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Author Topic: Pros and Cons of different systems  (Read 2671 times)


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Pros and Cons of different systems
« on: 26 February 2016, 08:14:44 »
Note that what follows has been somewhat superseded by work on our prototype mapping system.

This is the beginnings of a broad-brush analysis of what we one-placers need and to what degree various possible options for a unified system currently meet those needs, concentrating on the differentiators.

Please comment or add your own analysis.

The systems we are considering are:
  • OHM (Open Historical Map) - this is in its infancy, but seems dormant
  • OSGEO (Open Source Geospatial Foundation) - the QGIS/GeoServer combination (very similar to OpenGeo Suite) is flexible, but we will need to make it how we want
  • OpenGeo Suite (from Boundless) - this is also flexible but already integrated to some extent (and there is commercial support for it)
  • Mapbox - this commercial system is free for up to 50,000 map views per month
  • Geonode - this is very flexible and we would need someone to design and implement it
Dated featuresYesYesYesNoYes3We want each aspect of the map to be able to have dates (like GEDCOM?)
Historic mapsNoYes4Yes4Yes5YesWe want to be able to include all the georeferenced historic maps we can find
Map comparisonsNo?3?3NoYesWe want to be able to compare or fade between all the maps
Hot spotsNoYesYesYes5Yes3We want to be able to make each aspect of the map a hotpot to show linked images, text, etc
Public and privateNo1YesYesNo5YesWe want to be able to specify for each map, feature, image etc as to whether it is public or private, and so have freedom to add what we want
Easy to useFairlyNo?3No?4Yes5NoWe are not computer experts and so want to be able to add, edit, publish etc what we do easily
InexpensiveYesNo3,7No7Yes6No3,7We want to be able to do mapping with only little expenditure (but note that the Society has a little grant money for development or hosting)
Assured futureNo2YesYesYesYesWe want whatever we do to be available for a long time

Further notes
1) There are tailored developments of OSM which may provide help towards making OHM better fit our requirements
2) There does not seem to be much activity on the OHM mailing list, although several people seem committed to it
3) We would have to have a system designed and implemented, hopefully this would then meet our needs, but have a large initial cost
4) Some aspects are quite easy, once you understand the system, but others remain difficult
5) A few aspects are quite easy but others, while possible, require programming
6) For up to 50,000 map views per month
7) We would need to find a hosting service, which could be free or >$200 pa, and this would need to be guaranteed for ever

Tentative Conclusions
  • I wish that OHM would be the best way to go - but we would need to be assured about its future, and to get people to develop it to meet our needs
  • The OpenGeo Suite from Boundless seems to meet most of our requirements, although like the others it can be complex to use
  • The tailored (OSGEO) Open Source QGIS/GeoServer solution is very similar to OpenGeo Suite, and the most likely to meet our needs (I still need to try it out for real, and see how it can be tailored)
  • The Geo node Open Source solution is likely to be even more expensive to have tailored
  • Mapbox is a modern, powerful, easy to use mapping system, but it is geared more to mobiles and current mapping than to history
« Last Edit: 13 December 2016, 03:24:19 by PeterC » is a Society for One-Place Studies project supported by Grassroots Giving from Skipton Building Society
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