Open Web Mapping: An educational resource for creating online maps using free and open source software

Sterling Quinn, The Pennsylvania State University
Thursday 15:00 - 15:25
Session 3, Track 4, Slot 1

Free and open source software (FOSS) for GIS continues to increase in functionality and usability, and offers a flexible and economic option for organization that want to create online maps; however, beginners face a broad array of software choices and may not know which FOSS products and packages to deploy in each tier of the web map architecture. Compounding the problem is the fact that much documentation for FOSS GIS is fragmented among these tier-specific products and does not provide end-to-end workflows for designing and publishing cartographic web services and assembling them into an online map product. In response to these needs, The Pennsylvania State University has introduced an open online course entitled Open Web Mapping. The course lessons explain the theory and architecture of web mapping, while walking beginners through the process of deploying online maps with FOSS. Software such as QGIS, GDAL, GeoServer, TileMill, and OpenLayers is introduced as students start from the data processing stage and work their way to the final display of interactive web service layers in a browser-based map. The course is intended as an open resource for the entire FOSS community; therefore, the lesson materials are freely accessible through a Creative Commons license.