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Lecture Notes - History of Web Mapping by Mind Map: Lecture Notes - History of Web
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Lecture Notes - History of Web Mapping

Timeline  for "web mapping" at http://www.google.com/search?q=web+mapping&hl=en&prmd=ivns&sa=X&ei=-7xOTeG_GdaAhAfAzJ3XDg&ved=0CKsDEKUC&tbm=&tbs=tl:1,tl_num:100,tlul:1990,tluh:2011 and "web map" at http://www.google.com/search?q=web+map&hl=en&prmd=ivns&sa=X&ei=Y71OTezoK42zhAes46SoDg&ved=0CL0DEKUC&tbm=&tbs=tl:1,tl_num:100,tlul:1990,tluh:2011 and "geoweb" at http://www.google.com/search?q=geoweb&hl=en&prmd=ivns&sa=X&ei=y71OTZfqFsnQhAfVhfm9Dg&sqi=2&ved=0CJMDEKUC&tbm=&tbs=tl:1,tl_num:100,tlul:1990,tluh:2011

New language


The term ‘Geospatial Web’ implies the merging of geographic (location- based) information with the abstract information that currently dominates the Internet - Haklay et al


Term first coined by Di-Ann Eisnor 2006  







Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. (O’Reilly 2006)

Web Mapping 2.0

Goodchild 2007

External factors




Cheap disk space



Mobile bandwidth

Technology Timeline

Useful Reading  

Pre 20th Century

16500 BCE Star Map in caves at Lascaux, France

6200 BCE Catal Hyük map, Anatolia

2400 BCE Earliest known Babylonian map

600 BCE Pythagoras

350 BCE Aristotle

250 BCE Eratosthenes

140 BCE Ptolemy publishes Geographia - a Guide to Geography

1440 Gutenberg invents printing press

1569 Mercator publishes 1st world map

Pre 1992

Late 1980's - early 90's Early hacks of ArcView using CGI scripts

1989 GPS rollout starts

Evolution of web mapping, 1968 Pre web mapping, challenge is to get content to desktop through slow network, Data and processing moved to desktop with PC's and ArcView type clients, The data moved back to server but processing retained on desktop, Simple browser apps transfer all processing and data back to the server, Now browser is a smart client with javascript processing power exceeding servers of 20 years ago, REST interface, Driver for change = "because you can"




1992/4 ESRI UK Intra Active Maps

1993 1st Web Map Server Palo Alto Research Centre


26 June: final (24th) GPS satellite launched; GPS network becomes fully operational

Mosaic Web Browser


1993-94 PARC MapView, Limited functionality & slow cycle of click & response

Genasys start development of web broker


MIT Ortho Server used a CGI script and hacked TIFF software to serve orthophotos

Early OGC ideas


MapQuest, GeoLocate, Geocode, Route, Render, Created CD Rom apps

1996 1st MQ web service, Built CGI web interface over GeoLocate, Vector to raster in browser, Connect & interconnect, Data, Navteq, GDT, AND, MQ own content

Early offers from MapInfo & Esri were desktop products running on server

1996 - MI ProServer, See early research, Early pricing $59,500 unlimited usage!

1996 ArcView IMS extension

End of selective availability of GPS announced


Early 1997 MQ Mapware, Written for Windows, SDK's, Java,C++, .net, Vector to raster, Resolution 1600dpi, gif, jpg, eps, wap, Own MQ intermediate format

1997 PCI Geomatics, Acquired Tydac, Scripted SPANS, 1st contract Health Canada Notifiable Diseases (still live), Subsequently Environment Canada & Natural Resources Canada

1997 MapXtreme, 97 MXT Windows, 97 - MapXsite, 99 - V2, 99 Version 3.0, Java version 99

OGC begins work on web mapping


1998 ArcIMS, Built on ArcObjects, Separate from all other ESRI codebase, Scalable and performant

98 DM Solutions formed Dave McIllHagga with Daniel Marsette, Using PCU/Tydac but uncertain about future, Frank Warmerdam libraries retained by PCI lead to start of GDAL open source, Opportunities were customer driven


1999-2000 University of Minnesota Map Server Trial

OGC WMS Testbed


2000 - 4 components to stimulate adoption of OS web mapping in place, OS Operating System, OS Web Map Servers, Programing Libraries, GDAL, OGR, Uptake of internet

2000 DM looked at UoM Mapserver as alternative, Built 80% of Fluwatch in a day, Decided to switch to OS, Recruited developer to make mapserver run in windows, Subsequently built support for PHP

End of selective availability of GPS

MultiMap Launch WAP, PDA services, Tele Atlas street-level maps, Travel directions, Aerial photos, tube maps



2002 MapXtreme.net, 2008 version supports Vis Studio 2008, V7 supports latest VS


2003-5 Google used MapQuest

2003 MapServer User meeting, Community, Sructure

2003-4 MapServer, 40% of MS code written by DMS & their contractors, Part funded by customer lead requirements


2004/5 ArcGIS Server, Full GI Functionality of desktop products, Desktop on the web, all the power and complexity, Didn't scale or perform

2004 MapServer User Meeting hosted by DMS in Ottawa, Beginnings of an Open Source geo community

2004 Envinsa, SOA influenced, Added routing & geocoding to mapping, Incorporated data

Oct 2004 - Google acquires where 2 technologies from Lars & Jens Rasmussen, Cached tiles plus AJAX in the browser are a game changer, performance, cartography, How many servers?, What tools for cartography?

2004 Google Acquires Keyhole, 2005 launches Google Earth

2004 storage costs <$0.50/GB


Feb 2005 1st Google Maps service launches, Early local search results not geosearch, Initially US, July 2005 Japan, Late 2005 cover extends to Canada, Early 2006 UK & Japan, New node

2005/6 MQ Big changes, Tiles, Cached tiles and frozen zoom levels were a big shift, Slippy maps, Javascript API

2005 DM losing customers to Google, Opened eyes to importance of business model and value, Leadership in open source did not translate to business success, Increased competition as technology matured, Not thinking about customer pain points and sales process

2005 Autodesk approach re putting MapGuide into open source, Some concerns within community re branding MapServer Enterprise for MapGuide, Became the MapServer Community



2006 OSGeo formed, MapServer, MapGuide OS, On Open Source "Pragmatic not political", Autodesk funded

MultiMap switch from in house platform to deCarta

OSGEO WMS-C, see also tilecache.org


2007 Google Routing, Originally Telcontar, Replaced with Google own tech 1 year later

May 2007 Street View



2008 - Stratus, Slippy maps and RIA controls, Market specific solution, Local Govt, Insurance, SaaS model

2008 MQ becomes only a service not available as installable software

2008 ArcGIS Server REST API, Simpler range of options, Easier to program, Scalable

2008 DM refocussed on software as a service, MapSherpa.com, Connecting companies with content to connect to their users


2009-10 MQ converts to V6 pure web services

2009 Google Tiles generated on the fly from vectors, Custom styling of map base introduced


2010, Vectors streamed to google maps client for Android, When will Google be streaming vectors to the browser?


10+ OS web mapping projects, Importance of OGC specs

General Stuff

Google Technology


Is Canada a articular facture in Open Source geo?, Timing and fortunate conjunction Canadian Resources wanted open standards not open source. It just happened to be the quickest way to deliver

Beyond 2011

Esri Future, More, faster, Vision to be invisible within larger enterprise systems

Open Source, Web mapping not be a specialist domain, Blurring distinction between desktop and browser, Easier start for new users, power user getting involved in development via scripting and plugins

The role of Standards?

MIT Ortho Server – 1995 – used a CGI script and hacked TIFF software to serve orthophotos OGC begins work on web mapping – 1997 OGC WMS testbed – 1999 WMS 1.0 – 2000 GeoRSS – 2005 OSGEO WMS-C – 2006, see also tilecache.org GeoJSON – 2007

How significant were standards in the evolution of web mapping?, Intra Government, Public?

Content & Usage Timeline


Nov 2000 - Multimap adds Aerial Imagery in partnership with GeoInformation Group


August: US research describes mapping as “most popular online activity”

Usage of web mapping was limited by complexity, cost & poor user interaction


1st App was a Google built Ride Sharing app

Mashups, A new word?, 2005 Paul Rademacher - 1st mashup Housing Maps, 2005 Adrian Holovaty - Chicago Crime Maps

20% of internet users worldwide use web mapping

June: Multimap 7.3m users, MapQuest 47m

Sept: 1st Web 2.0 Conference


Early local search not really geo

24% of internet users worldwide use web mapping (45% in UK; 40% in US)

Early mentions of GeoWeb, New approaches to Geo Information distribution, usability & application development

Emergence of the term Neogeography, Approach or mode of thought not a technology


Jun: 50,000 mashups based on Google

Dec: Google Maps 71.5m Google Earth 22.7m





General Observations

MapInfo, Massively more users, Brilliant quote, Customer expectations have grown, Data quality will become more of an issue, Don't want a map just an anaswer

"Geography becomes mainstream if you make it cheap not premium", Most usage is very simple - where is & directions, Over 350,000 sites use the Maps API

Open Source, Customers are now users, Used to hire people to print custom maps now do it themselves, Sharing of data has been a big driver for web mapping, OS overcomes the cost barrier, Web mapping embedded within other applications


3 Stages of web mapping complexity, Public Mapping sites, Content controlled by provider, Poor usability limited user engagement & interest to primary task, Specialist apps built using web mapping servers, Organisations used their own content, GIS vendors web mapping tech, Interaction modes derived from professional desktop GIS, Geographic web services, OGC standards

Beyond 2011

ESRI Content, Think about the growth of functionality as content, Differentiator will be presentation of functionality, Cartographers more than techies

ESRI Users, Things people need to do haven't really changed nor are they likely to, User numbers growing from thousands to 1bn, Future is in UI

Business Timeline


TeleAtlas formed in Netherlands


Navtech formed in Silicon Valley

1st in car navigation systems ETAK and TeleAtlas


1st web site online


MultiMap founded

Vicinity founded


1996 Automobile Association of America are very early MQ customer


1997 All MQ CD Roms stopped

Microsoft launches Sidewalk service



1999 ArcWeb Services

May: Mapquest IPO raises $69M

July: Microsoft sells sidewalk to Ticketmaster; is out of web mapping


2000 AOL purchase MQ for £1.1Bn!, Business largely based on cashflow from B2B, Consumer web site losing money, AOL drive advertising, then whooosh!

Feb: Vicinity IPO:

Open Source Pitch to clients, Cheaper than print, More flexible


Dot com madness

Most internet mapping start-ups have gone out of business

July: launch of Microsoft Mappoint web service

October: Microsoft acquires Vicinity for $96 million in cash !!


MultiMap serve over 1Bn maps


MQ Created a B2B product line, Main competitor in early years was Vicinity, bought by Microsoft, Portals, Google, Yahoo, Travelocity

August: Steve Coast presented ideas for OpenStreetmap at EuroFOO

October: first draggable maps launched by search.ch


Making the API freely available, Google needs the internet to grow, More content to index, More space to place adverts, Brand recognition

2005 O'Reilly publish "Web Mapping Illustrated", First O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference; emergence of “Maps 2.0” and beginnings of Neogeography

Up to 2005 Thousands of business customers paying MQ on a transaction basis

December: Microsoft acquires GeoTango — ” SilverEye” product allows the rapid creation of 3D urban models from one or more images


End 2005 - DM discussing Open Source map business, Autodesk MapGuide Open Source

2006 OSGeo Foundation formed, Umbrella for projects

2006 1st MQ Free API

May: Openstreetmap IOW workshop

June 2006, Maps Enterprise API launches

November: mash-up workshop at Ordnance Survey


2007 3 MQ versions, Free, Enterprise, Developer

MultiMap Open API launched

AND donates Netherlands street data to OSM

1st OSM conference

Aug 2007 - Google surpasses Multimap in UK


Jan: Ordnance Survey launch OpenSpace

Google Base Data, 2008 TA contract negotiations, Maps derived from Street View, Map Maker, Coverage where navigation databases don't go, QA for Street View or other suppliers, New sources, Early 2009 TA replaced in US, Building level content starting to appear



Google Adverts in maps

April 2009 Google Maps surpasses MapQuest


2010 MQ Open Source & Data, Start using OpenStreetMap, Cost is a driver, Open option in US, UK and Germany, Quality, will see how good is the crowd, Other open source packages, Mapping is a known science, makes sense to share development, Tiles re-rendered every 10 minutes, Open version, open data, no key

Microsoft announce use of OSM


MQ Community/developer, free, Commercial data, Open, no key, Key, Drivers, Brand recognition, Developer mindshare


ESRI Business, Esri Drivers, Google, UI, Performance, Big driver over last 7/8 years has been need to get costs down for truly enterprise deployments, Licensing, Currently license on processors or users, Move to not on premise as well as on premise

MI Business, Businesses, Developers, Rich functionality, 2 platforms, Online Services, Built on Envinsa and Stratus, Could MapInfo have owned the market instead of Google if they had adopted a different approach, In a bit of a slump on the hype curve, Attractive cost model, Still a need for on prem, Data access, Integration, Proprietary vs Open, need new pricing models to respond to pressures, Issue is not Intellectual Property, it's support

MQ Business model is advertising based, Key driver is eyeballs, B2B dealer locator market is gone. Destroyed by Google

OpenStreetMap, Data was one of the main constraints on the evolution of the geoweb, now it isn't

Beyond 2011

Esri Future, Most to be online, Move to SaaS, Pay for point functionality



Interview with Sean Phelan & Audrey Mandela, founders of MultiMap, 12 Jan 2011 Interview with Charles Kennelly, CTO ESRI UK, 14 Feb 2011 Interview with Tom Myers, Product Manager Web Mapping, PBBI 27th January 2011 Interview with Ed Parsons, Geotechnologist, Google 26/1/10 Interview with Anthony Pegg, MapQuest 15/02/11 Interview with Tyler Mitchell, Executive Director OSGeo Foundation, 28 January 2011 Interview with Dave McIlhagga, founder DM Solutions, 18/02/11 Web Mapping 2.0: The Neogeography of the GeoWeb, Muki Haklay, Alex Singleton & Chris Parker (Very useful but perhaps overly UK centric)