Where You'll Find Me

J.B. Churchill's Personal Website


jbchurchill.com
This site describes my many varied interests. I hope to keep it up to date with things that are going on in my life. For friends and family, I created the “Family” section. I'm also starting to attract some clients for web development and GIS consulting so I have a section for that. Music and Birding have been the things that take up my spare time since I can remember so I'll be building those sections up extensively.
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12/18/2006

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Web Mapping Technologies

As a GIS professional and a web design enthusiast, I'm drawn towards mapping technologies like ESRI's , University of Minnesota's , and Google Earth. I plan to evaluate ArcIMS when the newest version of the ESRI software arrives at my door (which should be very soon). I'm currently evaluating the Open Source MapServer product and I've been interested in Google Earth and development using KML ever since I first heard about Google Earth. There just isn't enough time to do all of this stuff but I think there is enough interest in these technologies now at my job that I can at least take the time to make some evaluations.

I'm pretty happy with the MapServer product though I haven't been able to do anything very amazing with it yet (you can see my current progress at http://maps.al.umces.edu/). Getting started has been relatively easy. I took a basic demonstrative example and replaced the GIS layers with my own. See also my post on my experiences Learning MapServer.

I haven't had a chance to evaluate ArcIMS yet but I'm looking forward to it as I suspect it may be the more powerful tool with perhaps more user support but as I said ... I'll wait until I get a chance to use it to weigh in on this.

I haven't done a lot yet with google earth either but we purchased an extension for called that allows us to export GIS data to KML. In my opinion, it does a really nice job because it exports features with the same symbology used in the GIS environment which is helpful. It may take some effort to get up to speed with some of the tweaks that We'd like to include using KML.

In conclusion there are just so many choices and they each have a lot to offer. I think learning as much as possible about all of these (and perhaps some that I've not mentioned) is the only way to make a good decision. I'm excited to be exploring these kinds of options.

Some recent blog posts: