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Static web maps - Here web pages are created manually and once and cannot be easily updated. The web pages are characterized as view only and interactive with no animation. The maps are often scanned map display on web without involving onscreen maps design technique .Although paper maps have high resolution and more information density than when display onscreen (computer) with the same physical size. The map may become unreadable when display on screen due to different resolution and scale.
Dynamically created web maps
This type of maps is generated by the web server or by writing a programme such as Java script. They readily available on dynamic data source (databases) on webs and can be easily created by the user by reloading the WebPages
Interactive web maps this one of the major advantage of web maps. Maps can easily be manipulated for a particular application easily
Realtime web maps - time is put into consideration and occurrences of things can be display with respect to time without much delay.
Other types of web maps includes -
Distributed web maps - make use of different data source for creating a map. Maps from different server are collected for generating new and more meaningful maps with thematic map layers which can be distributing back to the server
Animated web maps - make use of animation in graphical and temporal for to show changes in over time on web
Personalized web maps -map user makes use of their own style, colour and symbolization in creating the maps from the webs.
Customisable web maps .The use of APIs, Google Maps. Reuse of other people's web pages is possible
The various types of maps show the advantages of web mapping.
This map is produced in google map showing the lion density in different protected areas and regions
2 .Web mapping involves production and distribution of maps on the World Wide Web. Web mapping focused on technological issues involves in the designing of maps while web cartography deals with theoretic aspects of web maps: The different types of web maps as been classified as Static and dynamic of web maps by Kraak who further classify each of them to interactive and view only web maps. However there are modification to the classification which leads to increase in different types of web map in use nowadays due different methods of distributing data source, use of personalized maps and collaborative maps.
Advantages of web maps
Web maps used as a tool in the field of web cartography has been a big success and therefore many new opportunities in the form of maps in real time, making less expensive and frequently updates of software and data possible, map content can be tailored to one area of interest (personalized), sharing of data sources and distributed of geographic information is also possible. Web maps that are first created are static, because of technical limitations; nowadays maps created on webs are more interactive and can be easily integrated with several media. This means that web mapping and web cartography relates to interactivity, usability and multimedia. Web mapping technology and potential geodata that are freely available allows skilled people to create web maps faster and easily.Web maps encourage reproduction and updating of up to date information easily. Maps can be easily manipulated and tailored to meet a particular need by making use of data available in a database automatically. Also real-time information can be obtained directly on maps not produce in hard copy, hence there is no need for distributing, printing and mastering map. For example traffic data collected through sensor networks can be used to produce a map displaying real-time traffic condition, map displaying current locations of mass transit (buses or train) minimize passenger waiting time at stations and any service delay awareness.Web infrastructure (Software and hardware) for designing web maps are not expensive. Web server hardware and many open source tools for web maps generation are also easily available. Web maps allows loading of data logically when requested ,hence updated information and data can easily be uploaded and distributed for different application. While hardcopy maps involves more efforts and premastering in reprinting and redistribution, with web map, production of maps and data update are more easier ,faster ,cost effective and retrieval of data is faster.Web maps created on open standard use do not involve the knowledge of technicality of the operating system and the browser; hence this is operated across the operating systems and the browsers.Different data sources with the same projection, scale and data format can be integrated by making use of open standard and APIs documents leading to creation of centralized data source while mapping on web. This reduces data redundancy and burden of data maintenance for each organization. The only problem is that there will be only one source of data which can be disastrous when there is poor data management or total lost of data and information at the central source. There will be need for a strong data backup to avoid data loss which may be expensive. Personalization is possible in web mapping which can be achieve by using personal styles,filters ,user profiles, color and symbolization in configuring and designing maps tailored to your use if the mapping systems allows the use of personalization. Map collaboration is possible while using web mapping. Web mapping technologies, Wikipedia project such as Java and Adobe Flash make use of collaborative effort in distributing data such as in Google Earth and openStreetMap while quality assurance is necessary for other open projects.Also web mapping enable the use of hyperlink to web information. Here web maps is used an index to additional web information by making use of hyperlinks to information like label text, sensitive areas on the map etc.Integration of multimedia in and with web maps is easier. Animation (QuickTime), play back of videos (YouTube) and audio are supported in web mapping
Disadvantages of Web map as a medium of communicating data
Web design is a difficult task in communicating data. It involves the designer taking into consideration the limitations, possibilities and features of the Web. It involves combining functionality and a high level of visual attraction and the perfect design environment to attract the user, which is very challenging. The designer did not put into consideration the user system configuration and have no control on the user action while designing. The map design may be difficult to display on the system of the user and this cannot be communicated to designer because the data is only obtainable on the web and not tailored for a particular user.File sizes must be small for downloading this leads to creation of maps with less features or details than may be preferable. If the file is large the maps will be very difficult to display on web, this leads to redesigning of maps that will be easily display which is more tasking and take time. Also a large file will display a distorted map and may not display at all on the web. Hence the designer should be able to explore and think to produce a meaning map on web.Scale and zoom options can mitigate the problem of small size. If the file is large it will be very difficult and slow to zoom when display on web.Visual hierarchy of layers within the content deserves more attention than the maps and depends on the use of the map. If layers are not well arranged in the map the layers of interest in the design may not display properly hence arrangement of layer is very important to avoid overlay of important information. Particular attention is given to colour. In addition to its application in map visualization, the colour can be applied more artistic. Colour selection is limited, depending on the size and file format used to send the map on the Web and user system configuration. Since user computer configuration is not put into consideration while designing the map,some colour may not show well while displaying by the user and some may be more brighter hence colour selection is more technical in web mapping communication of data.There is need to use web map objects and interactive gadgets for static and dynamic interactive web maps this includes pull-down menu, mouse scroll events or hotspots. These are technical to display and involve writing a script such as java to be able to perform this action while designing by the designer. Web map are display within a short time on the internet hence scrolling up- down to read the legend is time consuming compare to when the legend display symbols that are self explanatory. Legend are difficult to display, the user has to click on the legend before it can be display ,icons need to be click on before one can see the information it contains on web map.Although interactive but takes time.Text design for labelling is technical and there is no guarantee for its readability by the user when display on web. The designer need to properly select the font size, style, letter spacing to ensure readability and legibility.
Web mapping involve the use of geodatabase which are expensive and complex technically, hence limiting data communication on the web, also availability of geodatabase on web make data to be in the hand of untrained people leading to data mismanagement which is against cartographic and geographic rules and introduces errors during the preliminary stage, analysis and display of geographic and cartographic data. Hence there is need to train the public about geographic and cartographic analysis of data which should be the priority of the cartigraphy community. Also infrastructure of internet and web server are not reliable making distribution of data difficult and no guarantee for displaying information especially while using external web facility. There is need for a high bandwidth for web mapping. There is limit to screen space available for displaying map on the web, limiting the size of the information that can be display. Most of the information display on web are of poor quality and poor data accuracy.Creating an interactive web maps is very difficult and tasking it involves integration and mastering of many technologies and services hence making it difficult to communicate data easily. Development tools and debugging interface of a conglomerate of various web is poor and not comfortable compare to single user application making data communication on the web difficult due to lack development tools. Data communication is made difficult due copyright issues especially when people are not ready to publish their data publicly because of high cost of maintaining geodata in most country. privacy issue introduces private and personal information to distributed data sources and detail information provided on the web.