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Joey
verrry senior member



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 2137 | TRs
Location: Redmond
Joey
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verrry senior member
PostSat May 11, 2019 4:45 pm 
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It is coming up on a year since I shut Gmap4 down for all but a few use cases not relevant here.  Since that time I have been building GISsurfer to replace at least most of the Gmap4 features.

If you were a Gmap4 user you will feel at home with GISsurfer since the on-screen interface is the same.  However the syntax for building map links is a bit different.

Website
This includes information on the various parameters you can include in a GISsurfer map link.
https://gissurfer.com (You will be redirected)

Default map - production code
https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer.php

Default map - v2.0 beta code
This is a web page with a link to the beta code and tips to get you started.
https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer-beta.html

Scanned USGS paper topos
Turn on the basemap “ESRI scanned topo USA”.

GPX and KML files
GISsurfer does not presently let you display GPX and KML files.  This feature will be added.

Delimited text files
You can use a delimited text file to add GIS basemaps and overlays to the map.  The syntax is different than what Gmap4 used.  For documentation, go to the GISsurfer website, open the menu and click “Help”.  Read about the “txtfile” parameter.
Currently you cannot use a text file to add your own symbols and lines to the map.  This feature will be added.

Surf GIS data
This is the big new feature in the v2.0 beta code.  The rest of this post describes this new feature.

At last count there were roughly 1.2 bazillion layers of data hosted on public-facing government GIS servers.  The v2.0 beta version of GISsurfer can display that data.  Whatever you are interested in, there likely is a GIS server with data layers that you would enjoy seeing on a map.

When you turn on the GIS surfing feature, one side of your screen displays the table of contents of *any* public-facing ArcGIS server.  The other side of your screen displays the map.  Click a layer on the table of contents and that data appears on the map.  “Click layer - See data”

Screenshot showing split screen:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/surf_gis/GISsurfer_split_screen.jpg

After you add some data layers to the map, you can click Menu ==> Link to this map and get a link that will replicate the map on your screen including the GIS data layers you added.

But wait - there’s more.

In order to view data that is hosted on a GIS server, you need to know the internet address of the server.  I was greatly surprised when I discovered that there was no list of the GIS servers operated by the various federal agencies.  So using simple Google searches, I produced such a list.  That work then expanded down to the city level.  Currently the list has addresses for 1,800+ ArcGIS servers.  This is a curated list.  My code automatically checks every link once a week.  Any link that goes bad is either fixed or flagged.  You can find this list in a PDF file at:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/surf_gis/list-federal-state-county-city-GIS-servers.pdf

Let’s do an example.  Assume you want to know about trails in the Bellingham area.

1. Open the PDF file with the list of ArcGIS servers and search on ‘Bellingham’.  You will see a link for the ArcGIS server operated by the City of Bellingham.  Click that link.

2. You are now looking at the table of contents for that server and you are going to click those links to drill down through the table of contents looking for trail data to display on the map.  Sometimes if you look around you will find the same data in more than one layer.  When that happens I try to display each layer to see which has the styling (color, symbols, line width, etc)  that makes the data easiest to see on the map.

3. Go ahead and click “Maps” and then click “ReportLayers”.  Scroll down to layer 19 titled “park Trails”.  That is the layer we will display in this example.

4. Open a new browser tab and start the 2.0 beta version of GISsurfer.  Pan and zoom in on Bellingham.  Or do Menu ==> Search.
https://mappingsupport.com/temp/gissurfer_426_beta.php

5. Click the basemap button (next to the “Menu” button) and look under the “Overlay” heading.  (Mobile users scroll down).  Click “Add GIS overlays”.

6.  Go back to the tab with the server table of contents and copy the address from the top of that browser tab.
https://www.iqmap.org/arcgis4/rest/services/Maps/ReportLayers/MapServer

7. Paste that address into the GISsurfer dialog box and click “Send request to GIS server”.  The sidebar will open and the list of data layers will appear.

8. Scroll down to layer 19 and click it.  The trail data will appear on the map. 

9. To get a link that will replicate the map on your screen, including the trail layer you added to the map, click Menu ==> Link to this map.

There is one known bug in the beta code.  Nested MapServer layers do not display correctly.  This will get fixed.

Finally, the “Overlay” heading of GISsurfer always shows the overlays the map can display.  An overlay with a number in front is ‘on’.  The overlays are stacked on top of each other with the highest numbered overlay ‘on top’.  The order with which you turn overlays ‘on’ can have a huge impact on the appearance of your map.  The ‘top’ overlay (i.e. highest number) can be clicked to display all the attribute data the GIS server has for the thing that you clicked.  Sometimes this attribute data includes a link that leads to more information.

Try clicking on any of the trails you made on your Bellingham map.  Among other things, you will learn if dog sledding is allowed on that trail.

If you have any questions and/or feature requests please post in this thread.
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 1852 | TRs
Location: West Seattle
zephyr
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aka friendly hiker
PostSat May 11, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Joey wrote:
Since that time I have been building GISsurfer to replace at least most of the Gmap4 features.

That's a lot of work!  Thank you, Joey, for your dedication and efforts here.  Thanks for sharing this project with us.  ~z
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MtnGoat
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Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Posts: 10757 | TRs
Location: Lyle, WA
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PostSat May 11, 2019 8:54 pm 
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Donate! I did.

I use his tool more than any other.

--------------
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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moonspots
Happy Curmudgeon



Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 2004 | TRs
Location: North Dakota
moonspots
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Happy Curmudgeon
PostSun May 12, 2019 5:51 am 
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MtnGoat wrote:
Donate! I did.

I use his tool more than any other.

Yes, I agree, and I have. 👍

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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Joey
verrry senior member



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 2137 | TRs
Location: Redmond
Joey
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verrry senior member
PostWed May 22, 2019 6:50 am 
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Do you have any Gmap4 map links that you would like to convert to GISsurfer map links?  If so, I just added some information to the GISsurfer FAQ to help with that conversion.  You can find the GISsurfer FAQ at:
https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer-faq.html

This FAQ will be expanded in a couple of weeks when GISsurfer v2.0 goes into production.
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