I'm trying to figure out how to best get started on a web-mapping project, and am wondering about where I should host my maps from.

In terms of my skills, I'm quite good at desktop mapping and cartography, and I've got mediocre PHP, mySQL, HTML and CSS skills - but I want to create this really fantastic interactive web map site that will (in my dreams only, probably!) have some kind of base layer, then overlay my own township and section grid, and have possibly hundreds of thousands of sample points. Each of these points will have data attached, and when clicked, will display it's info in a pane, and then provide the ability for registered users to comment on and discuss it. I'd like to also get some kind of feedback (thumbs up/down) ability for each user comment. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but this is what I'd like to have in the end.

My reading tells me I need a stack containing something like postGIS, MapServer, and OpenLayers but I use inmotion for my current web development and learning, which I really like, so rather than waste time figuring out how to install all of these packages there (if I even can), is it better to go with an outfit like mapserverpro.com, which has this stuff set up already and specializes in GIS hosting?

The price of their hosting packages is not a problem, and I just want to get pointed in the right direction to start with.

I guess that my short question is: does anyone here have an opinion on what mapserverpro.com is like?

Even mapserving.com?

Or would a generic hosting service usually be able to handle the stack that I mentioned, and efectively be able to handle what I picture as being a large amount of GIS data?

Also, if anyone has any comments on how to most efficiently tackle a project like this, then please feel free to set me straight.


I've never tried either Mapserverpro.com or mapserving.com so I'd be interested to hear any experiences there. Setting up a cloud server on Amazon, Rackspace et al using the Opengeo Suite is pretty straightforward but to get the result you're after you'd want to be familiar with using javascript libraries. I'd suggest also looking at Geocommons who made their enterprise functionality available for free just the other day. GIS Cloud also provide a dead simple way to get some pretty nice web mapping up and running pretty quickly.


A post from 2012, SimpleGeo APIs Closed, But Places Data is Open, says:

Push notification startup Urban Airship is closing the doors on all three APIs from the geo infrastructure company it acquired in October. The data behind one of the APIs, SimpleGeo Places, will be maintained by Factual and become part of its Factual API. Other SimpleGeo functionality is being folded into Urban Airship's platform.

This suggests the answer below the line needs to be updated (or deleted).

I might look at a service like SimpleGEO. They provided a cloud-based Geospatial database and rest end points to access them. They also come with some pre-stored data (intersection, points of interest, weather) that can add immediate value to your maps.

If you are looking to just store geo-resolved data, simplegeo may be able to fit your needs.

Full Disclosure: I use both Simplegeo and Rackspace Cloud Servers for my various mapping needs



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