New Course: Server-side web GIS applications with Leaflet and PostGIS

Server-side web GIS applications allow you to build secure, web-based portals to your GIS data that allow display, analysis, and editing of GIS data from anywhere there is an internet connection.  This is demonstrated with open-source software so that the concepts are accessible to everyone without cost. If you prefer to use commercial software I think you will still benefit from this course as the core concepts apply to both.

Static GIS data can be displayed in a web map with a JavaScript mapping API such as Leaflet (used in this course), OpenLayers, or Google Maps.  Powerful analysis of that data can be performed on the client computer using the Turf.js JavaScript library. But if you need the ability to make changes to that data or view changes made by others in real time you need to access a common data store on a server. We will be using PostGIS, a spatial extension to the PostgreSQL database as the common data store. The concepts you learn will be applicable to other databases as well. You can learn most of what you need to store and analyze spatial data with PostGIS in my course “Introduction to spatial databases with PostGIS and QGIS“.

This course builds on the environmental consulting application that was built in the course “Display and analyze GIS data on the web with Leaflet“. The first part of the course is focused on building a secure portal that will allow the projects client to view, filter, search, and analyze both spatial and non-spatial data from the web. We start with the secure portal that we built in my course “PHP registration, login, and registration system” to prevent unauthorized access to the client’s data. Then we modify the client-side application to work with data stored in PostGIS rather than from static GeoJSON files. All of the searching, filtering, and analysis functionality is moved to the server so that any changes made to the database are immediately available to the client.

In the second part of the course we create a second secure portal for project managers. This contains all the functionality available on the client portal but will also allow creating new data, modifying existing data, and deleting data from a web application.  A leaflet plugin called Leaflet-PM is used to handle the editing of spatial geometries on the client. Those changes are then sent to the database using standard SQL INSERT and UPDATE statements.

This course does have several prerequisites. “Display and analyze GIS data on the web with Leaflet” and “PHP registration, login, and content management system” are required as we will use code developed in those courses throughout this course. I also highly recommend my course “Introduction to spatial databases with PostGIS and QGIS“. That course will teach you what you need to know about SQL and working with PostGIS. The SQL we use in this course is pretty simple for practical reasons. Without a solid foundation in PostGIS you will lack a full understanding of the capabilities available to you from a web interface.

This course has over 15 hours of content and is available now on  More information can be seen in the video below.

3 Replies to “New Course: Server-side web GIS applications with Leaflet and PostGIS”

  1. Hi Miller
    This course is wonderful and have lots of material for learning.
    Can we use ArcGIS API instead of leaflet.js for web mapping by using postgis???

  2. Really good course! BUt can i ask about how to set everything in hte otehr direction, I mean what how to modify the polygon in qgis and have it in the web app? Can it be done by using the same database? do you have example of that in some other of your courses? thank you very much!

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