GEOG 585
Open Web Mapping



In this lesson, you'll learn some of the history of web mapping and why web services are so important. You'll also learn about free and open source software (FOSS) and the benefits and drawbacks of using it. Finally, you'll get the chance to install and use QGIS, a FOSS solution for desktop GIS work. QGIS will help you preview and manipulate your data as you prepare to create web maps later in the course.


  • Describe the roles of clients, servers, and requests and how they contribute to web service communication patterns.
  • Identify benefits and challenges to FOSS and how they should be weighed when choosing a software platform.
  • List common FOSS solutions for general computing and GIS and discuss how you have seen these used in the “real world.”
  • Recognize when and how FOSS might be used in a “hybrid” model with elements of proprietary software.
  • Add and symbolize GIS data in QGIS.


  • Read the Lesson 1 materials on this page.
  • Complete the walkthrough and post your final screenshot as a post on the "Lesson 1 walkthrough result forum" on Canvas.
  • Complete the Lesson 1 assignment, which involves readings and a discussion.