Rolling Your Own Google Maps

Scott Davis, Principle, DavisWorld Consulting

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Tuesday, July 25
Time: 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Location: Portland 253

For many people, the subtle distinction between "free but proprietary" and "free and open source" is lost. Google Maps is a prime example of this. While the power of Google Maps is quite impressive, it is at the end of the day a closed-source proprietary solution. Usage is governed by a license — liberal, but not without restrictions. And if you'd prefer to host your own Google Maps instance with your own customized data, you are simply out of luck.

Thankfully, there are free and open source mapping solutions out there that allow you to match Google Maps feature for feature. Based on the book Pragmatic GIS, this talk will give you a step-by-step demonstration of how to build your own Google Maps using nothing but open source software including PostgreSQL, PostGIS, and GeoServer. We'll discuss open data exchange standards like the Open Geospatial Consortium's web services like Web Map Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS). We'll also discuss how to use the free, public domain map data made available by various governmental agencies from the U.S. and abroad.

If you've had no previous mapping experience, this talk breaks the domain down into easy-to-understand concepts. You'll come out with a better understanding of the challenges and rewards of hosting your own web mapping infrastructure.