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Geographic Information System (GIS) –> WebGIS –> AlpES WebGIS

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is an information system, which is based on data referenced by geographic coordinates (Curran, 1984)1) . It is a system consisting of hardware, software, data, people, organizations and institutional arrangements for capturing, collecting, storing, manipulating, analyzing and disseminating information about areas of the earth (Dueker & Kjerne, 1989) 2). Analyses of geodata or spatio-temporal phenomena can be presented and visualized (Goodchild, 2009)3) .

A WebGIS provides access to a GIS requiring only a web browser. It is an Internet based Geographic Information System with reduced GIS functionality (Bartoschek, 2009) 4) . The best known example of a WebGIS is probably Google Maps.


One of the main outputs in the AlpES project is the AlpES WebGIS. This WebGIS makes the spatial project data results available to the public and especially to the stakeholders. It can be used as a planning tool concerning ecosystem services.

Why do we use a WebGIS in the AlpES project?

Since it is the easiest and cheapest way to publish spatial project results to a broad audience. The AlpES WebGIS makes the ecosystem services (ES) indicators accessible to the stakeholders. A large number of people can use it at the same time. There is no need of having proprietary GIS software (Painho et al., 2001) 5) , local storage capacity and professional knowledge. It only requires a webbrowser.

The AlpES WebGIS…

  • … is interactive and userfriendly
  • … is multilingual (DE, EN, FR, IT, SL)
  • … does not allow data download
  • … has a modern look and feel
  • … is based on open-source WebGIS architecture
  • … has pregenerated styled project result and background data
  • … is provided by IGF/ÖAW.

Users of the AlpES WebGIS can…

  • … zoom in and out
  • … shift to the area of interest
  • … select layers
  • … access layer and metadata information
  • … change layer's transparency
  • … choose background data
  • … create own maps in an easy way
  • … print maps

Additional Resources

Curran, P. (1984). Geographic Information Systems. Area, 16 , 153-158. Retrieved from
Dueker, K. J., & Kjerne, D. (1989): Multipurpose cadastre: Terms and definitions. American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Goodchild, M. F. (2009): Geographic Information System. In: Encyclopedia of Database Systems, pp. 1231-1236. Springer US. DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_178. Retrieved from
Bartoschek, T. (2009): WebGIS für die Schule – ein Überblick. Retrieved from
Painho, M., Cabral, P., Peixoto, M. & Sena, R. (2001): WebGIS as a Teaching Tool. Retrieved from
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wiki/gis.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/19 15:08 by apolderman