One of the most frequent questions I get about web programming for GIS is “how do I control access to my web maps and protect my data?”. Its a very important question for web GIS applications that allow online editing because you certainly would not want everybody with internet access to be able to edit your GIS data. Even if your web application doesn’t provide editing capabilities there is often a need to control access to it. Some data may be sensitive, such as the location of endangered species activity or critical infrastructure. Other data is proprietary information that cost you or your client a lot of money to collect and thus you need to prevent competitors from accessing it.
In order to control access to your data, you need to provide a login system that requires users to identify themselves and give you the capability of deciding who has access to your web pages. This also provides the ability to track who is making changes to your data for quality control purposes. Developing a secure login system is not a trivial task for beginners. It requires an understanding of database technology, SQL, and server-side web programming. This course takes you step-by-step through the process of developing a registration, login, and content management system, but more importantly, I attempt to clearly explain the process so that you can make adjustments to meet your own needs.
You will learn:
- What it actually means to login and logout
- How to use sessions and cookies to allow users to remain logged in
- How to allow users to register themselves in your system
- How to use email confirmation to verify users identity
- How to build dynamic web pages to add, edit, and delete database information
- How to display database information in tables on your web page
- How to assign users to groups that will provide content to specific web pages
- How to limit access to your web pages to members of a specific group
This is not a course for compete beginners. You will need basic understanding of the following technologies and how they work together.
- HTML and CSS
- Database design
Fortunately you can get the background for all of the above in my course “Introduction to web programming for GIS applications“. The content of the course “Introduction to spatial databases with PostGIS and QGIS” (especially the first half) will also be very useful, but not required.
There are many commercial applications available to create a log-in and content management system, however the monthly per-user costs can be prohibitive. This course uses open source technology that will allow you to have unlimited users and unlimited content for just the cost of a web-hosting service. This course has 9 hours of content and is available NOW on Udemy.com
The video below provides additional information about this course. More information on my other courses are available on my Courses page.