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OWGIS, Open source application to build GIS interfaces

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Olmo Zavala-Romero
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OWGIS version 2.0 is an open source Java and JavaScript application that builds easily configurable Web GIS sites for desktop and mobile devices. This version of OWGIS generates mobile interfaces based on HTML5 technology and can be used to create mobile applications. The style of the generated websites is modified using COMPASS, a well known CSS Authoring Framework. In addition, OWGIS uses several Open Geospatial Consortium standards to request data from the most common map servers, such as GeoServer. It is also able to request data from ncWMS servers allowing the display of 4D data from NetCDF files. This application is configured by XML files that define which layers, geographic datasets, are displayed on the Web GIS sites. Among other features, OWGIS allows for animations; vertical profiles and vertical transects; different color palettes; dynamic maps; the ability to download data, and display text in multiple languages. OWGIS users are mainly scientists in the oceanography, meteorology and climate fields.
This work describes OWGIS, an open source Java web application that creates Web GIS sites by automatically writing HTML and JavaScript code. OWGIS is configured by XML files that define which layers (geographic datasets) will be displayed on the websites. This project uses several Open Geospatial Consortium standards to request data from typical map servers, such as GeoServer, and is also able to request data from ncWMS servers. The latter allows for the displaying of 4D data stored using the NetCDF file format (widely used for storing environmental model datasets). Some of the features available on the sites built with OWGIS are: multiple languages, animations, vertical profiles and vertical transects, color palettes, color ranges, and the ability to download data. OWGIS main users are scientists, such as oceanographers or climate scientists, who store their data in NetCDF files and want to analyze, visualize, share, or compare their data using a website.