|Web mapping services for biological data|
|Hernandez, F.; Vanhoorne, B.; T'Jampens, R.; Vanden Berghe, E. (2004). Web mapping services for biological data, in: (2004). Ocean Biodiversity Informatics, Hamburg, Germany: 29 November to 1 December 2004: book of abstracts. pp. 67|
|In: (2004). Ocean Biodiversity Informatics, Hamburg, Germany: 29 November to 1 December 2004: book of abstracts. OBIS: Hamburg. 106 pp., more|
|Available in|| Authors |
VLIZ: Proceedings 
|Document types: Conference paper; Summary|
When marine data is being shared online through the web, often the need rises for interactive mapping tools. Whether it is for displaying data, or for providing geographical selection options for this data, whether for biological parameters (distribution records) or for abiotic, oceanographic parameters: a nice, interactive map gives a clear added value to the application. At VLIZ we have several of these online databases running, and through the last few years we have developed a certain amount of program code. This paper describes our experiences, the tools developed so far, and how they will be made available to the larger scientific community. After some experiments with clickable bitmaps we chose for an SVG based technology, because of some clear benefits: SVG is an W3C specification, it is Open source, it is free and it has very good scripting possibilities. However, when using SVG for something more than a simple, one file application, several problems arise. The generation and documentation of base maps, the need for different geographical projection systems and the performance issues when using higher resolution maps are some of the problems that need to be solved. Our solution to these problems is the ‘Svg Sniplet Server’. What we basically did is to upload our charts into an SQL database, and install a webservice application that queries the database, projects the retrieved coordinates and generates small pieces of SVG code (called sniplets) that can be combined to form one SVG file. The paper further explains how you can take benefit of this service for you own applications. In a next phase we want to investigate the possible interaction with other standards like GML and other ISO 191xx standards, and the forthcoming MarineXML standard.