JShape is a java-based viewer for GIS data in the form of ESRI shape-files.

An example Jshape application is being used in the pilot RiverWebSM site describing the prehistoric site of Cahokia in East St. Louis, Illinois (see http://www.museum.state.il.us/vrmuseum/jshape/cahokia2.html). The Cahokia site is the premier locality for the "Mississippian" culture, the dominant Native American culture from perhaps A.D. 500-600 to about A.D. 1650. Because this is an important site there is a long history of archaeological investigation, including mapping exercises. For example, this image shows the topographic lines at the Cahokia site based on a survey conducted in 1966. The lines in black are those interpreted as being the land surface in the eleventh century A.D., while those in red represent modern human-made features such as roads and railway grades. In this case the application is constrained to show what the educator wished to show: the interpreted past landscape as compared to the modern topography.

The Jshape application is constrained to show what the educator wished to show: the interpreted past topography compared to the modern topography.

Jshape also has more interactive elements included. For example in the "live" version of the applet it is possible to point to a mound and bring up an HTML page containing information (and images/QTVR movies) on the mound, depending on the amount of information available for that particular mound.

This application of Jshape illustrates an example of a highly constrained interactive map. The educator is interested in showing the student a limited group of spatial data sets, but wants to allow the student to explore within that group of data sets. The student cannot add to the set of themes as is possible within the project definition of Map-It!. Still, this constraint can help to focus the direction of student involvement in the subject at hand.  

In contrast to JShape (another GIS web tool under development in the RiverWeb SM toolsuite, which serves "shape" files for local viewing), the Map-IT! server responds to requests made through the client by sending image data that is viewed through that same client. JShape can also be used as a stand-alone client (i.e. one that works independently of a web browser). In this stand-alone mode, Map-IT! can be run over a local network, which may be advantageous in certain educational settings, e.g. a computer lab. Map-IT! supports remote sessions via the web in which data, including field data (spreadsheet data with longitude and latitude specified in decimal degrees and saved as comma delimited files), can be brought into newly created projects, then viewed through the browser.

#Tue Nov  3 10:41:22 CST 1998 eks