View GA REST info with viewer based on Google maps API


My name is Joseph Elfelt and I am writing to introduce you to Gmap4 which is a free (for non-commercial use) enhanced Google map viewer and GIS client that I developed. To the best of my knowledge this is the first general purpose WMS and REST viewer that is based on the Google map API. Notably, Gmap4 does not require Flash or any other plug-in/add-on.

Since your goal no doubt is to communicate quickly and easily with as many people as possible, perhaps it is time to look beyond ArcGIS Online.

Three things in particular make Gmap4 unique.
1. It is a web app. There is nothing to download, nothing to install.
2. The Gmap4 link identifies the GIS data that will be displayed. All the user of that link has to do is "Click link - See GIS data". This makes it easy to deliver WMS and/or REST data to the public.
3. When a Gmap4 link is opened in the browser on a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device the user automatically sees an easy to use touch-friendly interface. Note that the browser has to be online.

The following link starts Gmap4 and displays the Google terrain map with an overlay of the 2011 innundation map. Be patient. The server is slow. If you open the map type menu (button in upper right) then you can turn off the 2011 map and then turn on the 2001 innundation map.,-81.23291&z=10&t=...

Yes, someone that wants to make one of these Gmap4 links needs to learn how. But once the link is made then anyone can click that link and see GIS data without having to know anything at all about GIS. Plus, the user sees the familiar Google map interface and not a pile of spooky buttons they have never seen before.

I launched Gmap4 in 2009 as a general purpose file viewing tool. It can display GPX, TPO, KML, KMZ, Google MyPlaces and delimited txt files. Files can be hosted almost anywhere online. It is popular with people that enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in part because it displays high resolution topographic maps for the USA. (ESRI offers medium res topos.) Simply zoom in somewhere and change the basemap (button in upper right corner) to "t4 Topo High".

The ability to also be a general purpose GIS viewing tool is a new feature. Any data available via REST, WMS 1.3.0 and WMS 1.1.1 can now be displayed. A Gmap4 link can display multiple layers from multiple WMS and/or REST servers. After the map opens the user can turn layers on/off one at a time or all together. The stacking order for transparent layers can also be changed.

All of the other Gmap4 features continue to work when GIS data is displayed. You can search, find your location, display a UTM grid, do trip planning, get a link that will display the map you see on your screen, etc.

All of the documentation for this GIS viewing feature, including plenty of examples, is written in plain language (not computer-speak!) and is at:

Finally, let's bubble up. The big picture goal here is to provide a drop dead easy way to let anyone that can click a mouse or touch a screen to see GIS data with a familiar looking interface. While there are numerous other GIS viewers with more features for manipulating data, in a vast number of cases I expect the primary objective will be to convey information by simply displaying the GIS data on a map and letting the public manipulate that data will be of much less importance.

Thank you for your time and I hope you find Gmap4's GIS viewing feature unique and interesting. Of course I am happy to answer any questions.

Gmap4 default map:

Gmap4 homepage:

Joseph Elfelt, the Gmap4 guy
Redmond, WA