Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Plan

I guess the best place to start is with a plan, so here it is...

I am going to write a bunch of blogs over the next few days / weeks explaining how I built a nice little Linux GIS web server. I am going to build it with the technologies I have become familiar with over the last couple of years and cover each technology as a separate blog entry. Please give me some feedback or corrections so we can document these steps together. I will update the blog entries with any good ideas or corrections.

Since professionally I'm primarily a Microsoft developer myself, the selection of technologies may not satisfy the most hardcore purist Linux geek, but that is not my goal. I want to lay out a solution that anyone (that is relatively comfortable with linux) can put together to create a good platform for GIS web no cost.

I have been using the following technologies for a little while now (maybe a few years). Until recently I have been developing my applications using Ubuntu Desktop for both development and production. It has been nice using the Gnome GUI, but now I am going to try my hand at building this as a bare bones headless Ubuntu Server strictly from the terminal. Oh, and I am creating this system as a VirtualBox guest operating system on an Ubuntu Desktop 10.04 host operating system. VirtualBox and virtualization in general is a great tool for doing this kind of experimentation so you can role back if you make mistakes. Here is the set of snapshots for the system we are building...

So, this is the system we are going to build and document in the coming blog entries...

VirutalizationVirtualBox OSEv3.1.6_r59338
Operating SystemUbuntu Serverv10.04 LTS
Web ServerApache2v2.2.14-5ubuntu8.4
Spatial Database Ext.PostGISv1.4.0-2
Mapping/GIS ServerGeoserverv2.0.3
Client GIS APIOpenLayersv?

The version numbers were obtained using...
$ sudo dpkg -s <packagename> | more 
I think this is a great little system and I am currently running these technologies to host a couple of websites with GIS functionality. I am amazed at the things you can do with a completely free solution like this. The next blog entries will cover each of these technologies.

Again, you may want to look at OpenGeo Suite if you want to do a lot of what I am going to cover here, but in a much quicker and easier way. You may not learn as much, but can get started in just a few minutes.


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