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We're looking into developing a GEO app for our city. This would be a real time app that displays what's happening in the city- and not meant for data analysis.

The map should convey only the city borders in the app, and anything else will not be available or displayed. The map is small, so the client have a lot of caching for the base layer.

I'm wondering what solution can we use that will fit our needs. Most of the GIS frameworks and APIs, like google's or mapbox are intrinsically world-wide based solutions. Is there any frame work we could use to build a more refined base layer that will be cached in the client? What tools can we use to build our own map?

closed as primarily opinion-based by PolyGeo May 5 '17 at 21:22

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While I am not particularly aware of a suitable pure 2D mapping framework, I have worked on a 3D terrain viewer-based system before, which used the Cesium framework. Cesium allows you to bring in your own data and overlay images from TIFF map rasters, and it supports both 2D and 3D viewing modes. By manipulating the interface API, you can restrict the user to viewing certain boundaries of a terrain on 2D only, as well as what information or labels you include.

In supplying the data, you can get map rasters from various sources. In the UK there's the Ordnance Survey data, and presumably similar companies or government agencies selling or providing similar datasets elsewhere in the world. You just need to write a backend API (I used Python Flask) to read from the raster and feed the data into Cesium, which makes automatic API calls based on coordinates.

Cesium runs on WebGL, thus works on most modern browsers. Depending on how much data you load with Cesium, it may be slightly energy consuming. I loaded a lot of 3D terrain shape files into it, which made it rather slow.

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