The purpose of this text is to present more than just how to create a web site. It specifically looks to introduce students to the following topics:
- Implementation of a complete Web Create-Read-Update-Delete (CRUD) application, from soup to nuts. It will start defining the basic functionality of an application, and in a step wise fashion implement the final application. All the technologies and steps needed to do this will be covered, though not in detail.
This book is designed to make up for what it lacks in depth with what it includes in breath.
This book is not intended to be about any one technology. After completing this book, the reader will still have to learn technologies they will use in detail. However the reader should know a little about each of the technologies, and how they all fit together. In most organizations this is important since most programmers are not responsible for all parts of a large project but must know how their part fits in to the bigger picture.
This book will not prepare anyone to interview for positions in these technologies, but you will have a background that will make learning them easier. And you will understand the environment surrounding these tools.
- How to design, write and use mapping applications, which is an area of interest to me, and why this book was written. Juxtaposing symbolic information in a data space to highlight the interplay that the information is fascinating to me.
The reader with note that what I refer to as a map is far from the more traditional view of a map. The one I normally use comes from Wikipedia and defines a map as “a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of some space.3” Note that nowhere does this definition mention geography, which is what most people think about when discussing a map. Even within geography, there are multiple different types of maps. For example:
- Printed maps, such as would be found in an Atlas. These will be called referred to as static geographic maps.
- Graphic Information Systems (GIS), such as Google Maps. These maps allow a user to examine a geographical space from multiple zoom levels, and search for and place markers. They will be referred to as GIS and are more interactive than their static cousins.
- Maps not intended to be to scale and are thus not true linear geographical maps. These maps will be referred to as non-linear maps. Examples are subway and metro maps, bus routes, directions from a friend, and many historic maps. These maps are arguably more common and less well defined than linear maps.
Constraining maps to geography is far too limiting. Maps can be pictures, where each person in the image is at a point on the map. Maps can be networks, representations of data, ways to solve a problem, or possible outcomes of events such as what must happen for a team to make the playoffs. When implementing maps in this textbook the OpenLayers opensource program will be used. OpenLayers works with any GIS maps server for geographic data, but by its design of layers on images offers far more possibilities than GIS mapping software products.