GEOG 863:
Web Application Development for Geospatial Professionals




Since you'll be creating web-based maps, you'll need to have space on a web server to publish them. Some of you may have your own personal website set up already. If so, you can use that. If not, you should apply for space from Penn State (referred to as PASS, short for Penn State Access Account Storage Space). The application form can be found at Application for a Web Space Account.

Once you've got your PASS space allocated, there are a few ways to connect to it. Here are two, with the first being the one I recommend most:

Connect using FileZilla

FileZilla is a free and open-source secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) application. If you already have another SFTP app that you prefer, you're welcome to use it instead.

  1. FileZilla can be downloaded at FileZilla. Installation should be straightforward.
  2. Along the top of the application window, you should see text boxes for making a connection to a remote server. Fill out the boxes as follows:
    Username: your PSU access account ID
    Password: your PSU access account password
    Port: 22 
    Then click Quickconnect. Tell FileZilla whether you want it to store your password. After a moment, you should see a connection to your PASS space on the right side of the window.
  3. Double-click on the www folder to access the part of your PASS space that's open to the world to see (where you'll want to post your projects).
  4. To transfer a file from your local system to your PASS space, navigate to the file in the left-hand pane, right-click on the file and select Upload. (Or drag and drop from the local site to the remote site.)
  5. When finished transferring files, you can disconnect from the remote server by clicking on the button with the red X.

To avoid having to enter the same connection parameters every time, you can store them as follows:

  1. Open the Site Manager (1st button on toolbar).
  2. Click New Site.
  3. Give a name to your connection (e.g., PSU web space).
  4. Enter the Host and Port values as specified above.
  5. Set the Protocol to SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol.
  6. Set the Logon Type to Normal or Ask for password (depending on whether you allowed FileZilla to store your password or not).
  7. Set the User to your PSU access account ID.
  8. Click Connect and enter your password if prompted.

Going forward, you can connect to your PASS space in FileZilla by going to the Site Manager dialog, selecting the connection you created above, and clicking Connect.

Note: The application is set up by default to show a directory tree and a file listing for both the local and remote sites. If you're like me and prefer to see the directory tree and files in a single pane, you can toggle the directory trees off by clicking on the 3rd and 4th buttons in the toolbar.

Connect using the PASS Explorer

  1. This is a web-based means of uploading files to your web space. 
  2. The PASS Explorer can be found at PASS Explorer. 
  3. Going this route doesn't require installing any additional software and the interface is fairly self-explanatory. The downside is that the interface is a bit clunky and tedious.

You may encounter some PSU web publishing tutorials that recommend you set up a blog. Blogs are preferable to a plain personal web page for most students because blogging software provides page authoring tools that simplify the publishing process. However, for this course, you should avoid setting up a blog. You will need to be able to write your own HTML from scratch and the blogging tools will only complicate matters.