Web Mapping Application Architecture
The general form of web-based map application architecture can be seen in the image below:
In the picture above, the interaction between the client and the server based on the request and response scenario. The web browser on the client side sends a request to the web server. Because the web server does not have the processing capability map, then the request relating to the processing of the map will be forwarded by the web server to the application server and MapServer. Processing results will be returned through the web server, wrapped in the form of an HTML file or applet.

Web Mapping Application Approach
Mapping in the web application architecture is divided into two approaches as follows:
  1. Thin Client approach
    This approach focuses on the server side. Almost all processes and data analysis was performed based on the request on the server side. Data processing result is then sent to the client in HTML standard format, which includes the image files in a standard format (eg, GIF, PNG or JPG) that can be viewed using any web browser. The main drawback of this approach involves limited interaction with the user options that are less flexible.
  2. Thick Client Approach
    In this approach, the data processing is done on the client side using several technologies such as ActiveX controls or applets. ActiveX controls or applets will run on the client to allow web browsers handle the data format that can not be handled by the web browser with a standard capability. With the processing on the client, then the data transfer between the client and the web server will be reduced.

    Unlike the thin client approach, the data will be sent to the client in a simplified form of vector data. Processing and depiction back will be done on the client side. In this way, application developers can be more flexible in determining the procedures of interaction with the user application. The downside of this approach, there must be additional applications installed on the client computer (ActiveX controls or applets earlier). MapServer using a thin client approach. All processing is done on the server side. Map information is sent to the web browser on the client side in the form of an image file (JPG, PNG, GIF or TIFF).