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EDIT: I'm an intern at a small local history museum. We have a budget of $0. Project overview:

  1. I've got a bunch of old paper maps. When I say old, I mean 1800s and up. They've been scanned into TIFFs. I geo-referenced them and exported as GEOTIFFs. I've digitized the components of the maps we are focusing on (railroads, roads, etc).

  2. The goal is to construct a web application (I've used ESRI's ArcGIS Online for a different web map project with CSV data) that allows a user to select layers (of years past) to view how transportation has developed in our county. Aside from a layer selector, layer opacity needs an option to be changed.

  3. I've looked into MapBox API, but it lacks opacity sliders. QGIS Web Client looks promising and similar to the ArcGIS Server Client, but I wonder if it is too complicated for our end-users. I don't have much time to get this together, nor do I have much in the way of heavy programming experience.

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To begin with, what technology do you have available (e.g. server, software, etc)? – Aaron Jul 7 '12 at 1:09
I'd like to stick with open-source and free things, for the most part. There's a budget of zero dollars on this project. Server is a Fedora Linux mid-2000s-something. Software, I'm open. What do you suggest? – copperplate Jul 7 '12 at 1:38
How much programming experience do you have? Are there experienced programmers on the museum staff? I'm not trying to alarm you. I'm just trying to tailor answers to your circumstances since some solutions require more difficult programming than others. – user3461 Jul 8 '12 at 12:31
I can trudge my way through html/css/javascript, and a little python and php. And no, the museum staff is largely non-technologically-inclined. – copperplate Jul 8 '12 at 18:44
Gdal2tiles has a few tricks to be solved: The Geotiff must be in the same projection it will be viewed afterwards, probably Google Mercator. You have to reproject it first. The numbering-of-tiles-scheme of gdal2tiles is opposite to that of Openstreetmap. So you may find yourself with a puzzled view, if you use standard Openlayers ore leaflet. And gdal2tiles works very slow on huge tiffs. I did some tiling with success, but its not that easy. – user8725 Jul 9 '12 at 11:20

An alternative to the WMS route:

Use GDAL2Tiles to create a TMS tileset out of your imagery.

Then load up Leaflet, which is a lighter-weight alternative to OpenLayers, a javascript map client. Design buttons that interact with it.

This arrangement will let you portably run the above through any webserver, without requiring the configuration or administration of any special services.

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So, to clarify, the GDAL2Tiles would "cut up" the larger GEOTIFFs into Tiles that can then be served up by Leaflet? – copperplate Jul 8 '12 at 23:48
Set to TMS, GDAL2Tiles would cut up the GeoTIFFs into tiles (typically 256x256 pixels) of various zoom levels, and put them in a flat file directory structure of the namespace /Zoomlevel/Ycoord/Xcoord.png – MappingTomorrow Jul 9 '12 at 3:22
Okay, thanks! I'll give that a try. – copperplate Jul 9 '12 at 3:31

UMN Mapserver and Geoserver are both able to render TIFF and shapefiles. On the consumers end, Openlayers would be appropriate.

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