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My team is building a web application that will run in the browser and display maps, using either Cesium or Openlayers.

It will display the map, some moving entities in it and will allow the user to draw and measure lines or polygons. All these may have attributes such as name/description etc.

This app will not be connected to the internet, and the maps will be supplied to use by the client (format TBD).

So, I think, we need to set up a local map server which will run in the backgroud to supply the maps, such as ArcgisServer/Geoserver.

We have no prior knowledge with map servers, and we are having a hard time understanding what are the benefits of using the (paid) ArcGIS product over something opensource like GeoServer in our case?

Thank you

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  • It sounds like you need a desktop GIS (QGIS or ArcDesktop) rather than a server - can you expand on your needs.
    – Ian Turton
    May 19, 2022 at 17:29
  • Hi, Thank you for the reply. We have a web application that will run in the browser and display maps, using either Cesium or Openlayers. It will display the map, some moving entities in it and will allow the user to draw and measure lines or polygons. All these may have attributes such as name/description etc. This app will not be connected to the internet, and the maps will be supplied to use by the client (format TBD). So, I think, we need to set up a local map server which will run in the backgroud to supply the maps, such as ArcgisServer/Geoserver.
    – blades
    May 20, 2022 at 7:50
  • can you edit the question to make your use case clearer?
    – Ian Turton
    May 20, 2022 at 9:40
  • Why do you need a server? I have never used one, so may just be dumb & missing the point. For me, leafletjs.com is the perfect answer. Just code some JS to show the map in your browser, with all of the features that you mentioned
    – Mawg
    Feb 13 at 15:17

1 Answer 1

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I would highly recommend GeoServer, but as one of the core developers I would, wouldn't I.

The advantage of GeoServer is that it uses internationally agreed standards to serve its maps, mostly the web map standard (WMS) which means that many clients and libraries can request maps from the server with out you needing to do anything. It also means that you are not locked into any one server if your needs change - it is possible to switch out GeoServer and introduce any other WMS server with out your clients noticing the change over. So if you decided to switch to MapServer later you would not need to change your client application.

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  • Thank you very much fo the detailed answer! But from my understanding doesn't Arcgis support WMS as well? My managers are especially interested in a comparison with Arcgis's solution. Because this is the first time any of us is working with GIS/maps, they are somewhat afraid that the configurations will prove too complicated and time consuming without having the suport which comes with a paid product. Additionaly, will your answer remain the same if the format chosen by the client will end up being TPK/TPKx (meaning we will need to convert them to a format supported by GeoServer) ?
    – blades
    May 20, 2022 at 10:40

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