OK. Well this is IT!! Last week I gave my presentation of my semester project. I don’t know if it is technically a thesis defense but the project was hard, the paper was long and the questions were tough, so it felt like it.

Click the Slide to download the presentation.
Click the image above to download the presentation

The project ended up great. I didn’t get as far as I hoped and there’s always room for more… but I think that how those things are supposed to end. If you recall in a previous blogpost I had hoped to make a complete enterprise GIS using only free and open source software. Complete as in complete. Cradle to grave, soup to nuts, tip to tail; complete. Plus using a cloud based server so that it would be available online from anywhere.


In the given time that was not able to be accomplished. With research, building the infrastructure, installations, setup hacking at code for the application and writing the paper, I estimate the project to be 125 -150 hours this past semester. It turned into a part time job. The toughest aspect was exactly what my supervising professor predicted. Building the web platform for browser editing of the GIS layers in PostgreSQL on the AWS server.

In reality, I was looking for FOSS4G of the Esri ArcGIS Enterprise stack for a non-profit to be able to stand up. The theory is sound, even if I was not able to accomplish it fully. I know this is already available in the commercial Open Source space. Businesses and organizations build on this premise as a viable alternative and it works for them. However it takes more experience than I could gain in a semester and continued dedicated staff time.

More time needs to be dedicated to building out the web editing tools within the constraints of FOSS4G open standards. there is a series on YouTube that builds on a older version of OpenLayers but starting examples and samples are there. I assume the author OpenGeo Lab will continue the series.

All things equal, I really enjoyed the work. Sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating, it was always challenging. I’m also a bit remiss that this is the end of my Masters degree. I want to be a person that is always learning and advancing. I recently lost a friend to COVID-19. He was a professor emeritus of American Literature at Eureka College and attended a book club I was in. Sure he was 84 but that didn’t matter. His comments were pertinent to the times, insightful and kept the conversation going. Until he was admitted to the hospital he was writing 2-3 short stories a week on his blog. Never stop learning. Here is a link to my final paper.

OK. What’s Next?

EIU Project Bookmarks

I used some or all of these to complete my project

Building Land surveying app using Openlayers + PostGIS + Geoserver + PHP/AJAX from scratch
GeoServer: Layer Preview
Web GIS Application development (feature editing on web)using Geoserver, Openlayers, GeoExt, Postgis – YouTube
WFS and editing vector data on the web | GEOG 585: Web Mapping
PostGIS — Institut Géographique National
Tracing around a polygon
Comparison of relational database management systems – Wikipedia
DB Engines
List of geographic information systems software – Wikipedia
Building Your Organization’s Spatial Data Infrastructure Using Open Source Stack
GeoServer: Welcome
WMS Example
WFS Example

OpenLayers Workshop

ONLINE Introduction · GitBook
Local OpenLayers App
Local Introduction · GitBook
Web editing with WFS services—ArcGIS Server
Pricing | CARTODB
GIS Cloud
UnHelpful1 Editing Geoserver maps with Openlayers – GIS Tutorials
UnHelpful2 WFS and editing vector data on the web | GEOG 585: Web Mapping
1Install Geoserver with Tomcat
2 Develop simple Web GIS application using Geoserver, Openlayers, Geoext and postgis – part1

Edit 2/9/21:

Ugh, welp. My wonderful name strikes again.

It’s M-I-C-A-H. But oh well.