interactive web map

I’m trying to create an interactive web map as part of an internship. As Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try”. I know I can produce something that will be a useful display of information involving maps. One way would be to create a bunch of maps at predetermined extents and give the user the capability to navigate through a larger reference map to maps that are progressively zoomed in. I could do this by tiling, or by just making maps according to my own arbitrary choices of what looks good and conveys information. The bonus is that they have nothing right now, so anything I produce is an improvement. At the very least, it should be possible to turn layers off and on. One means of doing this is to add even more maps to the catalog above, the same extents but with different combinations of layers turned on and off. Now, this is starting to be a lot of maps to create, which means updating or changing the information would be a bit of a nuisance, but if I keep a map document handy I could just run through the bookmarks with a certain layer combination and export. I might even be able to script that. I should keep world or prj files with those, or just always use the same projection so I know what it is without one, so I could add those jpgs or whatever to a GIS. Ideally the layers would be queryable, and with permission, editable, but I consider that a goal to achieve later; first I need to see what’s involved in making it simply interactive on a web page. I’m thinking ArcGIS Explorer Online and Google Maps API will give me the capability to do the most interactivity with the most user-friendly interface, provided I’m okay with their logo (I am) and their basemap options underneath. I’m also looking at things like MapBox and TileMill, and OpenGeo which stacks PostGIS, GeoServer and Open Layers along with a couple others. I think the last one might be the best, as it actually involves a suite containing the database, the GIS, the server, all together, while the former I believe allows you basically to make maps and serve them, but I guess the data just needs to be in shapefile, KML, GeoTIFF, csv, or some other common format. So maybe I could just go back into a project and replace a “site” layer with an updated one, and how I store it and update could be Arc or Global Mapper or QGIS or OpenJump or whatever. Well, it’s Christmas eve, and I’ve got things to do. Cheers,

–j