open source GIS – the edit years….

The ability to edit features has for a long time been the reason people have moved towards the MapInfo and ESRI of the GIS world, without even a subtle glance towards Open Source, but recently this has been changing.  With the ever extending improvements within free GIS server architectures such as GeoServer, and advances in HTML5, JQuery and other javascript driven technologies, Open Source has taken giant leaps into a this field and put some very convincing augments in place.  As always it’s now up to the GIS fraternity to implement and decide how best to use all these technologies.

Open Layers
With a simple call to the map.addControl(), and adding a new DrawFeature control, suddenly you have the ability to add points, lines and polygons to the map you are currently viewing.


  new OpenLayers.Control.DrawFeature(


      "Vector Layer",

      {renderers: renderer}),



The functionality this gives everyone is extremely powerful and will be a massive assistance when it comes to development time, however, I can hear all the GIS heads spinning with concerns around data quality, accuracy, meta data, tolerances and all the other things we all like from desktop applications and many COTS products.

Data Quality

Now we need to find out how we get over this hurdle, how, with simple digitisation on the web we take that low quality “redline” and turn it into useful and accurate GIS information that we can then let into our beloved databases.  This is where the massive leaps forward will be and where the real benefits of Open Source GIS will start to show light.

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