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Components to the page

Web page - HTML, Javascript
Mapping client - MapBuilder
Geographic data - GNIS data, TIGER data, NASA OnEarth background
Data storage - PostGIS, Shapefile
Serving the data - GeoServer
Querying the data - GeoServer + CGI scripts

A look at the data

  • GNIS
    The GNIS dataset contains point geometry of many geographic locations around the world, 7.447872 million locations to be exact.
    The United States: water bodies, roads, states, counties, parks, and everything else you can imagine.
  • NASA OnEarth LandSat7 Global Mosaic
    Background satellite imagry of the world at a resolution of 15m per pixel. Nice!
  • Countries
    A free dataset of the countries around the world.

Page layout

The page will be two parts: the map, and the query area. The map will contain all the tools needed to pan, zoom, and reset the map. It will also show information about the map.
The query area will have two forms, a geographic location search form and a geocoder (find this address) form.
The results for each search form will appear below the respective form.


MapBuilder is the client-side tool that I used to display the map in the web browser. MapBuilder is a set of Javascript libraries that use AJAX techniques to seamlessly let a user manipulate a map in a web page.
All a web admin has to do is extract the MapBuilder files to a directory, make two little XML files, and include a tag in their HTML document, and they have a map.


GeoServer is a geographic server that handles the OGC's Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Mapping Service (WMS) requests.
In english, that means is serves up map images and lets users submit and modify existing geographic features.

MapBuilder communicates to GeoServer through WMS and WFS protocols over the internet.

>>Proceed onto the next step, Step 1: Set up the Page >>

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