Based on the fundamental architecture of distributed Internet GIS and related software component technologies introduced in the previous chapters, this chapter focuses on the actual implementation of Web mapping servers and the available commercial packages. In 2000, there were over 30 different Web mapping software packages or solutions provided by different GIS vendors. However, different types of mapping tasks require different types of web mapping servers. To choose the right web mapping products for specific GIS applications is truly a major challenge. Four of the most popular Web map servers, ESRI ArcIMS, AutoDesk MapGuide, Geomedia WebMap Server, and MapInfo MapXtreme will be discussed in detail in terms of the architecture, major components and communication mechanism. In addition, GE SmallWorld Internet Application Server and ER Mapper's Image Web Server will be illustrated separately in the showcase window. It is hoped to provide some insights from both the GIS professional's and a manager's perspectives to help the user chooses the right software applications.

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Chapter 8 Commercial Web Mapping Programs

8.1 Introduction
8.2 ArcIMS from ESRI

      8.2.1 Three-Tier Architecture Overview

      8.2.2 ArcIMS Components in the Business Logic Tier

      8.2.3 ArcIMS Components: Data Sources

      8.2.4 ArcIMS Components: Client Viewers

      8.2.5 ArcIMS Manager

      8.2.6 ArcIMS Summary

8.3 Geomedia WebMap Professional from Intergraph

      8.3.1 An Architecture Overview of Geomedia WebMap Professional

      8.3.2 Viewer Clients for Geomedia WebMap Professional

      8.3.3 Server Components of Geomedia WebMap Professional

      8.3.4 Database Management Components

      8.3.5 Communication Process of Geomedia WebMap Professional

      8.3.6 Creating A Web Application

      8.3.7 Summary

8.4 MapXtreme from MapInfo

      8.4.1 MapXtreme Architecture

      8.4.2 MapXtreme Java Components

      8.4.3 MapXtreme Partitions

      8.4.4 Enterprise Manager

      8.4.5 Summary

8.5 MapGuide® from AutoDesk

      8.5.1 MapGuide Architecture Overview

      8.5.2 MapGuide Components: Map Authoring Components

      8.5.3 MapGuide Components: Map Viewing Components

      8.5.4 MapGuide Components: Map Serving Components

      8.5.5 MapGuide Components: Data Sources and Database Connections

      8.5.6 MapGuide Application Development

      8.5.7 How MapGuide Communicates

      8.5.8 Summary

8.6 Conclusions


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  • ESRI ArcIMS (
    ArcIMS is the Internet mapping software which will allow you access resources on the World Wide Web and distributing geographic information over the Internet for real-time integration of data from around the world. If you are a beginner, start with the Overview section which will give you detailed introduction on the technical features of ArcIMS. Wants to get some hands one experiences, the Demo will show you around who are using ArcIMS and how they are using ArcIMS. If you are professional and want to solve technical difficulties, you can refer to the Support section which provides explanations on multiple topics, such as metadata, ArcXML, etc.

  • Intergraph Geomedia WebMap Professional (
    GeoMedia WebMap is a Web-based visualization tool that offers real-time links to GIS data warehouses. The user can query a database to see information in the form of a map and click on a feature to see selected data behind that map. You can collect the information of the product and learn how to build the Geomedia WebMap through exploring the online free demo and resources. If you are interested, you can attend the web-based or classroom training to gain necessary knowledge and experiences.

  • MapInfo MapXtreme (
    MapInfo® MapXtreme® v3.0 For Windows® can deliver mapping applications through the Internet. There is a sample application wizard which will allow Microsoft Active Sever Pages (ASP) users to quickly develop and deploy sample applications. In addition, the new Save State Object feature remembers what a given user of an application was doing - i.e. what layers were turned on, how far he/she was zoomed in, what they were looking at, etc. thus to reduce the time involved in the application development. The customer applications provide real-life applications in different fields by different agencies, which will give a vivid idea what MapXtreme can help you in the future business planning or service development. By the way, you can download a 30-trial version of MapXtream for Windows v3.0.

  • AutoDesk MapGuide (,,939487-123112,00.html)
    AutoDesk MapGuide® software can help you develop, manage, maintain, and deploy GIS and digital design data applications on the Internet, your intranet, or in the field. You can take a quick tour to start with to get yourself familiar with the features of the MapGuide. Besides, there are detailed online manuals and documentations for you to refer to any technical problems you may encounter. You can also explore the sample applications for real world applications.

  • GE SmallWorld Internet Application Server (
    The Internet Application Sever software is based on established Internet standards such as XML and emerging geographic Internet standards such as WMS and GML. Spatial Object Manager™ plug-ins are data access plug-ins for Smallworld applications that provide access to data in a variety of formats including DXF, DGN, DWG, Shapefile, and MrSID formats.

  • ER Mapper Image Web Server (
    The Image Web Server enables a Microsoft Web Server to send imagery of unlimited size over the Internet directly into a users web browser or application. The unique ActiveZoom technology allows users access the data they need instantly. In order to view the imagery, you have to install the ECW plug-in, which is freely distributed. You can download Image Web Server free edition, or I-wizard for ArcIMS 3.1/4.0 which can integrate the Image Web Sever with ESRI ArcIMS.

  • On-line Internt Mapping Lecture (week6) (
    This website is the class website for Internet Mapping and Distributed GIServices offered in the Department of Geography in San Diego State University. It provides detailed introduction on key technologies for Internet Mapping including XML, ArcIMS, GML, DHTML, etc., client-side and server-side application as well as the commercial Internet mapping software available in the market.

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