GeoWorld September 2012

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BY YA WANG AND GEORGE NAYLOR a Road Less Traveled Open-Source Web GIS Development Leads to New Paths " is the dominant player. Web GISs in most public agen- cies, if they exist, typically are built on the backbone of enterprise database management systems (DBMSs) such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) o developed a Web GIS based on a PostgreSQL open- source relational DBMS as the backend. This, for pub- lic agencies, is equivalent to a journey on a road less traveled or a voyage on uncharted waters. Database Driven and Web-Service Based During the last two years, VTA's Web-GIS development transitioned from a Google API- and JavaScript-based approach to a database-driven and Web-service-based approach. The first approach is the natural choice for beginners doing Web-GIS development, because GIS mashup applications based on APIs are relatively easy to develop and deploy and don't require much infrastructure. 18 GEO W ORLD / SEPTEMBER 2O12 pen-source software and the Internet go together like bread and butter" might be true in the private world, but in public agencies, proprietary software Open-Source GIS

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