About the POLYMAP3 project

Abstract: POLYMAP3 is a open source GIS based on  Eclipse,  uDig,  GeoTools and other open source projects. POLYMAP3 provides a general purpose geospatial Workbench, which uses latest AJAX techniques for a desktop like UI running inside the browser, and OGC services (WMS, WFS) powered by the integrated  GeoServer.

Motivation

Back in 2009 we were searching for a framework and foundation for our next projects addressing the following requirements:

  • Highly interactive, Web UI:
    • no local installation on the client
    • just a browser to start working
    • sophisticated elements: tables, trees, wizards, drag&drop, decorators, ...
    • leverage server power to provide fast rendering

  • Multi-user system:
    • let several users work on the same project and data
    • help users to synchronize their work easily
  • Integrated OGC services:
    • build OGC-services out of projects of the Workbench
    • no separate installation of another server
  • Extensible architecture:
    • let programmers extend the system in any imaginable way

Software Architecture

Eclipse provides a great user interface and programming model. It is highly extensible (OSGi), under heavy development, supported by a wide range of companies and developers, which makes it an ideal base for a geospatial application. uDig is the first open source project that builds a geospatial framework based on Eclipse, so it seemed to be a good starting point.

So we had to figure how to extend uDig to make it web-based, multi-user system with integrated OGC server. We decided to use the  Eclipse/RAP project for the UI, which provides Ajax-enabled Web applications by using the Eclipse development model - in other words: it helps you to make a server based Web application out of an Eclipse application. We decided to port parts of the uDig code to Eclipse/RAP. After lots of testing and learning we decided to use the catalog code of uDig and start from scratch with the domain model based on  Qi4j and the pipeline data processing model.

POLYMAP3 uses  OpenLayers as the map component inside the Workbench.

 GeoServer ist integrated into the POLYMAP3 server. It allows to build OGC services (WMS, WFS) out of the Workspace projects by just clicking one button. GeoServer runs inside the OSGi framework of POLYMAP3. No separate installation is required. POLYMAP3 fully controls the GeoServer instances.

Origins of the project

POLYMAP3 was started as a project of  Landkreis Mittelsachsen and the  Polymap GmbH to build SDI/INSPIRE components for municipal departments in germany and an OSM based atlas, which is now online at  http://mittelsachsen-atlas.de.

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