What mapping software should we use?



If you’d like to tidy this up or reply using some of the information in the Google Doc in addition, go ahead

Geospatial data, geographic information systems (GIS/SIG), mapping.

Geospatial (mapping/GIS) standards

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) develops open source software for mapping/GIS. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards it uses include various standard ways of serving web maps such as:
WMS = can see but not touch
WFS = can see and can click to reveal information (information boxes etc.)
WFS-T = can do these things and also edit the map (add, change and delete ‘features’)
This post helps explain the difference between them more if you want.
Features come in various types, broadly: points, lines and polygons (and ‘multi’ versions of these). I think we should stick to points.


OpenLayers 3 editing with WFS-T
Using WFS-T in OpenLayers 3?
OpenLayers 4 has just come out, but is not search a big change from OpenLayers 3. Here’s a beginner’s guide
There are loads of examples of OpenLayers here

PostgreSQL/PostGIS (spatial database)
PostGIS is a spatial extender for PostgreSQL. It is the ‘go to’ solution for storing spatial data in a database. It has a GUI called pgAdmin 4.


@admin had a look at this project for the sort of mapping we’re thinking of doing:

It is a combination of PostGIS, Open Layers and GeoServer which you can implement on your own infrastructure. GeoNode is a project of OSGeo. It seems to allow user accounts and collaborative editing. Here you can see it being used for some environmental stuff.

Documentation here.
However, seems it has very high system requirements

6GB of RAM, including swap space.
2.2GHz processor. (Additional processing power may be required for multiple concurrent styling renderings)
1 GB software disk usage.
Additional disk space for any data hosted with GeoNode and tiles cached with GeoWebCache. For spatial data, cached tiles, and “scratch space” useful for administration, a decent baseline size for GeoNode deployments is 100GB.
64-bit hardware recommended.

The current release, 2.4 is available only for Ubuntu 14.04. (we have 16.04)

Quite a few deployments are shown here

MapStory uses GeoNode and can help people tell spatiotemporal stories, so people can show how situations have changed over time (if they have the data!). Their plan for the next couple years is here.

Leaflet is like OpenLayers but often the preferred choice on mobile. However, Leaflet might be more complicated than OpenLayers if it needs to be transactional (WFS-T).
Leaflet on mobile
Leaflet with WFS-T = Flexberry
Leaflet.Editable (WFS-T)
Working demonstration of this (you can see on laptop or mobile)
Leaflet has a lot of plugins.

Looking at other options, MapServer now has TinyOWS which does WFS-T.

MediaWiki extensions
Maybe it would be useful to use a MediaWiki extension: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimaps
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Maps (see Kartographer)

See What MediaWiki extensions should we enable? for latest. We have Kartographer installed.

TileMill and Mapbox
TileMill is a development environment for online map services. It used to be part of Mapbox which is a online mapping as a service company.

After meeting a GeoNode developer from Madagascar (Faneva) on Thursday morning (6th April), it seemed maybe GeoNode wouldn’t be right for us. She has skills in Leaflet, OpenLayers, GeoServer, PostGIS etc. and said she was happy to join in on this forum.

Here is the conversation:


We can use the Kartographer extension on our wiki to get some basic mapping going. It’s very simple and we get to render Open Street Map data for free.

There’s extensive documentation here:

I believe we can just pull data right directly into our wiki and display complex maps but I’m not exactly sure of the optimum back end software for this.


From your other thread on the same topic @admin: