I have some really basic newbie questions. I have following data with me:

ESRI Shape files (.shp, .shx, .dbf, .prj, .sbn and .sbx)
KML/KMZ files
GPS coordinates (~400k) of some cars (~50) tracked for a week (csv file with lat, longs and timestamps)

End Goal :
1) First, I want to overlay this data on some web-based system (like google maps), so that I can embed it in my website (I have the flexibility of running a server if a solution requires that).
2) On top of this layer, I want to overlay the gps coordinates based route for each of the cars. The end user should be able to select some of the cars and the routes for only those cars should be visible.
3) Finally, I should be able to simulate the routes, something similar to this http://hobbycoders.com/demos/gpssimulation/

Problem : If someone can direct me to the right set of tools/technologies that I should use to implement this. As of now I am just hopping from one technology to another without knowing what I should choose. The shapefiles are for some hypothetical place in the middle of pacific ocean.

  • I think your first Question to research/ask from this one is "[How] to overlay [shapefiles and/or KML files] on some web-based system (like google maps)[?]". Also, you have an arcmap tag but make no mention in the body of your Question that you are using ArcGIS for Desktop. If you are then I recommend including what version it is because KML support has improved over the years. One more thing, the title should summarize your Question body but here it seems to be introducing new information. – PolyGeo Jun 26 '14 at 22:19
  • If you have not already taken the 2 minute Tour of GIS SE, I strongly recommend it. – PolyGeo Jun 26 '14 at 22:28
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    Welcome to Gis@SE. I gave you one possible scenario (and answered the Kml and Shapfile question), but you seem predisposed to ArcMap. If that is the case, you should specify that you want to use ArcMap, if it is not, remove any references to it so you get the broadest range of answers. I assumed you did not wish to specifically use ArcMap – Mark Cupitt Jun 26 '14 at 22:51
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    Your questions should have been .. Can shapefiles and KML contain the same data and is one better than the other for timestamped GPS tracks. Second Question is along the lines of what you have here, but do not limit it to ArcMap by tagging it as such. The tags are used by most people to determine which questions they will answer. – Mark Cupitt Jun 26 '14 at 22:54
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    PolyGeo.. The reference in your last comment was bang-on and did provide some useful insight.. I guess my problem statement indeed was vague. – The Wanderer Jun 26 '14 at 23:34

One way of approaching this is with the following technologies:

Server with PostGres/PostGis, GeoSever and a Web Server installed. (Could be a windows desktop machine using IIS)

This will allow you to import the shape files and KML files into a database with geometries and create layers to present to the end user You will need to build tables of vehicles and link to the GPS Tracks so they can be downloaded The web server would be needed to interact with the client and service the page and Ajax queries mentioned below

Client Side would need OpenLayers or Leaflet to handle the interface. You would deliver the vehicle list to the client via JSON, when a vehicle on that list was called, you would then make an Ajax call to the database to retrieve the JSON response containing the Timestamped GPS Tracks

You could also store a reference to the actual kml file in the Vehicle Table and just download the entire file instead of importing them to a postgres table, but you then lose the ability to apply PostGis functions to reduce the number of points on the tracks and thus the size of your track downloads.

You then need Javascript Routines to animate the markers on a vector layer

Background map can be Google, OSM or pretty much anything you want

  • Thank you so much Mark. This indeed is helpful and a step in the right direction. – The Wanderer Jun 26 '14 at 22:51
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    GIS@SE is a Great Tool to help you learn new technology and learn from the experience of others. The reason it is so great is the way that the questions are enforced to be very specific and to the point. This does make you think about what you are asking, which is always a good thing. It does take a little time to get your head around this, at least it took me a while, but do have a read of the help files as @polygeo suggested, it will be a huge help for you in the future interaction with this group. – Mark Cupitt Jun 26 '14 at 22:58

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