Professional Portfolio
By Kevin Dunlop

Web Development

Overview

Online web mapping has become an important part of the GIS industry. Several of my previous jobs have required me to develop and maintain web map sites. These sites provide an easy-to-use tool for users to view spatial data without the need to involve the help of a GIS professional, thereby providing my co-workers and me with more time to update data.

ArcIMS Development

My current position requires me to maintain a set of ArcIMS sites. These sites use Geocortex software to provide the user with a wide range of tools. Many of the sites have been personally set up at the request of my client in order to provide useful information to our users. For example, the web map below shows the designated smoking areas on base and the areas that are off limits to smokers, such as 50ft from a building. This allows new personnel to Kunsan to know where they are able to smoke. It also provides our maintenance shop with the locations where signs need to be placed and butt cans need to be emptied.

In order to set up one of these sites, I first create an AXL file that defines the properties of the layers in the web map. This AXL file is then loaded in ArcIMS. Two XML files are then created to be used with the Geocortex software. The first file contains information about the site properties, such as the web page’s name , which tools to include, and the predefined bookmarks. The second file is a list of the layers and the attributes to be displayed in the tooltips and identify results . These files are then loaded into our sites folder and the web map is created.

Figure 1: Web map that shows all of the approved smoking areas (blue and green dots) and all the non-smoking area (red buffers).

ArcGIS Server Development

For a previous position, I developed a web map application using ArcGIS Server 9.2/3 for a US federal client. This site was used to display construction status for a large building project. The web map provided the users with tools to search and display the status of various sections of the construction project, such as which pieces were on, ahead, or behind schedule and which sections were over or under budget. In addition, the site provided tools to view the status of the project and sections at any given time over the life span of the project. This provision allowed project managers to see how the project was progressing over time. Tools to export to Google Earth and pdf were also developed.

This was developed using the ESRI Web ADF API and ASP.NET. Since ArcGIS Server was a new technology at the time, many of the tools which are standard today had to be developed from scratch, such as the export tools and time slider. A combination of cached and dynamic services was used to speed up the maps drawing speed while providing near real time visualization of the data. A stand-alone application was also created to take snap shots of each section automatically and save them to an archive folder. This application was added to Window's Scheduler to be run nightly.

ArcGIS Online

As part of my final project entitled: Risk-Based Fuels Management Decision Support System for the NPS’s Southeast Region’s Fire Management Office, I developed two ArcGIS Online sites to display the results of the analysis performed in this project. The goal of the project was to develop a method for generating a single value for each hydrological catchment and compartment. This value represents the risk and impact of a forest fire base on several number layers. The analysis for this project is discussed in the GIS Analysis and Modeling section of this portfolio.

The client for this project requested that the results be displayed in ArcGIS since his customers already use ArcGIS Online and are familiar with it. The data was published through ArcGIS Server on a virtual server at NCSU state. These map services were then consumed by ArcGIS Online in order to display the results. Tooltips were added so that when a user clicks on compartment or catchment, the overall risk value is displayed with a breakdown of its components. A pie chart was added to better visualize the breakdown. In addition, both marks were added for each of the national parks that were used as test sites. The image below shows the ArcGIS Online map for catchments.

Catchments for my final project

Figure 2: ArcGIS Online map for catchments results of my final project.

Javascript for ArcGIS Server

In addition to the ArcGIS Online site for my final project, I developed two web maps using ESRI JavaScript for ArcGIS Server API in order to show the differences between ArcGIS Online and the JavaScript API. The maps can be found at Catchments and Compartments

Reflection

With the current market trend of moving data to web maps, my background in web programming has become increasingly more valuable to me. My current position's requirement of maintaining the web maps is a large portion of my job’s duties, and every job I have had in the last 6 years has involved web mapping to some degree. Every time I check a GIS job posting website, there are far more GIS web developer positions listed than anything else. Web development is a rapidly expanding area in the GIS industry, and my skills in it will continue to open doors for me.