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515 post(s)
#19-Mar-19 22:38


What is the best way (cheapest or free) to host image tile data. I have created a map that I want to export as tiles and host these on a web site so that it functions in a similar way as googlemaps.

Not sure if this is clear.


How soon?


5,452 post(s)
#20-Mar-19 05:12

The Manifold way for that today is Release 8's IMS. It's very reliable and well-understood but it is not a good solution for bigger data beyond a few hundred MB.

Later this year, perhaps as soon as summer, Release 9's development path will reach the big "servers" releases that are planned, which include web serving. That will be perfect for what you want to do, because 9 can handle bigger data with good performance, 9 has way better styling capabilities, and 9 has a much broader understanding of web server interfaces than 8.

Web serving with 9 is also expected to be much simpler than with 8.

8 is one step evolved from the classic approach where there is a GIS package that creates projects for web display, and there is a different web server package. In the ESRI world, the classic analog is ArcGIS as the GIS and ArcIMS or whatever as the web server. In the open source world, the analog is QGIS and Map Server. In both cases, the GIS/IMS packages require an Internet server such as Microsoft IIS or Apache to host the web serving environment.

8 takes one step beyond that classic approach by integrating the GIS/IMS part with the GIS itself, so to run a web site you need just 8 running within IIS or Apache. That's great in that it eliminates integration issues between the GIS and the GIS/IMS since both are the same thing. But it still leaves the need to operate everything within IIS or Apache.

9 will take two steps beyond the classic GIS approach: 9 will fully integrate IMS and GIS and also include within 9 an integrated Internet server, so there will be no need to install/run/administer IIS or Apache. Any machine with a copy of 9 on it will automatically (if you allow it) be a web server for the 9 projects you want to make available on the web, on your local networks, etc.

Most likely, this will be a function of Viewer as well, so you could publish 9 .map projects for web browsing just by putting a free copy of Viewer on whatever machines host your web sites. That will eliminate any licensing issues that with 8 complicate GIS web serving from web sites on virtual servers, third party hosting companies, etc.


8,760 post(s)
#20-Mar-19 06:27

Fantastic post Dimitri. Thanks.


6,319 post(s)
#20-Mar-19 09:36

Interesting perspective!

I wonder which degree of interactiv IMS would be possible based on viewer. Switching visibility of layers for instance as in 8 is not changing data. Selection in 9 is no longer modifying data.

So where do we need the higher level of security necessary to allow to write data in an IMS?


8,579 post(s)
#20-Mar-19 14:34

Turning layers on and off in a map remains changing data in 9 as well, because layer visibility status is considered to be a property of the map - but we already have temporary maps and we are going to have additional smarts specifically for the web.

(We'll talk about all this more when we start publishing builds from the servers branch - have to finish the current styles branch first.)


891 post(s)
#20-Mar-19 20:48

glad to hear that looking forward to using M9 for web services.

maps made easy - ||


8,579 post(s)
#20-Mar-19 14:40

The easiest is perhaps to write tiles as individual files into a folder structure with a separate folder for each intermediate image level (something like ~\image\level\y\x.png). In 9, this can be done using a combination of SQL to access tiles for all intermediate levels + script to export all tiles from base level as well as intermediate levels as files. The resulting folder structure can then be put onto a web server and accessed as a single image in 9 and in other products.

If you decide to write SQL + script to do this in 9 and need help, ask and either me or someone else will try to help with the code (in general, I can see maybe one-two places that aren't totally transparent from the API doc, but the code isn't really going to be big or difficult, it's just connecting the bits already exposed by the object model).

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