There is a hidden revolution going on: geography is moving from niche to the mainstream. GIS for Web Developers introduces Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in simple terms and demonstrates hands-on uses. With this book, you’ll explore popular websites like, see the technologies they use, and learn how to create your own. Written with the usual Pragmatic Bookshelf humor and real-world experience, GIS for Web Developers makes geographic programming concepts accessible to the common developer.

Out of Print

This book is currently out of print.

About this Book

  • 275 pages
  • Published:
  • Release: P1.0 (2007-11-27)
  • ISBN: 978-0-9745-1409-3

This book will demystify GIS and show you how to make GIS work for you. You’ll learn the buzzwords and explore ways to geographically-enable your own applications. GIS is not a fundamentally difficult domain, but there is a barrier to entry because of the industry jargon. This book will show you how to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” of a geographer.

You’ll learn how to find the vast amounts of free geographic data that’s out there and how to bring it all together. Although this data is free, it’s scattered across the web on a variety of different sites, in a variety of incompatible formats. You’ll see how to convert it among several popular formats⎯including plain text, ESRI Shapefiles, and Geography Markup Language (GML).

With this book in hand, you’ll become a real geographic programmer using the Java programming language. You’ll find plenty of working code examples in Java using some of the many GIS-oriented applications and APIs. You’ll be able to:

  • Find free sources of GIS data on the web
  • Browse GIS data using open source desktop viewers
  • Manipulate GIS data programmatically
  • Store and retrieve data using geographically-enabled databases
  • Explore free web toolkits like Google Maps
  • Publish and consume web services using Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) interfaces

Contents and Extracts

  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Vectors (excerpt)
  • Projections
  • Rasters
  • Spatial Databases
  • Creating OGC Web Services
  • Using OGC Web Services
  • OGC Clients (excerpt)
  • Bringing it All Together
  • Appendix A: Mac/Linux Installation
  • Appendix B: Installing Groovy

About the Author

Scott Davis is the author of Google Maps API, V2 and GIS for Web Developers: Adding ‘Where’ to Your Web Applications (both Pragmatic Bookshelf). Advocating open standards and open source solutions, Scott speaks internationally on a variety of subjects ranging from web mapping to Ajax to web services. Keep up with him at

Comments and Reviews

  • Lee McKusick said:

    Last year I tried to develop a website for mapping the invasive plant Pampas Grass that is a rapidly spreading weed in northern California. GIS for Web Developers is the book I wish I’d had at the time of that project