Using MapServer for a self-service wind energy resource app?
(or solar, microhydro, etc)
sgillies at FRII.COM
Sun Apr 30 11:49:45 EDT 2006
On Apr 30, 2006, at 9:15 AM, dnrg wrote:
> Seems that TrueWind Solutions LLC in New York
> dominates the market for providing interactive wind
> resource mapping over the web - and that, from what I
> can tell, they use ArcIMS.
> I will be doing some pro-bono work this summer,
> helping my alma mater get their wind data on the web.
> This should help them receive less phone calls of
> people asking "is the wind resource on my parcel
> sufficient for a residential wind turbine to power my
> The University in question does have an ESRI site
> license, but I suppose:
> 1) Things change. That may not last forever. Don't
> want to build an app on a foundation that may
> 2) I'm assuming, by its open source nature, that
> MapServer is far more extensible than IMS
> 3) Seems like there are good MapServer hosting ISPs
> that aren't too terribly expensive the same probably
> isn't true with IMS hosting. [Anyone here ever use
> GISHosting.net, and is it true that they only support
> Python 2.1?!? (a deprecated version of Python no
> longer supported by Guido van R)]
> Can anyone refer me to MapServer sites that are
> currently serving wind resource data over the web? (or
> solar, hydro, etc) I would like to compare the
> functionality of renewable energy MapServer sites with
> what the TrueWind architected / IMS sites have to
> Since I am investing heavily in Python for ESRI
> work-related projects, I would also prefer to go with
> the internet mapping product that is more extensible
> using Python. I think Python is underutilized in
> ArcMap ... it's a far more capable language than ESRI
> seems to credit it for.
> Thanks very much.
Python is a good choice. Presently, the Python language bindings for
MapServer are the most rigorously tested of all, and you will also
find more support for Python in the GDAL/OGR user community than any
other language. Python also has a profusion of web programming
frameworks and tool kits, which is a blessing or a curse depending on
your perspective. ISPs tend to see it as the latter, which is why you
don't find it offered as widely as PHP or Perl. If you like Plone,
there is a mapping product for that application
That will marry your Plone content to MapServer, and give you a
through-the-web interface for map configuration. PrimaGIS uses the
Python Cartographic Library, a new and more Pythonic abstraction over
MapServer and GDAL.
It's possible that all your needs may be met by combining the good
old MapServer CGI program with a nice AJAX browser application. Don't
overlook this before you start to invest a lot of resources in
creating a new server application.
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