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Web mapping: tools and solutions for creating interactive maps of forestry interest

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Author(s): Notarangelo G | Alga R

Journal: Forest@
ISSN 1824-0119

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 198;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Web mapping | Geobrowser | Keyhole markup language | National forest inventory

ABSTRACT
The spread of geobrowsers as tools for displaying geographically referenced information provides insights and opportunities to those who, not being specialists in Geographic Information Systems, want to take advantage from exploration and communication power offered by these software. Through the use of web services such as Google Maps and the use of suitable markup languages, one can create interactive maps starting from highly heterogeneous data and information. These interactive maps can also be easily distributed and shared with Internet users, because they do not need to use proprietary software nor special skills but only a web browser. Unlike the maps created with GIS, whose output usually is a static image, the interactive maps retain all their features to users advantage. This paper describes a web application that, using the Keyhole Markup Language and the free service of Google Maps, produces choropleth maps relating to some forest indicators estimated by the last Italian National Forest Inventory. The creation of a map is done through a simple and intuitive interface. The maps created by users can be downloaded as KML file and can be viewed or modified via the freeware application Google Earth or free and open source GIS software like Quantum GIS. The web application is free and available at www.ricercaforestale.it.
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