[postgis-devel] trying PostGIS online

Nicklas Avén nicklas.aven at jordogskog.no
Tue Dec 15 07:48:52 PST 2009

I have had an idea about a site where people can try and test postgis online. 
Working with spatial data in db-environment I think a lot of people seems like abstract and maybe suspect and
their picture of analyse spatial data is often tightly connected to some Arc-products.
So, now I have come up with something as a start. 
The basic idea is that a sql-string generates a view or a table that mapserver produces a transparent gif-image from.
The idea of working with transparent images is that you can produce many (three in the application of today) images that will be put on top of each other. The first defines the extent and the others will be showed on top.
>From this concept I continued and found a way of easily producing tutorials.
The idea is that a tutorial (defined by some objects in a html-file) controls 4 objects in the window (see attached picture):
* the text in a describing text -holder to the right in the screen
* the text in the sql-string text area, so the user can just click a button to see the result, modify it and try again
* Background map, One of the maps in the dataabse, shown "as is" in full extent or in extent defined by Map1
* An image, it is possible to, instead of the map give the url to an image. Might b convinient for showing something in the tutorial
>From this tools it should be easy, bith to present all the PostGIS functions and explain new things like Geography-type or wkt-raster.
I think it could give many sql-gurus an aha-experiense to see the possibilities of analysing spatial data with sql.
I have bought postgisonline.org for the purpose. (Thought it was best buying it before discussing it in public :-)
There is also other suggestions but I don't know if that was an option for sure or just maybe . I have no opinion in that question.
Does it sound interesting?
I would like it all to be open source. Do I haev to but some special text in the files. Do I/we risk anything if I just dump it all to this list?
about the attached pictures:
* the artistic example is Reginas example in documentation to st_longestline, buffered with 1, 2 respective 5 units on top of eachother
* picture.jpeg is the page 2 of a tutorial shoving what it looks like. Not very fancy, but I'm little alergic to heavy fanciness on the web.
  But should maybe be little more good looking with colors and so on.
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