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Performance-improving techniques in web-based GIS

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WebGIS (also known as web-based GIS and Internet GIS) denotes a type of Geographic Information System (GIS), whose client is implemented in a Web browser. WebGISs have been developed and used extensively in real-world applications. However, when such a complex web-based system involves the dissemination of large volumes of data and/or massive user interactions, its performance can become an issue. In this paper, we first identify several major potential performance problems with WebGIS. Then, we discuss several possible techniques to improve the performance. These techniques include the use of pyramids and hash indices on the server side to handle large images. To resolve server-side conflicts originating from concurrent massive access and user interactions, we suggest clustering and multithreading techniques. Multithreading is also used to break down the long sequential, layer-based data access to concurrent data access on the client side. Caching is suggested as a means to enhance concurrent data access for the same datasets on both the server and the client sides. The technique of client-side dynamic data requests is used to improve data transmission. Compressed binary representation is implemented on both sides to reduce transmission volume. We also compare the performance of a prototype WebGIS with and without these techniques.

Keywords: WebGIS; cache; cluster; dynamic data request; hash index; multithread; performance; pyramid

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of RS & GIS Peking University Beijing, 100871 PR China

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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