In my project (a desktop application) I need to create a map with three layers, basic geographic layer at the bottom, a GSM coverage area layer on top of it, and then a location based services layer on top of that. After creation, I have to navigate through the map and get the data of a location, longitude, latitude, GSM signal strength and the services available to that position.

Does any one know a tool that I can use to develop such kind of map?

If it is a open source one is it better?

Also I need to navigate the map interact with it and get data from my desktop application, is it possible to do after making such kind of map?

I'm programming using java programming language.


You dont need to program to do this - you just need a desktop mapping package and your data in a standard format.

Standard formats include shapefiles for points, lines, and polygons, and geoTIFFs for raster (gridded image-type) data.

I use the Open Source Quantum GIS, but there are other Open Source applications. Commercial GIS applications will be way too expensive for you if its just a little bit of mapping you need.

If you don't want to install applications you can try the latest OSGeo Live-DVD and reboot your computer with it to see how they work in a Linux-based Operating System. Most of the software works on Windows and Mac too.

If you do need to do any serious customisation then Quantum GIS is extensible in Python, and OpenJump and gvSIG (I think) use Java.


I think Quantum GIS is probably the easiest for a beginner.

If you have any questions about getting your data into the right format, post them in a new question...

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If you do need to program an application in java you might want to consider GeoTools which is a Java toolkit for handling GIS data. UDig (on the OSGEO Dvd too) and GeoServer both use GeoTools. Depending on how you store your data GeoTools may have a datastore that will connect with it directly (shapefiles, databases etc) or it's not too hard to write your own datastore.

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You could also take a look at JOSM, an OSM editor written in Java. It's open source and supports various vector and raster layers. The easiest way would be to write a plug-in for it.

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