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Transitioning to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in the Oregon Coastal Atlas

TitleTransitioning to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in the Oregon Coastal Atlas
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHaddad, T, Wright, D, al, et
Conference NameCoastal GeoTools ’09
Date Published02/03/2009
PublisherNOAA Coastal Services Center
Conference LocationMyrtle Beach, SC, USA
Keywordscoastal atlas, data access, FOSS, information management, metadata, open source, web GIS

In early 2008 the Oregon Coastal Atlas completed a major transition to FOSS (free and open source software). While the previous version of the Coastal Atlas had relied on the open source University of Minnesota Mapserver for its online maps, all other aspects of the website such as content management, informational databases, scripting language and web server software had been non-open source in origin. At present all of these functions have been transitioned to FOSS equivalents. General website content management is now handled by Joomla CMS. Informational databases - including some simple spatial databases - are handled by MySQL. More complex geospatial datasets utilized in online analysis tools are stored in PostGIS. Interactive maps continue to be handled by UMN Mapserver on the server side, with ka-Map or OpenLayers on the client side, depending on the context. In addition, as part of the current process to connect the Oregon Coastal Atlas to the newly emerging International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN), Web Map Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) will be handled by UMN Mapserver, and both metadata and Catalog Services for the Web (CSW) will be handled by GeoNetwork – an open source catalog application to manage spatially referenced resources through the web. This presentation will discuss the background of the Oregon Coastal Atlas, the FOSS packages now in use, lessons learned from this transition, and future goals of the project. For more information on the Oregon Coastal Atlas, please visit