Neatline Maps allows users to connect items in an Omeka collection to web map services delivered by Geoserver, a powerful open-source geospatial server. Web map services can be linked with items in two ways:
If the service already exists, the the WMS address and list of layers can be added directly to the item record in the standard Omeka administrative interface. Neatline Maps will then display the map in an Openlayers slippy map on all item views.
If you have login access to a Geoserver instance and want to upload a new georeferenced .tiff file, you can point the plugin to the Geoserver and upload the .tiff on an item as you would a regular file. Neatline Maps will detect the geoencoded file, create a new coverage store and layer on Geoserver, and link the item to the newly-created WMS by automatically populating the WMS address and layer fields.
Web map services created by way of Neatine Maps have plug-and-play interoperability with exhibits created in the Neatline editor - if you add a WMS to an Omeka item, and then activate the item on the map in a Neatline exhibit, the WMS map will automatically render in the exhibit.
Installation and Configuration
- Go to the Neatline Maps download page and download the plugin.
- Once the file is finished downloading, uncompress the .zip file and place the "NeatlineMaps" directory in the plugins/ folder in your Omeka installation.
- Open a web browser, go to the Omeka administrative interface, and click on the "Settings" button at the top right of the screen.
- Click on the "Plugins" tab in the vertical column on the left and find the listing for the Neatline Maps plugin.
- Click the "Install" button.
Once the installation is finished, you'll see a new tab along the top of the administrative interface labeled "Neatline Maps."
Adding Web Map Services to Items
To connect an item with a web map service, you can either (a) link the item directly to an existing service by entering a WMS address and list of layers or (b) connect the plugin with a Geoserver instance that you have administrative access to and create new layers by uploading geoencoded .tiff files through the Omeka administrative interface.
Use an existing web map service
To link an item to an existing service:
- Go to the "Browse Items" view in the Omeka administrative interface.
- Open the Item add/edit form by either (a) clicking the "Add an Item" button at the top right or clicking the "Edit" button under the listing of the item that you want to link the WMS to.
- In the Item edit form, click on the "Web Map Service" in the vertical stack of tabs on the left.
- Enter the WMS address of the server and a comma-delimited list of layers in the two fields.
- Click the "Save Changes" button (or "Add Item," if you're creating a new Item).
If the WMS address and layers point to a valid web map service, the map will be displayed along with the regular metadata on all item-specific views throughout the site.
Upload new GeoTIFFs
If you have administrative access to a Geoserver instance and want to upload a new georeferenced .tiff file that does not already exist on the server, you can connect Neatline Maps with Geoserver and generate the new coverage store by way of the Omeka interface.
Preparing and formatting GeoTIFFs
todo - instructions about how to save tiffs
Create a server
First, you need to create a server record that tells Neatline Maps where to send new GeoTIFFs.
- Click on the "Neatline Maps" tab in the main horizontal menu in the Omeka administrative interface.
- Click "Create a Server" at the top right of the screen.
- Fill in the form with information about the server:
- Name: An internal, non-public identifier for the server.
- URL: The root URL for the Geoserver instance. This should look something like http://localhost:8080/geoserver
- Workspace: The workspace on the server where the new GeoTIFF stores should be created.
- Username: The Geoserver username.
- Password: The Geoserver password.
- Active: Check this box if the new server should be the active server (see below for more information - the active server can be changed at any point).
You can create as many sever records as you want, but at any given point exactly one of the servers will always be the "active" server - this is the server the Neatline Maps will use to handle new GeoTIFF files that are uploaded as files attachments to items.
If you have more than one server record, you can change the active server by either (a) clicking the "Set Active" link in the "Active" column in the Browse Servers view.
Edit a server
To edit an existing server, click the "Edit" link in the "Actions" column in the Browse Servers view. Make changes to the form, and then click the "Save" button.
Upload a GeoTIFF
Once you've created a server record, uploading a georeferenced .tiff file and creating a coverage store and layer on Geoserver is no different from just uploading a regular file attachment for an item.
First, go to the items administration interface by clicking the "Items" link in the main navigation bar. GeoTIFFs can be uploaded either by editing an existing item or in the process of creating a new one.
To create a new item to house the map file, click "Add an Item" at the top right of the screen; to add a GeoTIFF to an existing item, click the "Edit" link on the item's listing in the list.
- Fill out any necessary metadata in the Dublin Core and Item Type Metadata tabs as usual.
- Click on the "Files" tab, click the "Choose File" button, and use the directory browser to select the GeoTIFF on your computer. Leave the fields in the "Web Map Service" tab blank.
- When you're finished populating or updating any other necessary parts of the item form, click the "Add Item" button.
Neatline Maps will detect that a geoencoded .tiff file has been uploaded and attempt to upload the file to the Geoserver instance that is currently marked as "active" in the list of servers under the "Neatline Maps" tab. If the plugin is able to connect to the server and the .tiff file is a well-formed GeoTIFF, Neatline maps will create a new coverage store and generate a layer for the store. In your Omeka site, Neatline Maps will automatically fill in the information in the "Web Map Service" tab for the item with the WMS address and layer name of the new GeoTIFF that was just uploaded to the active server.
What if you try to upload a new GeoTIFF to an item that already has existing data in the "Web Map Service" tab? If the existing WMS address on the item matches the WMS address of the currently "active" server, Neatline Maps will upload the file to Geoserver and add the new layer to the existing list of layers specified in the "layers" field in the "Web Map Service" tab. If the WMS address of the active server does not match the WMS address on the item, Neatline Maps will do nothing - the file will not be uploaded to Geoserver and the list of layers in the "Web Map Service" tab will not be changed.
Integration with Neatline exhibits
Once you have an item or a collection of items with WMS services attached to them (it doesn't matter if you upload new GeoTIFFs or just enter in the information for existing services - the system doesn't differentiate between them), a map can be added to a Neatline exhibit just by activating the item in the "Map" column in the editor.
In the Neatline editor, find the listing for the item in the items browser panel on the left of the screen (depending on how the items query for the exhibit is configured, you might have to update the query or add tag/collection metadata to the item to make it appear in the list) and click the middle of the three activation checkboxes next to the item (in the "Map" column).
Neatline will automatically render the map on the exhibit. In this way, you can configure any combination of WMS maps in the exhibit by activating or deactivating their parent items.