I run large site focused on history. Our current project expects the use of maps (for simplicity, we use current maps, not historical) with quite many points (custom SVG markers), lines, polygons on it with date (and if possible, time) parameter. I need a tool to create such items on existing map layer, to be able to place this map with features in form of slippy map on my website (without editing, just viewing), and to link clicks on the objects to some function that will load additional data (by some value field taken from the geodatabase).

So far, I was experimenting with QGIS desktop, where I was able to achieve - use background map layer (via OpenLayers map plugin, Google, OpenStreepMap data) - put on SVGmarkers, lines and polygons, save locally in ?shapefile? - add value fields and date to marker table

So let's say, I am able to CREATE the features on the map.

But, I don't like the look of the background map layer, as Google is not showing the map 100% correctly in areas where I need it, on the other hand OpenStreetMap is great but it is too detailed for me (main roads, cities with names, water/rivers, country borders would be sufficient).

I'd love to have height shading added to the map, to create look similar to Google Physical map.

While reading a tons of information on the internet, I came to following requirements:

  • I need a geo app server with database - doable with GeoServer (Java) and PostGIS
  • I need to grab data from geofabrik (I plan to use it for the whole world with most of our focus will be Europe, Asia, Africa and North America) and load it into PostGIS (using tool like osm2pgsql)
  • I need to render the tiles from this data with tool like Mapnik
  • and I need to publish my layer from QGIS to GeoServer, then use some JavaScript library (Leaflet) to show it on my page.

Am I right?

And how do I pick only those information from the OpenStreetMap that I need on my map? I expect it to look similar to this

http://www.geofabrik.de/maps/rendering.html Geofabrik TOPO STYLE

Footnote: I do not need any special GIS measurement tools, geocoding, path finding, no no. Just map and items to be shown on the map, in various layers (able to turn them on and off in browser), browsable by date, with possible thousands of objects all around the globe. I cannot predict the usage, hardware is no limit for me, so I prefer to create the full stack on our server and run it from there, not to pay for some ready service (that might or might not fully fit into our needs).

  • 1
    Why not use a different way to symbolize OSM? I have found this WMS to be better than Geofabrik: ows.terrestris.de/osm/service?. Also, you can download the OSM data and choose your own symbology. It'll require some work to get it to look nice though. – Martin Apr 16 '14 at 13:09
  • well, that looks very close to what I need ! I mean especially this ows.terrestris.de/webgis-client/index.html with greyscale map layer (so my colored information will be very nicely visible) looks great. I just dont see the pricing (I admit my german language is not good enough) ? and will I be able to bind the map data with my markers layer ? via Geoserver ? – Radek Apr 16 '14 at 13:35
  • I'm afraid I don't speak a lot of German either. But from what I gather, since it's based on OSM data, it's free to use (if you refer back to OSM properly). I could find the WMS link for the greyscale map though: ows.terrestris.de/osm-gray/service? – Martin Apr 16 '14 at 13:46
  • yep, I understand it this way too, that this set of data is free. so one question is solved :) now I only need to publish the markers over the map on my website ... I tried to develop my own stuff in javascript over google maps api, i even managed to have icons scaled according to zoom level (for example, in our application it is nonsense to see "castle" icon/marker on the map in 1:5000 scale in the same size as in 1:100000 scale, so as user zoomed out, the icons resized down as they reached 1x1px, the disapeared). But as we plan to place thousands of markers, I prefer some robust solution. – Radek Apr 16 '14 at 13:56
  • So, after bit of playing, I have the geoserver up and running, and after several hours of playing with SLD styles, that are for some reason not working between QGIS and GeoServer and need to be re-done on the server side, I have almost all done. I love the GeoExplorer tool, which makes the QGIS almost redundant (for our case). – Radek Apr 18 '14 at 7:05

Well, it seems that all my questions have been answered :

  1. I launched OpenGeo Suite, with Java/Tomcat Geoserver as main tool
  2. I use GeoExplorer to edit the layers, and put features on it
  3. I use Leaflet to display map in my page, with Terrestris map as background
  4. I use WMS to display the server styled features
  5. I use code from https://gist.github.com/rclark/6908938 to get featureInfo about items I click on, with info_format=application/json param to get JSON instead of HTML table, as per http://docs.geoserver.org/stable/en/user/services/wms/reference.html#getfeatureinfo and I use it do display popup window.
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