Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas

Technology

The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas contains almost 300 individual map layers from many different sources. In order for these layers to load quickly and reliably in a variety of web browsers, the Atlas' map window displays cached map services from an ArcGIS Server located at the National Centers for Environmental Information . The map caches are generated using the ArcGIS Server's Google Maps/Bing Maps/ArcGIS Online tiling scheme. OpenLayers, an open-source Javascript library by MetaCarta , then consumes these map caches and displays them within the Atlas map window. The ArcGIS Server also generates several types of services: API, WMS , Representational State Transfer (REST) , and KML , for users who wish display the Atlas map data in their own desktop or web-based tools.

Wiring diagram depicting the protocols supported and flow of data from the data stores to the client

To provide support for application-level clients, ArcGIS Server exposes a SOAP API1 at the server object level which consumes SOAP requests and returns SOAP responses. The implementation is dependent on two standard XML-based specifications: WSDL (Web Services Description Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). WSDL is used to describe networked XML-based services, and SOAP is used to describe the format of a message sent to a networked service.


1 - From ESRI Developer Network : Working with the ArcGIS Server SOAP API