of web map parameter to create a Public Maps Gallery that gives users several viewing options. We authored our web maps at ArcGIS.com to show map services on the County GIS server. Then we sent the web map unique ID as a URL parameter to several different map viewers.
The map of Whitehouse Creek - Parcels Adjacent to Rare Species Habitat is a good example.
Additional map viewer options appear at the bottom of this simple viewer:
- Presentation Map is ArcGIS Explorer Online map viewer at ArcGIS.com, built with Microsoft Silverlight. This map viewer requires the Silverlight plug-in. It has many advanced features for configuring the map layers and popups, and for creating online presentations for “telling the story with maps.”
- SMC Flex Map is Esri’s ArcGIS Server Map Viewer for Flex, which has been locally configured and hosted on the San Mateo County web server.
There are some gotchas with the URL parameter for the unique map ID. You can see this by comparing the map ID parameter that is actually sent in the URL for each of the map viewers. More about this in my next post.