Why This Open Source Web-GIS Guide?

The motivation behind this guide emanates from the challenge the authors experienced personally at the outset of their career as GIS Developers. They learned unnecessary tools and technologies that were perhaps fun to them at that time, but frankly wasted a lot of their time. We don’t want you to experience the same. 

Web GIS Learning Guide

Below is a flowchart that summarizes the whole learning guide to become a Web GIS developer. 

1. Start with GIS and a GIS Software

Web-GIS can be considered as a variant of GIS, therefore it is expedient to have a solid understanding of what GIS itself entails. Knowledge of a GIS software is also highly recommended because sometimes, these software helps in making our development work easier and faster, they can also act as a testing environment.

2. Then Pickup HTML and CSS

HTML is a markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. HTML is used to create pages and make them functional. The CSS is the style sheet language used to create the visual appearance of HTML.

HTML and CSS are easy to understand, simple to edit, supported by all browsers. You can create pages with HTML and CSS (eg. login/sign up page, contact us page) and build small projects (eg. facebook login page, youtube clone etc) on it.

3. Learn JavaScript

JavaScript helps to add the interactivity to your HTML and CSS pages. It is mainly used for client-side purposes. Nowadays, people are using it in server-side (NodeJs), in games development (EaseJs), in mobile app development (React Native) as well.

But for the web-GIS developer roadmap, you just need to learn it’s application on web development only. That means client-side and server-side only.  JavaScript helps us to put  logic in the rendering of the pages. Show or hide more information with the click of a button, Zooming in or zooming out on a map, displaying animation to the page etc are some use cases of the javascript.

4. Learn about mapping libraries and other required utilities

The most common thing required in a web-GIS portal is the data visualization interface. The data visualization interface can be built easily with the help of mapping libraries. Here are the lists of some most commonly used mapping libraries.

5. Now It’s time to start working with map servers

For publishing a small amount of the structural dataset, learning mapping libraries is enough.  But the complexity will increase when you have a large volume of data from different sources. To manage such a problem we need a web map server.