Simple Question

With just a web browser we want our field staff to collaboratively make complex maps with secured private data.

What are our options?

Note: Please provide specific product examples to help me and others start the research process and ensure we dont overlook a great solution.

I will give a concrete example in response to the comments ( @brad and @iant ) that my earlier version of the question above is too general.

Concrete Real-World Scenario Example

For example, consider there are 100 local people spread around a province in Afghanistan and they only have a web browser. The objective is to have them collaboratively making a map of the safety and danger zones in their province.


They do NOT require advanced spatial analysis such a routing etc.

Nevertheless, the final map-data product needs to be structured (geoJSON, shapefile, etc) so some one can later use the data for more complex spatial analysis.

The key functional requirement is that these people need to upload to the collaboratively edited base map the following new features with associated labels:

  • point locations of violent incidents with a labels
  • polygon zones of dangerous and safe zones with labels
  • line roads with labels

More elaborate question

What are the specific products I should look into where the data will be secure, away from the public eyes --- ideally something that connects with Google's Datastore, which is approved for SBU data (sensitive but unclassified data) --- most likely some product where spatial data is stored and served internally ?

  • 5
    Not enough information. How and who are they collaborating with? How complex? Output type/size? My first blush would be that complex and browser do not go hand in hand. At least not without a LOT of user interaction/input, and programmer dedication (not just to the code but to the user experience).
    – Brad Nesom
    Dec 14 '10 at 16:27
  • There are no safe zones in Afghanistan. Apr 11 '13 at 16:18

An alternative WFS-T server that aims for light weight and performance is http://www.tinyows.org.

Here is some implementation examples.


  • @/Nicklas, Thank you ...looks very nice......
    – b_dev
    Jan 11 '11 at 18:14

As the @Brad says with out more details it's hard to answer but look at WMS for baselayers, and WFS-T for the editing. There are many clients and servers out there that will allow you to do this, if you stick with the standards I've listed you can switch between the implementations with out any problems if you need more performance etc later.

  • OK ....please review the concrete example I added to my initial question ...I hoping this will make it easier for you to give me concrete products to look into...THANKS !
    – b_dev
    Dec 15 '10 at 21:20

One solution could be a Geoserver WFS-T over a secured connection.

Security could be achieved using InteProxy or similar. Quoting the project page: "InteProxy helps applications that use simple HTTP for some services to have secure connections with authentication and SSL. The proxy runs on the client system. Typical case are the services specified by Open Geospatial Consortium (WMS, WFS, etc.)."

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