Thursday, February 28, 2008

Internet Mapping .. the players

Let's list some of the Internet Mapping options:

Hard core GIS - ArcGIS server
  • expensive, tonnes of overhead, administrative hell, need for application server.
  • tools for web application generation, customisable components.
GIS and image generation - Mapserver
  • reduced GIS functionality.
  • free, easy to configure and administer, only need web server.
Interactive maps 1 - Flash/Flex 2
  • need to build from the ground up all tools and components, resolution.
  • very easy to take vector or bitmap images and create unique interactive maps.
Interactive maps 2 - Zoomify

Proprietary Mapping API's - Yahoo, Google, ESRI arcWeb

  • they control/track usage, they own the API and can change it at will, they own the data and can add any elements they wish (eg. advertising).
  • quick and easy to build a data populated fully interactive map.
Thematic maps - Flash/Flex2
  • Combining Flash swf inside Flex 2 (often best way) can be challenging, map itself need be broken into separate interactive objects which need to be pregenerated.
  • With Flex 2 charting these are very powerful ways to convey information.
Multimedia maps - Flash/Flex 2
  • Pulling all assets (images, video, audio) together.
  • Another powerful way to convey information.

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