Mapping applications comparison

This page describes the principal differences between the dynamic, the static and the desktop mapping application used by Waqwaq, as introduced in the review.



Primary usage

Application Primary usage
Dynamic Public webservice
Static Display of Waqwaq datasets
Desktop Special applications

The dynamic application is the principal Waqwaq mapping application, a public mapping webservice. The static application serves to display datasets hosted by Waqwaq, while the desktop application is mainly intended for special applications, such as printing of high-quality maps, generating maps that need to be post-processed (e.g. re-work in Illustrator for incorporation in other maps or illustrations), making maps off-line and adding customized displays and functionalities through programming.


Application Technology
Dynamic ArcGIS 9.3 JavaScript API
Static ArcGIS 9.3 Desktop & Webserver
Desktop Matlab 2008b

The different technologies used by the mapping applications explain to a good extent the differences documented here.

Data input

Application Data input
Dynamic Accepts third-parties data
Static Only Waqwaq data
Desktop Waqwaq and third-parties data

An essential difference between the applications is that the dynamic and desktop applications can be used to map any sort of data, from any user, while the static application is delivering only the data supplied by Waqwaq.

Data interaction

Application Data interaction
Dynamic Dynamic and static
Static Static
Desktop Static, possibly dynamic

Because the dynamic application accepts third-party datasets, it can be coupled with a database query interface and thus deliver maps that represent sections of the database. This is the case for the Bernstein Atlas for Paper and Watermarks. The static application offers no way to select subsets of a dataset. The desktop application can be programmed to act as a database.

Work environment

Application Environment
Dynamic Online
Static Online
Desktop Desktop

The applications differ whether they run online or locally, which might be a consideration when choosing with which one to work.


Application Visualizations
Dynamic Symbols
Static Symbols, density maps
Desktop Symbols

While all applications can display locations in form of symbols such as dots, crosses or text, the static application can also produce density maps.

Printing quality

Application Printing
Dynamic Bitmap
Static Bitmap
Desktop Vector

For high quality printing vector graphics are more performant - a format supported by the desktop application.

Speed performance

Application Performance
Dynamic < 3000 localities
Static > 3000
Desktop > 3000

For datasets with more that 3000 unique locations the static and the desktop application are more suitable than the dynamic application.

Functionalities richness

Application Functionalities
Dynamic high
Static high
Desktop low

The mapping functionalities of the dynamic and static applications are incomparably richer than that of the desktop application, ranging from complex spatial analysis tools to 3D mapping and mobile support. However the desktop application is integrated to a suite of technical computing toolboxes that is a bonus for specific applications away from mainstream GIS.

Development ease

Application Development
Dynamic easy, flexible
Static complex
Desktop medium

The interface of the dynamic application can be easily modified (it consists only of HTML, CSS and JavaScript); the static application is more complex to manage however simple the desired operations are thanks to the user-adverse philosophy of ESRI products; and the desktop applications is comparatively of medium difficulty, demanding basic programming skills in Matlab.

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Waqwaq - mapping cultural geographies · r4 · 28 Jul 2009 · 15:14:34 · VladAtanasiu
Waqwaq: Mapping cultural geographies ·
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