The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 120


1 September 2007

Public Domain GIS, Mapping & Imaging Using Web-based Services

In this paper, we outline a series of related applications and a web service designed to enable non-expert users to develop online visualizations which are essentially map-based. In the last five years, public domain GIS (geographic information systems) software for map display and beyond has become available for non-expert users in the public domain, the best examples being the various products from Google such as Google Maps and Google Earth.

We have devised various software to enable non-experts to take appropriate map data in standard formats and to transform them so that can be displayed by these software in a one stop action. The first system is called GMapCreator and we show how the software can be used to produce any number of map layers which can be overlaid on Google Maps, can be combined and toggled in combination, and whose transparency can be varied for a myriad of presentation purposes. We then evolve this into a form called ImageCutter which takes any large image and puts this into a Google Map so that the zoom and pan features of the software can be exploited. These software are now available through a site we call MapTube which is a server pointing to various maps created by GMapCreator which is a rudimentary archive of virtual map resources. Finally, we sketch how these software are being moved into 3D using the capabilities of Google Earth and Second Life to display geographic imagery.

This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 3301KB.

Authors: Michael Batty, Andrew Hudson-Smith, Paul Longley, Richard Milton, Maurizio Gibin, Alex Singleton

Publication Date: 1/9/2007

Download working paper No. 120.