[Web Comm] Q&A to choose a software stack

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Mon Apr 3 01:13:43 EDT 2006

Jason Birch wrote:
> I guess for web mapping, what stack you use would depend a lot on what your
> existing preferred development/deployment environment is.  Also, people
> aren't usually looking for an entire stack, just what they need to get the
> job done.


I'm not sure I agree with this.  If you have a task, ie. "publish
maps on the web from my counties airphotos in GeoTIFF and roads
infrastructure in a shapefile" there is still a need for a stack
of software.  Perhaps GDAL + PROJ + MapServer + Mapbender for instance.

It is a rather trivial need that can be completely met by just one
piece of software.  On the other hand, you have a point a that a
"bells and whistles" software package may be overkill for some

> I certainly see some problems coming trying to distinguish between the
> various web mapping components, and show how they work together.  Also,
> differentiating between the use cases for some of the smaller agile
> packages, and the larger ones like MapGuide.  We have a real wealth of
> packages to choose from, but in some ways this is a hinderance.

I agree.  At some point, to help users coming in we are going to have
to explain the roles of the different packages, and their strengths
and weaknesses.  This is going to be difficult technically and politically.
Technically there is a great deal of overlap in web mapping for instance
(between GeoServer, MapServer and MapGuide) and it is not too clear yet
from a technical point of view which is best for what cases.  But it is
also politically very dangerous for us to "judge" the packages in a
public facing way.  This could easily infuriate some of the projects.

I think it might be best to explain strengths and weaknesses of each
without trying to say anything definitive about which is best for cases
where any of several packages would be a reasonable choice.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGF, http://osgeo.org

More information about the Webcom mailing list