Web Map Layers
For organisations wishing to share map-based information with a large community of non-expert users
Web Map Layers is a sophisticated but easy-to-use off-the-shelf application for internet mapping. It provides advanced capabilities for presenting and interrogating spatial data, accessed through a familiar and responsive interface. It has been designed to run on mobile devices, tablets and PCs.
Web Map Layers is able to detect the type of device being used to access the application. When a mobile device or tablet is detected, the application launches a simplified mobile interface. This features finger-tap data interrogation and navigation, a Quick Search facility, and geolocation detection. A desktop interface provides more powerful searching capabilities, along with printing, sharing, and support for bookmarks.
At the heart of Web Map Layers is a stand-alone web service called ‘Local Knowledge™’. It returns answers to questions about a locality, such as: What is near? How many are near? How far are they? Results can be returned in tabular form, and users have the ability to ‘drill down’ to reveal more detailed information about individual items returned.
The spatial data behind Web Map Layers can be considered as comprising a number of map layers or overlays. Some map layers will be the property of the organisation deploying the application, representing its own business data. Other layers will originate from outside the organisation, such as maps produced by a national mapping agency. Where attribute data exists, a map layer can be considered as ‘intelligent’ and Web Map Layers is able to query that intelligence through its browser-based map interface.
Web Map Layers can read directly open data sources such as OGC WMS, WMTS, WFS, and tile cache services. It can also read proprietary data formats, when data is held in a Cadcorp SIS project. In total, Web Map Layers can directly consume and present spatial data in over 160 GIS, CAD, web and database formats – without translation.
Web Map Layers offers a combination of generic viewing and interrogation capabilities out-of-the box. These include the following:
- Map window controls. These comprise watermarking, copyright acknowledgement, key map, coordinate tracking, scale bar, and zoom scale select.
- Navigation. Support for both mouse and finger-tap gestures.
- Measurement. Tools are provided for line and area measurement.
- Bookmarks. Users can create and store their own bookmarks as well as having administrator-defined bookmarks.
- News sharing. A news dialogue allows maps to be shared using Twitter, Facebook and Google+, with an option provided to shorten the URL.
- Printing. A user can choose whether to print directly to a local printers or print to PDF.
- Gazetteer. A generic gazetteer is included – based on Access, SQL Server, Oracle, or PostGIS.
- Drawing tools. Redlining tools are provided for the creation of areas, lines, circles, points, symbols and text.
Geospatial web services
Underpinning Web Map Layers is an advanced geospatial web services engine, GeognoSIS. This is capable of supporting both simple and intelligent web mapping. Organisations are free to add additional functionality to Web Map Layers by writing their own web services.
Security, permission, and map settings can be configured using an Online Admin Interface.
Many organisations – public and private – are recognising the benefits of using internet mapping as an important channel of communication with their employees and with the public. The key requirement is that the application should be simple and intuitive to use, but go beyond publishing maps as graphics.
Web Map Layers achieves this by offering the following:
- an easy to use application with a familiar look-and-feel
- a responsive user interface tailored to desktop, tablet and mobile devices
- the ability to integrate diverse data sources
- an ability to interrogate intelligent maps
- an infrastructure that can be deployed to drive other services and applications, at no additional licensing cost