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INSC 553 Assignment 6: Issue Paper, Department of Interior Web Application Collaboration

IS 553 Assignment 6 is an “state of the art” comparison of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s use of Web 2.0 technologies, contrasted with the U.S. National Park Service’s implementation. Discusses Fish and Wildlife Service’s use of collaborative “Landscape Conservation Cooperatives,” online mapping technologies, inter-agency data distribution collaborations, and future directions including social media engagement and training opportunities, along with major challenges.


PostgreSQL Database Application

Hi Chuck,

I am researching online mapping services for a class project and found this:

National Wild Fish Health Survey Database.

http://www.fws.gov/wildfishsurvey/database/nwfhs/

It runs on PostgreSQL. I don’t know a lot about PostgreSQL beyond that it is open source and competitive with MySQL and other enterprise-level database options. I’ve mentioned before it has an extension called PostGIS that allows excellent handling of spatial data.

So, seeing this application really caught my eye. I think it is a good aspirational model for what we could do with DLIA data. It appears to be all open source. Im copying out text they shared on <http://www.fws.gov/wildfishsurvey/database/page/about>

Major software components:

  • OpenLayers, an open source JavaScript library for displaying map data in most modern web browsers
  • MapFish, an open source web mapping development framework
  • GeoExt, a JavaScript Toolkit for Rich Web Mapping Applications
  • Ext JS, a cross-browser JavaScript library for building rich internet applications
  • GeoServer, an open source software server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data
  • MapServer, an open source development environment for building spatially-enabled internet applications
  • PHP, a free, widely used, general-purpose scripting language
  • PostgreSQL, an open source database management system
  • PostGIS, an open source software program that adds support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL database
  • Smarty, a web template system written in PHP

I’ll probably explore this more, but wanted to share it with you now.

-Tanner

Options for Open Source, Public Access for ATBI Data

When I worked for the NBII we used Rackspace and Amazon’s cloud service, along with MySQL for the “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” database that held a similar number of species, but no spatial data.
Since your data has a spatial component, something like PostgreSQL or SQLite might be worthwhile to look at. I took a class in environmental information management last summer and was introduced to SQLite – which apparently has some advantages over databases created with Access, including native support for GIS applications like GRASS and QGIS.
SQLite works with a CMS called Django, Scott Simmerman suggested I look at that for improvements on the ATBI mapping project’s Web interface.  There some free hosting services for small or dev projects:https://wiki.python.org/moin/FreeHosts Might be worthwhile to look at that. Another “free” hosting site here: https://www.pythonanywhere.com
Finally Tom Colson mentioned something he’s working on with GSMIT – the Otter Spotter. Tom said Google Earth Engine might be worthwhile looking at for that.  Google offers grants and hosting of data for non-profits to use Earth Engine, so I’m curious how much of the ATBI database data might be translatable to KML.
When I worked for the NBII I was interested in serving up spatial data in KML files – I like them because you can open KML in robust GIS packages along with popular virtual globe tools like Google Earth or ArcGIS Explorer – things the everyday person has access to.
Even if not all the data can translate, it’s another “view” of the ATBI data that’s pretty useful for outreach, if not doing actual science.
I will explore at this issue as I have time and hopefully help as I am able.  I am a student of RDBMS and the ATBI is one of the more interesting datasets to learn with.