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My Goal

I am working for a small government agency and I would like to create a geoportal. What I mean is providing my colleagues with a browser-based interface from which they can access different maps on different topics.

In practice, I am looking for a solution to display a series of layers on top of a base map. The base map will certainly be a planet.osm extraction. I need my users to be able to do these basic tasks:

  • Display the tiled base map;
  • Depending on the topic of the map, have the possibility to display/hide a limited number of layers on top of the base map;
  • CLick on a layer's feature to read its attributes.

I do not need to have a fully personalized interface as my audience is purely internal. I am looking for something that would be similar to using a Wordpress package when building a website (readily available interface at both the admin and client ends).

My Background

I work for a small government agency. Most of our work takes place on an intranet that is not connected to the Internet. The good news is that my IT folks are likely to be flexible with what I want to install on the server. On the other side, no one really has experience with working with web-based mapping applications. As for me, I am a seasoned desktop GIS (ARcGIS, QGIS) user, and I have experience with creating websites. However, I never really connected both ends: having a web mapping service.

While trying to identify the tools available to reach my goal, I already familiarized myself with using Postgresql/Postgis and Geoserver.

Previous Research

I found some ideas on StackExchange, such as this question, this one, or this one. I also got lost in explanations of Postgresql, Postigis, Geoserver, OpenLayers, Leaflet, etc.

From what I see, it seems that Geonode is a strong candidate for building my Geoportal. However, examples from the demo such as this one do not allow me to know whether a visitor will be able to display or hide specific layers overlaid over the base map. Neither do I see clearly what does the default viewer on the client's side look like (if any).

I cannot try Geonode on my local computer (a laptop running on Windows7). It is thus difficult for me to assess whether Geonode fits all my needs and and could be easily deployed by someone with no real experience.

Alternatively, ESRI Geoportal appears to be another option. However, I could not find any clear documentation comparing ESRI Geoportal to Geonode in terms of functionalities and ease of installation/use.

My Question

Do you assess that Geonode would be the best option for creating a simple geoportal on an intranet?

I also welcome any insight on the following aspects:

  • Do you know any better option which would be even easier to implement that Geonode?
  • Does Geonode come with a default interface for viewing the data (on the client's) side, or would I need to build a website from scratch?
  • Besides Geonode's technical requirements, what should I tell my IT colleagues I will need in terms of functionalities already installed on the server?
  • In the detailed installation instructions, it seems that Geonode needs a bunch of dependencies. Do you think this might be a major obstacle to installing Geonode on an intranet?
  • Would I be able to use a full planet.osm through Geonode to use as tiled based map to use with other layers?

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