ArcGIS Server Legend Resource Application

Tue, Aug 31, 2010 3-minute read

Building on my last post, I wanted to create a RESTful app that serves up legends from ArcGIS Server.  Ideally, this app would not need any configuration.  I thought this was very doable, since I could just put the URL information for the map service into the URL for the legend resource service by my new RESTful app.  All in all, this was much easier than even I predicted.  Oh, and I have to thank Colin Casey (again) for refactoring my code to look more Ruby-way like.

At first, I thought of using a Rails app for this, which I did stand up and get running.  However, it seemed like way too much for just a simple app.  There is no database, no real views, and not much that required all the conventions that Rails uses.  I have been hearing tons about Sinatra (including a running joke that it’s where experienced Rails developers eventually land) and how lightweight it is.  And, it is VERY lightweight.  I am not going to post any examples of Sinatra here, but a rudimentary scan of the Sinatra home page is enough to show that it’s not a lot of weight.  So, I selected Sinatra and had the app working in a  few hours (most of which were me struggling with my RubyNoob issues)  The result is legend_resource and is posted on github for your criticism and mockery.


Or create an HTML page with an img tag and set that link to the src.  Like this,

That’s it.  Neat, huh?

The URL scheme is pretty simple:  http://<webserver>/legend/<mapserver>/<mapservicepath>, where

  1. Change the gstore.yaml file to add your access_key and secret.

  2. Comment out the line in that sets up the GStoreLegend as the file handler.

[sourcecode language=“ruby”] run LegendResource

Uncomment this line to use Google Storage (don’t forget to change the gstore.yml file)')

#LegendResource.set :filehandler, GStoreLegend [/sourcecode]

I did that for a Heroku app that I am hosting at (the image above is from said Heroku app) that you are free to use to crank out a few legends.  Just bear in mind that the map service will have to be exposed to the web for my Heroku app to see it.

I hope someone else finds this useful.  It was a ton of fun to make and I learned a lot about ruby in the process.  I realize that my code is pretty noobish from the Ruby standpoint, so feel free to fork the repo, refactor, and issue pull requests.  That’s how I learn.  Also, if you’d like to see other options for the legends, hit me on github or leave a comment.

Happy Legending!

UPDATE:  One thing I don’t think I made clear is that the REST interface for this service only handles GET and DELETE.  If you HTTP GET to the url, it will either create or return the legend.  If you HTTP DELETE to it, it deletes the legend, so, the next GET will create it anew.