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I have been learning as much web mapping as possible lately. I really enjoy it, as it seems what you need to know to keep up with the geospatial field. I do have a question that is probably easy for most people to answer.

What is the best way to query/filter/display/symbolize data based on attributes stored on a spatial database and displayed through something like OpenLayers. I know SQL is great for querying data. But how does this fit into the aspect of a web page?? Is this where PHP comes into play? Or Ajax? I am having a lot of trouble desciphering between where the serverside/clientside work ends and begins.

Open layers is great and easy to make maps. But I want to do more with these maps and having trouble what exactly I should learn next in order to actually do something with my data. Can I do all my querying within javascript if something is served through WMS? Can I do basic queries to my GeoJSON files? Or is that where filtering comes in? I saw with CartoDB, they return a url that has the SQL in it. Is this an httpGetRequest? If I have data in MapBox, how can I filter through it and display data based on a attribute, pick from a drop-down box?

Sorry if this is a lot of question. Haha. I am just trying to grasp the concept of how to actually manipulate the data I have displayed on OpenLayers. I understand the differences between the database/map server/APIs and their function. But tying them together in a way which can change how/what/where/when my data displays is whats getting to me. For example, if I want data to be displayed based on an an attribute I type into a box. Where is this work done? Or if I want to find the closest bar to a point I place on the map, what is it on the serverside or clientside that goes through my data and finds this?

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closed as too broad by PolyGeo Jan 28 at 1:56

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What technologies have you used so far? What is your current setup? All you've mentioned is OpenLayers. What server technology are you using? – R.K. May 1 '13 at 1:37

What do you want need Geoserver. This is a java application which will read your database data, and it will create WMS and WFS services. Then you can use OpenLayers to draw the data.

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