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I am a proficient GIS and Python user. I would like to ask if any open source tools exist which allow for rendering of geospatial data on a website. I would prefer to avoid tools which require in-depth understanding of underlying client/server architectures or learning new programming languages such as JavaScript or HTML.

Do any such tools exist? Ideally I would like to be able to rapidly deploy a web viewer containing a map and some layers.

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If you use QGIS, you have at least two options to publish your maps without dealing with a server: install qgis2web-Plugin and generate web-maps with openlayers or leaflet: - you can upload the output to a webspace (if you have one) and your web-map is there. However, export tries to "translate" your QGIS-project as good as possible to openlayers/leaflet, but many details (styling etc.) that work in QGIS will not be rendered in the same manner. So if it is just for publishing some basic maps, it's good enough. If you know how to adapt the output, the export could be a start and the final styling can be done there.

Second option and probably the fastest and least complicated way: QGIS Cloud - they have their own webspace you can use: just upload all layers as well as your QGIS-Project with the qgiscloud-plugin and your webmap will appear on their site in the exactly same look as your local QGIS-project. You don't need any understanding of web-technologies - when you have your QGIS-project ready, just press a few buttons, that's it. Basic use is free, additional use of webspace with costs.

Of course, you could also use QGIS server: but then, you have to install/configure it on your own.

  • really cool answer. Let me give a couple of those a shot and get back to you. – user32882 Sep 10 at 7:57
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    By the way: my experience with qgis2web is that best you use the default styles for your symbols in QGIS. For point layers, even changing the color of a simple "white-dot" standard-style to a red fill-color could lead in an extreme case to the fact that the points are not displayed at all in the output. So whenever you have a problem exporting some layers (e.g. eements that don't appear on the map), best really stick to simple, basic default styles in QGIS before exporting and do the styling with css afterwards. Still, the pluging is amazing, porting your QGIS-project to a web-compatible map – babel Sep 10 at 19:11
  • I see that qgis2web will successfully export the current layout to a project which can be opened using any browser. Another question comes up which is: what is a simple tool/framework which I can use to serve this as a link online? I'm happy I can open it on my local computer but ultimately would like to provide it as a link that anyone can access... – user32882 Sep 15 at 9:48
  • You need your own webspace on a server... I don't know if there is any (free) service where you could just upload it to be available online. Just uploading to a cloud or so would not work, I guess. You could upload your files with a ftp-program (like FileZilla: filezilla-project.org) to your webserver to publish it – babel Sep 15 at 13:00

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