At the beginning stages of using web mapping images, common questions such as “What Is Web Mapping” often come up. This FAQ is designed to answer basic questions about web mapping.
What is Web Mapping? – Web mapping involves using digital maps with overhead views (looking straight down) on the earth.
What is WMS? – WMS is an acronym that stands for: Web Mapping Service.
What is a Web Mapping Service? – A web mapping service is a technology tool that allows users to gain access to vast amounts of data from global, high-resolution, aerial imagery.
What does a Web Mapping Service cost? – Web mapping services are available at a wide variety of price points, with varying segmentations of map imagery. MapSavvy from USA-based OnTerra Systems, costs $500 a year for up to 5 users, and allows access to 20,000 global WMS images from Bing Maps. Many other web mapping services cost $1,000 a year, or more.
Can I get access to WMS images from all around the world? – Some web mapping services, including MapSavvy, allow access to global web mapping information with the price of the license. Other web mapping services segment imagery you can purchase by area or region – and the wider you want to range for your searches, the higher the price.
Why do I need WMS? – A web mapping service like MapSavvy allows users to access aerial view images of the earth, and incorporate those images into business presentations, research presentations, and for government use.
What are some examples of how a WMS might be used? – Here are some examples:
- Business – Architecture: Pull a web map of an overhead view of the construction site, incorporate the aerial image into the architecture proposal to show the placement of the structures in the context of the parcel of land.
- Research – Oceanography: Use a web map of an area of ocean to map the migration of fish.
- Government – Law Enforcement: Use a web map to plot the location of suspects and look for possible patterns in their movement.
How is the web map imagery manipulated?
Industry-standard web map imagery can be imported by various CAD and GIS applications. The image can then be incorporated into presentations, reports, and other documents.
What kinds of web map images are available?
Most web map services can provide a variety of aerial views. The 3 most universal aerial image views are:
- Base map layer (a plain aerial view of an area on the planet)
- Road layer (shows the location of roads)
- Hybrid layer (shows a combination of aerial images combined together in one web map image, i.e. both a basic aerial image with roads overlaid onto that image).
What is “ortho imagery?”
Ortho imagery is web map imagery of the earth from an overhead view that has been geometrically corrected to adjust for the tilt of the camera or lens, and any distortion.
Hopefully, this web mapping FAQ provides basic information about web mapping, web mapping services, and answers basic questions including What is Web Mapping?