The recent developments in computational techniques have brought new developments in the digital mapping. Let’s make a short introduction of these user-friendly, but powerful web-based mapping products.
What web mapping means?
I don’t want to give you here the definition of web mapping, but I would like to explain as anyone understands what web mapping means. Web mapping represents that domain that uses GIS in order to create maps on the World Wide Web, being at the same time a product and a service for both developers and clients.
History of web mapping started after the World Wide Web released in 1989. Since that time many maps have been uploaded on the Internet and people realized that this online platform could be used to create interactive and dynamic maps. So, we may say that the history of web mapping started at the end of the 90’s and today this domain has a fulminant growth. Since that time, many web mapping tools have been released on the market.
When we speak about web mapping, or online mapping as this domain is also known, we have to know that web-based mapping software provides both static and dynamic web maps. Static web maps are similar with paper maps and the difference is that these maps are stored online. On the other hand, dynamic maps represent a certain change in the spatial data for a certain period of time, change that is reflected in these dynamic maps.
Best software and applications in web mapping
Just as with desktop and mobile geospatial software and applications, in web mapping you may find a large variety of products. In order to help those people that are interested in web mapping, I would like to mention into this section of my post about some of the best applications and software in the web mapping domain.
One of these applications is Maptive. You can also try eSpatial software, which is a fast, easy and powerful web mapping product, according to the producer description. If you are looking for a complete experience in web mapping, then I can recommend you to try GeoMicro’s AltaMap, which is providing AltaMap Server for those that are interested in web mapping. AltaMap Server is very good for those that are looking to build a business that involves web mapping and geospatial data. ArcGIS Server is another web mapping product that you can use, a product provided by ESRI.
If the above mentioned web mapping applications can be used after you pay for them, there are many free web mapping tools in the market. I may recommend you to try iMapper, Free Map Server Software or Google Maps. Other important free web mapping applications include, CartoWeb, Mapbender, Chameleon and MapFish.
Web mapping became an important domain in the geospatial domain, while many people started to use web-based mapping applications because some of them are user-friendly and intuitive. I hope that I managed to guide your first steps into the web mapping applications.