Database Building

Databases are the backbone of many web maps. They house the tabular information that is conveyed through the spatial representation of the map format. The base map is responsible for the appearance of the land, and icons represent the tabular information stored in the database on the web map.

Store data in a MySQL or PostgreSQL database for efficient storage that can be accessed from any computer (provided remote connections are turned on) where an online map application can access and query the data for display. The databases are also more powerful than Excel in filtering, querying, and applying statistics functions, and not to mention a lot faster at it.

And what’s more, you’re likely to be doing it the long way using Excel. Databases require you to know specifically what task you intend to complete so you can express it in SQL, but in the long run knowing these commands will save you hours of manual editing in Excel.

To begin, you’ll need to have the data you are working with cleaned and in .csv (or comparble) format. If you are unsure if your data is ready, review the section on Data Preparation. Then you’ll need to bring your database into WAMP for final verification.

Tutorials in the Database Building course

  • Basics of WAMP and SQL. WAMP is a product for Windows, meaning “Windows Apache MySQL & PHP”. A sister version for Mac is available, called MAMP, and the tutorial is translatable.

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