GEOG 585
Open Web Mapping



Note: Currently, this lesson teaches the Leaflet API. If you are looking for the previous materials on OpenLayers, see the Lesson 8 archive page.

So far, you've learned how to create various types of web map layers and overlay them using Leaflet. Simple mashups with "dots on a map" and a few popups may be all you need in many situations. In fact, some managers are thrilled to see these basic web maps if they have never visualized their data in geographic form before; however, as a student of GIS you'll want to be aware of additional possibilities to make the map layers more interactive or informative.

This lesson introduces you to a variety of "extra" things you can do to enrich the interactivity and information exposed by your web maps. Some of these features cannot be covered in full detail in this course; however, the concepts are introduced here in case you ever encounter them or need to use them in the workplace. During the lesson assignment, you'll have the opportunity to choose one of these techniques (or other FOSS of your choice) and explore it more fully.

A word of caution is necessary here: Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should. Many of the best web maps are effective because they are focused and uncluttered. You'll see in this lesson that Leaflet makes it easy to add all kinds of controls to your web maps, but before doing this, pause and determine whether the extra features are really needed. The same applies to WFS, WPS, widgets provided by web display frameworks, and other features mentioned in this lesson.


  • Implement techniques for data filtering and classification using Leaflet.
  • Describe OGC specifications for vector data editing (WFS) and geoprocessing (WPS) in web maps.
  • Implement the layer switcher and other controls from Leaflet according to application needs.
  • Choose a web presentation framework such as Bootstrap and apply it to your Leaflet applications.
  • Query and display geographic attributes (including links to images and web pages) in your web map application.
  • Learn and critically evaluate a new piece of FOSS GIS.


  • Read the Lesson 8 materials on this page.
  • Complete the walkthrough.
  • Complete the Lesson 8 assignment.