[postgis-devel] trying PostGIS online

George Silva georger.silva at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 06:07:39 PST 2009

This is a great idea and can bring a lot of people into using the software.

There is a major difficulty in starting with PostGIS because you cannot see
your data. Many users and power-users wishes to convert, but they lack that
"graphic" ArcCatalog window.

For me at least was one of the barriers i found when i first started. Being
able to show future users the funcionalities of PostGIS without installing
and giving them the freedom to experiment is a vry good idea.
Congratulations for that.

If you need any help, I'm up for it.


On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:03 PM, Marc Jansen <jansen at terrestris.de> wrote:

> Hi Nicklas,
> find my answers inline:
> Nicklas Avén wrote:
>> Hallo Mark
>>  Great :-)
>>  Absolutely, we should try to get something useful out of this together.
> Maybe we simply chat when the book is published? What do you think?
>  What is producing your maps? Mapserver, geoserver?
> I have a background world-WMS served by I-don't-know... it's external, I
> simply use the service. The spatial data from a query is being rendered by
> the browser as vectorgraphics (OpenLayers allows you to display e.g.
> WKT-Strings as vector data, SVG, VML etc.).
>  I have one longterm-thought about this (seen from my situation as a novice
>> hacker trying my best :-)) , give me a few lines to explain:
>> I think PostGIS gets too samll attention at least in this part of the
>> world. Here I have focused on two reasons I think is obvious.
>> 1)   as I wrote in last post, people doesn't at once see the possibility
>> to use spatial sql-queris for analyses, they just use the spatial database
>> for storing. An online testarea to send everybody little curious could maybe
>> help some of that.
> Yes, maybe.
> 2)  I think it is a weakness that almost no webhotels can offer a PostGIS
>> functionality (together with mapserver or Geoserver) and I think one problem
>> is to be able to manage your spatial data on a webhotel. Other data you can
>> manage with phppgAdmin in postgresql. Of cource you can manage spatial data
>> to like that but you will easily get a feeling that you don't have control
>> if you can't easily see your data. So I think maybe the webhotels would be
>> more intrested if there were a web user interface to the spatial data.
> webhotels are webhosters, right ? :-) I am not an expert in that field,
> bnut would guess that only few of them offer a PostgreSQL-database, and even
> fewer one with PostGIS preinstalled... at least within the minimal package
> that includes a database.
> As for the simple preview of stored spatial data from with phppgadmin, I am
> pretty sure I remember a plugin that did that. Not sure what it was called
> though, sorry
>  So my plan is to get this tutorial site (not nessesary from my initial
>> approach) running, hoping for people to contribute in the development of the
>> site. That will have a positive effect on PostGIS during this development
>> process and maybe it will give ideas and encourage someone to implement it
>> in for example phppgAdmin.
>>  It's not illegal to be naive :-)
> I don't think you are naive. Publishing your ideas (or solutions to
> problems you happen to stumble upon) is the core of OSS, isn't it? Who knows
> if someone will jump on the train? No one will join you if you don't
> publish... so go on, release early and often!
> Regards,
> Marc
>    /Nicklas
>> 2009-12-16 Marc Jansen wrote:
>> Hi Nicklas, Hi list,
>> >
>> >I love the idea of trying SQLs in a browser and instantly get a spatial
>> >result! Actually I have built an OpenLayers [1] client for an upcoming
>> >book of mine [2] that does this. Furthermore I wanted to transform that
>> >special bit of code (the interactive terminal and the OpenLayers client)
>> >into an OpenSource application. Actally I recently submitted a talk to
>> >the german conference FOSSGIS [3] -- organized by the local german
>> >chapter FOSSGIS [4] of the OSGEO -- that wants to discuss the project
>> >and further possible development. The talk is not yet accepted.
>> >
>> >I took a slightly different appproach (Mainly because the initiual
>> >application was being developed for the book):
>> >
>> > * One opens the address of the application in the browser
>> > * You see a world map (an external WMS) in a minimal OpenLayers-Client
>> > * below the Map there is a terminal where you can enter more or less
>> > any SQL
>> > * Upon submission of the form data is sent via AJAX to aserver side
>> > script
>> > * that script does some checking and finally queries the database
>> > and gioves the result back to the client
>> > * if the result of the query is a geometry, it gets displayed on
>> > the map as a vector geometry instantly
>> > * if the result is a meta-infomation (eg ST_Area, etc.) That Info
>> > is displayed in the client.
>> > * There are some restrictions currently (allowed projections, number
>> > of returned records and the like)
>> >
>> >I have working code for all of the above, but have to wait to publish
>> >the details until the book is finally there (that would be February
>> >2010, hopefully). All the code in the book will be released under the
>> >BSD license.
>> >
>> >I see a big potential for an application like that (or the one you
>> >describe), so please contact me on- or offlist if you see any chance on
>> >working together on something like this.
>> >
>> >Best regards,
>> >Marc
>> >
>> >PS: Please excuse that I start a new thread because I couldn't reply
>> >directly to the original email.
>> >
>> >[1] http://openlayers.org
>> >[2] german only:
>> >
>> http://www.amazon.de/OpenLayers-Webentwicklung-dynamischen-Karten-Geodaten/dp/3937514929/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260946463&sr=8-1
>> >[3] http://www.fossgis.de/konferenz/wiki/Main_Page
>> >[4] http://www.fossgis.de/
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >Original email from Nicklas:
>> >Hallo
>> >
>> >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.
>> >
>> >Regards
>> >Nicklas
>> >_______________________________________________
>> >postgis-devel mailing list
>> >postgis-devel at postgis.refractions.net
>> >http://postgis.refractions.net/mailman/listinfo/postgis-devel
>> >
>> >
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> --
>  Dipl.-Geogr. Marc Jansen
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George R. C. Silva

Desenvolvimento em GIS
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