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Web mapping/GIS is the process of designing, implementing, generating and delivering maps, geospatial data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) functionality or services on the Web. Primarily focusing on technological issues, this field increasingly includes theoretic aspects such as cartographic design, theory and principles, social and organizational issues and applications. Given the recent advances led by mainstream Information Technology (IT) developers, the need to examine these issues becomes increasingly critical.
This book volume, Advances in Web-based GIS, Mapping Services and Applications, aims at examining both theoretical/technological advancements and social/organizational issues in the field of web-based GIS and mapping services and applications. It presents an overall view of current progress and achievements with considerable technical details and examples.
The contents address: 1) constant updating of related web and geospatial technologies as well as the revolution of web mapping caused by mainstream IT vendors such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft; 2) increased interest in geospatial information technologies from the industry; and 3) increasing demand from the general public for prompt and effective online access to geospatial information. All contributing chapters were advised to consider: 1) inclusion of recent technological advancements, especially new developments under Web 2.0, map mashups, neogeography, and the like; 2) balanced theoretical discussions and technical implementations; 3) commentary on the current stages of development; and 4) prediction of future developments over the next decade.
The original recommended topics and themes, as listed in the call for chapter proposals, include:
• Web 2.0, neogeography, and map mashups
• Technologies providing new service-oriented, distributed architectures, e.g., web services,
SOA, P2P, grid computing, etc.
• Technologies enhancing web interaction with maps and spatial representations, e.g., Ajax, SVG, GeoRSS, etc.
• Advances in virtual earth technologies
• Open source and open standards as related to web GIS/mapping
• Web-based spatial decision support
• Applications in public participation
• Geospatially-enabled workflow processes for automating web-based geospatial services
• Content and knowledge mapping
• Social mapping and networking
• New service and application models such as SaaS
• Data quality and integration, date policies, privacy and ownership
• Quality of web-based geospatial services and processes
• Impact of Web 2.0 on enterprise-wide web GIS/mapping and location services
While many of these topics have been addressed in this book volume, we feel that what needs to be further studied is related to social and organizational issues in the field of webbased GIS and mapping services and applications, as well as an assessment of the impact of Web 2.0 and more recently emerged web 3.0 on enterprise-wide web GIS/mapping and location services. We would like to see more research into, for example, data policies, privacy and
ownership, quality assurance and acceptable use policies, especially for crowd-sourcing and community-generated geographic content technologies and and applications.
In addition to the introductory chapter, the book includes 20 accepted chapters after double-blind peer review processes, which are organized into the following six sections:
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
An introductory chapter is included to present an overview of recent advances in web-based GIS, mapping services and applications, and identified some of issues and challenges faced by researchers and professionals in the field.
SECTION 2: ANALYTICAL AND GEOSPATIAL WEB SERVICES
This section includes six chapters focusing on various state-of-the-art geographic information web and processing services, ranging from analytical, simulation and virtual visualization uses to building web services and mashups.
SECTION 3: PERFORMANCE
Three chapters included in this section present some recent studies on techniques and solutions to enhance the performance of web mapping and services.
SECTION 4: AUGMENTATION AND MOBILE MAPPING
Mobile applications are increasingly using better positioning techniques and augmented reality. The three chapters in this section describe recent developments and advances in geolocating using a range of positioning systems, and augmented systems and environments for use in mobile mapping.
SECTION 5: COLLABORATION AND DECISION MAKING
This section covers the developments in both traditional application areas such as decision support and public participation, and new emerging areas such as social mapping and collaboration. Application cases exemplify the developments in some emerging areas. Five chapters are included in this section.
SECTION 6: OPEN STANDARDS FOR GEOSPATIAL SERVICES
The three chapters in this section retrieve some aspects of open standards and their use in developing web-based geospatial services.
The volume is aimed at researchers, application specialists and developers, practitioners and students who work or have an interest in the area of web GIS/mapping and its application for business, government services, communities, enterprise computing and social networking.