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Map Service Hosting at maphost.co.nz

Hosting internet mapping services is the obvious solution for sites who have their web site hosted by an ISP/IPP.
In fact, given that serving map content is more complex than serving standard pages, it makes even more sense to outsource.
We can offer the following advantages over running a mapserver locally:
  • Quick and easy to set up. From zero to online in a day.
  • Low cost of entry. Getting on the net is not a capital project.
  • Security. The internet is a dangerous place. We aren't scaremongering -it just means a bit more work is required than for serving maps on your inTRAnet. This is probably hassle you don't need.
  • Great sites. You won't find anyone with more experience at this than us, and we have high standards.
  • Much lower overall costs. Your monthly hosting fees probably wouldn't cover depreciation on the hardware you would need to host an internet map site.
  • We do the boring bits. You can be as involved or uninvolved as you like.
  • Learn. Hosting may be a stepping stone to running your own internet or intranet map server. Hosting provides an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn't.

How does it work?

Just send us a CD of map data! We are happy to handle any level of complexity you want to throw at us, but sometimes simple solutions really are the best. The most simple solution is for you to supply a CD of data, optionally with symbology rules defined by you, and let us put a service up for you.

What about updating data?

Again, the most simple solution may be the best. Our standard plan allows for a data update CD to be supplied weekly. If you require online, and/or more frequent updates we will be happy to oblidge, but we recommend you start with a CD based solution.

Can I configure my site myself?

Absolutely! You can't beat ownership. There are two broad kinds of configuration:
  1. Map Symbology. You understand your data better than us. The best way for you to tune the maps (and query options) delivered to users is for you to maintain your own map-TV project, and send it to us along with data updates. Map-TV is our simple to use map server, and can be downloaded for free from our site. Map-TV allows the same kind of GUI based control over map content that you would expect from a desktop GIS such as Arcview™ or MapInfo™. The only restriction on map setup is that any map can be produced by our server, under no load, in under 2 seconds (we usually aim for 1 second, which is very achievable with map-TV).
  2. User Interface. Map-TV has a simple user interface built in, which can be configured as part of the map-TV project. This interface is more suited to inTRAnet use than internet use however, so we have a second, more flexible solution for internet user interfaces. This is called EMAML (for extensible map application meta language). For a web user, EMAML extends HTML by providing a set of tags for mapping functions. In practice this allows us to combine great web design (from your designer or ours -or from existing templates) with sophisticated map functionality. Want to define exactly what happens when the user click on the map (zoom in, zoom out, ID etc)? Do this with EMAML. Want to change any aspect of presentation using HTML, CSS etc? Do this with EMAML.

How does it integrate with the rest of your website?

Typically, the map application runs in a frame. This means that some of the content the user sees comes from your regular web site, and the mapping application from our server. The user simply sees an integrated set of pages. They would need to view page properties to be able to tell that the content came from two sources.
This technique is very common. If you shop online you have almost certainly accessed an e-commerce appliction hosted by a service provider without realising the content was not coming directly from the site were you were shopping. Our EMAML technology enables us to skin your pages to match those on your main web site.

What does it cost?

Standard plan:
  • $250 (+GST) per month.
  • Includes 250MB of traffic.
  • Additional traffic $22.50 (+GST) per 50BM or part thereof.
  • One CD based update per week.
  • Includes setup based on a standard (EMAML based) user interface or the built in map-TV interface.
  • The interface can be customised to match your requirements, and the look of your site. This work is charged on a time and materials basis.

What do you need to do?

To get up and running, you simply need to send us a CD of data in Shape or TAB format. We also need some guidelines for symbology and there are several ways to do this:
  • Send us ArcIMS (AXL) config.
  • Send us an Arcview 3.x project.
  • Download map-TV and configure your own maps.

Where to from here?

If you are interested in hosting, please drop us an email at maphost@spatialmedia.com. Give us a number and convenient time to call you if you would like to discuss options (always a good idea).