In this post we are talking about web mapping and static maps which are available to try out here on the interim Hampshire Hub.
Arc GIS Online
With one eye on the future strategic hub we have continued to test and explore ArcGIS online as a tool for web mapping.
Within the ArcGIS Online platform best functionality and features are available if you have your own account, i.e you can create, edit, save, query and use some similar tools to those found in a desktop GIS package.
Where publishers have made their projects public an account isn’t required to view and use basic functionality, we have created several Arc GIS Online projects in our own account, out of these projects three maps have been made public on the interim hub site mapping page , they give a flavour of the tool using 2011 Census datasets, we’ll be making more maps publicly available as our exploring of the product continues.
To help get going we have also produced a brief beginners video with annotations and commentary.
Local View is another web mapping product, it is used by us here at Hampshire and provides ready to go web templates which work and link together with our corporate GIS setup. We have used Local View to produce a variety of web maps for projects including Major Employers, Rights of Way and Land Supply Sites, in addition we have also used it to produce some of the selection of maps on the interim site mapping page
Static maps ( non-interactive pdf/picture of mapped information) are sometimes the best option. On the same interim site mapping page as the web-based map tools we have hosted a selection of static pdf map downloads, the current range of maps mainly focus on boundary layers , however we also aim to add maps presenting a variety of statistical thematic information. These are particularly useful for quick reference, generic overview or hosting in reports and presentations.
Other tools and future strategic platform
We have also been experimenting other free products that enable users to georeference data, map and host on the web.
Google sheets/fusion tables are free but powerful tools which enable you to import and publish data with as good a formatting and presentation you’ll see in equivalent desktop products. For example we have imported an API into a Google spread sheet from data stores like NOMIS, uploaded our own geographic data via a KML import, joined the two together and presented on a Google map which can then be embedded in any web page. Another free tool is Tableau, its is a free download which powerfully enables you to produce very similar results as well as building profiles with a variety of customisations. These are just two examples of free products we have tested which can do a good job of mapping with a whole variety of data and information.
For the strategic platform we will have the advantage of a comprehensive structured data store as our foundation, alongside this we may make use of all of the above tools, or we may not need to. The strategic data store could come built with a comprehensive set of mapping and visualisation tools linking together enabling users to easily produce clear mapping which dynamically sits alongside the data and visualisations within the same environment…what we would like to see is functionality that gives you the best of all worlds.