[CentOS] CentOS, PHP, Basic GIS

Peter Hopfgartner peter.hopfgartner at r3-gis.com
Tue Dec 23 09:38:49 UTC 2008

Dear Micheal,

are there any good reasons not to use a normal cartesian grid? I can no 
tremember any GIS software that can use haxagonal tiles as a raster.

Anyway, there is quite a lot of GIS software that you can obtain via 
EPEL [http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL].

In case you want to publish geographical informations, do yourself a 
favor and use some of the many excellent tools out there, have a look at 
http://www.osgeo.org. A good part of the world's leading open source GIS 
people works on those projects.

Some, trying to summarize: If you want to keep your data on a database, 
go with PostgreSQL and PostGIS or SQLLite with it's spatial extensions.

If you want to work with desktop applications, have a look at QGIS and, 
at a more advanced level, GRASS.

If you want to publish your data on the web and feel more inclibned to 
PHP then to JAVA have a look at MapServer for creating the rendered 
images of your geographical data and to OpenLayers or Mapbender or 
eventulally p-mapper for publishing the rendered images on the web. 
These are the tools that we been are using here for years and your can 
go any distance with them.



Michael A. Peters wrote:
> I have no experience with GIS whatsoever. I really know squat about it.
> I'm currently working on a project to plot locality data for wildlife on 
> a map of Shasta County. This is for a new herpetological club that hopes 
> to track strength of our local herp populations, since it seems evident 
> that in the last 20 years we lost one species of frog and are close to 
> losing another (probably less than 100 left and they don't seem to be 
> successfully breeding) and the declines were known, but the extent of 
> the declines was not known well enough until it was too late. We want to 
> try and prevent that with other species in our county by keeping records 
> of where they currently are and where they use to be but are no longer 
> found. When we see what appears to be shrinking range, we can 
> investigate and if need be, request surveys by wildlife management 
> before it is too late.
> Basically - the data will be plotted as a grid of regular hexagons. When 
> locality information (museum record or photo voucher record in our own 
> database) exists, the hexagon the record sits in gets drawn a pretty 
> color (depending on type and age of records).
> I have it working on a raster (jpg) map where I guessed the 
> latitude/longitude borders - working well enough with sample data that I 
> know my php code works, but while it is ballpark accurate I need to do 
> it with maps of known values.
> Quick and dirty option - obtain (possibly pay for) a large (at least 2k 
> pixels wide) raster map with known lat/lon borders that has the county 
> outline, major lakes and rivers, nothing else. The maps could be made 
> and then resized for web view. The major problem with that model is that 
> drawing colored hexagons near the county border and near rivers will 
> make it more difficult to see them, thus making it harder to interpret 
> the map.
> What I would prefer to do -
> Draw my data hexagons on a blank slate [ via imagecreate(width,height) 
> function), then draw the county border on top of that, and then on top 
> of that either draw the lakes/rivers and/or basic topographical lines.
> My preference obviously includes getting data sets for those things 
> (county border, lakes/rivers, topography) in a format that I can parse 
> with php to draw them with gd.
> My county does have some GIS data available:
> http://www.shastagis.co.shasta.ca.us/gissearch/search_new.aspx
> I don't have a clue how to get that data into format useful for drawing 
> with gd via php.
> Anyone have experience with this? Can anyone recommend a (preferably 
> free) Linux GIS program that works on CentOS that could potentially 
> convert data files into format useful for drawing with gd?
> I don't need to get fancy with zoom, rotate, etc. capabilities - just a 
> basic static flat map output.
> Thanks for any suggestions. I may try to find a "GIS for dummies" type 
> book, though I've generally not been fond of dummy books, I kind of feel 
> like one when it comes to GIS.
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Dott. Peter Hopfgartner
R3 GIS Srl - GmbH
Via Johann Kravogl-Str. 2
I-39012 Meran/Merano (BZ)
Email: peter.hopfgartner at r3-gis.com
Tel. : +39 0473 494949
Fax  : +39 0473 069902
www  : http://www.r3-gis.com

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