WMS Map Viewer

GIS Contributor


Web maps provide a useful and interactive experience for accessing geographic information. Interactive web maps , in many situations, are replacing traditional paper maps for field work as well in the office.

Despite the usefulness of web maps, the standards of operation are not uniformly supported by internet browsing applications so additional software or plugins are required for access. As a result, accessing web maps using general purpose tools suitable both for the office and for the field is not an easy task. Usually organizations and companies build their own applications web or mobile that provide exclusive access to their maps on a way that isolates their map content from other publicly available map sources. The above observations sketch the major motivations for building the application that I developed called WMS Map Viewer.

WMS Map Viewer is a http/JavaScript application for visualizing, combining and indexing web maps. The application is provided as SaaS (Software as a service) so that the necessary software required for managing web maps is rapidly loaded while accessing the web site of the app and there is no need for software installation. The users may open the web maps of their choice by simply entering their URL and layer names or they may choose from a list of preconfigured connections to various publicly accessible map sources. Predefined map connections include maps of NASA NEO, OpenStreetMap, weather maps, maps of Spain and more.

The WMS Map Viewer is designed to run on practically every web enabled device (from old mobile phones to high-end system) and adjust the map content to screens of any size; even TV screens. It supports all modern versions of WMS protocol, ensuring wide compatibility with modern web maps.

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Using the application map content may be available to every user at anytime providing ubiquitous access to maps and valuable information at hand on the field as well as on the office or lab.

A screenshot of an interactive map viewer.

One really valuable function of the application regards the ability of the users to combine map layers from different sources by projecting them one over the other.

Another important feature of the app that empowers portability is the ability to store all open map layers in a single html file that users may share and view from anywhere. The save & share feature is accessible as an option from the Tools drop down menu or from the Layers button.

Using this feature, users may parameterize the application and even publish their own map content or their own view of public map sources on the web. The produced html files are ready-to-publish; they may be published on a web site and index the map layers of the users through the application.

About the Author

Pantelis Rodis has a University Degree in Computer Science and a college degree in the field of Topographic applications. Currently he is attending a post-graduate course: “Pervasive and Mobile Computing Systems Msc”.

Rodis has 14 years in geospatial business and his experience involves participation in GIS projects as system and database administrator and developing geospatial and mapping applications.

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