Introduction to web programming for GIS applications


Understanding web programming fundamentals focused on geospatial applications using Leaflet, Turf.js, and PostGIS

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the basic technologies used in web programming and how they interact to form a web application. You will gain basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, PHP, AJAX, SQL, and the


  • This is an introductory level course. The focus is on understanding concepts and, although examples will be provided, installing software and following along is not expected.
  • Some familiarity with programming and GIS will be beneficial but it is not assumed.


“Excellent overview of web programming with Geospatial data. I highly recommend this for any beginners. For those with more experience designing web applications, there are a number of points addressed that often are overlooked in typical tutorials. This was a great dive into using open source tools and provides a great example of the tools in action. ” – Student Review on Udemy

“Thank you for this course! It fills a knowledge gap that I wasn’t even aware I had. As a GIS scientist without formal computer science training, a lot of what you are teaching here will come in handy.” – Student message on Udemy

“You truly have inspired me to take a step away and focus on learning more webGIS. Thanks!!” – Student comment on Twitter

“Michael is an incredibly knowledgeable instructor who assumes no prior knowledge. The course content builds up from some very basic coding practices to complex interaction between client and database via a server. Although it was not expected that the exercises were completed I did indeed follow along and now have a fully-functional webapp that I can modify to suit my needs. For an introduction, this course covers an incredibly wide range of concepts covering not only the display and processing of spatial data but also some internet security measures and even a little history thrown in which makes it much easier to understand the possibilities and limitations of Web GIS. I am thoroughly looking forward to starting Michael’s Leaflet course.” – Student Review on Udemy

“The course is exactly what I need – not some copy the script and modify, but rather an understanding of what the process is. At this point, it sounds like a great overview and I am equally impressed with the background and teaching style of the instructor.” – Student Review on Udemy

“Great course does exactly what it says on the tin! Easily digested bite sized lectures that are clear and concise and always put the learning into a geospatial perspective, just what I was looking for.” – Student review on Udemy

This course is oriented towards achieving a conceptual understanding of how web technologies work together to form a web application that can be used to distribute, collect, or analyze geospatial data.

The focus will be on understanding concepts. You will not have to install any software on your computer. You will not be asked to follow along step-by-step. Instead the goal will be to provide the background information necessary to understand how the internet works, which technologies you really need to understand and when to use them. We will also explore additional technologies that you may want to explore further as your understanding and needs grow.

We will be using readily available open source software so you will be able to create web maps without spending any money. The concepts you will learn, however, will be equally valid if you have access to commercial GIS software and web servers.

My intention is to provide the information that I wish I had available before I began my journey into the world of geospatial web development. I spent a lot of time trying to put together the big picture from the detailed information that was available and I wasted a lot of time pursuing technologies that really were not necessary. My hope is to help you navigate the world of web development more efficiently than I did and that after taking this course you will be better prepared to take more detailed courses from myself or others.

Who this course is for:

  • Two main groups of students will benefit from this course. First will be GIS users who are interested in understanding how to distribute and collect data using the internet. Second will be web developers interested in adding geospatial applications to their toolkit.
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