More and more cloud based GIS infrastructures are popping up these days. GISCloud is just one of those many and probably not the most famous one. But it does have some interesting features that attracts me. Today, with its free account, I was able to quickly publish a public WMS (OGC Web Map Service) simply with a few clicks. Although the service seems a little buggy in it beta but the features are promising.
To get started, simply go to http://www.giscloud.com/ and then sign up for a free account. After verification log in you will be able to things like upload/manage/share your dataset, create mashup maps with built-in layers (OSM, Google, etc.), your own dataset or public dataset shared by others, and of course your maps can be shared to other through different flavors. These are quite standard across different cloud GIS platforms nowadays.
The aspect I like most of www.GISCloud.com is the fact that it has a broad list of supported input/export formats, which by the way is very open source friendly. Especially the claim of “all OGC and GDAL formats”, which sounds quite powerful.
© 2011 GIS Cloud Ltd
The particular feature I tried is simply publishing a world boundary layer as a WMS. The user experience is quite smooth, since the world boundary is a default built-in layer, so I end up having a public WMS in literally just a few seconds.
Select “world” map on left, click Project->Share and Publish
In “Share and Publish” dialog, go to WMS tab and click “Enable”, and below that is the url endpoint of your public WMS.
The next thing is simply consume it in a free 3rd party client like Gaia
This is really fantastic start, and I really like it.
A few things to improve though:
- None of the built-in tiles layers (OSM, Google) come through as WMS, which I don’t think is technical issue but probably licensing issues;
- The world I configure in website seems to be in Mercator projection but the output WMS only claims EPSG:4326 in capabilities files;
- Still a little unstable when I enable/disable WMS back and forth with/without tiled layer like OSM, need to refresh the page to get rid of it.