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In this article we present best practices in implementing a geographic information system that may be used as a foundation for commercial geographic web services. On one hand we explain important rules to be followed during the design of the information system itself, e.g. the data supply process. On the other hand we introduce different categories for potential geographic web services and analyze these categories according to several properties. From some of those properties rules can be extracted on how well every kind of service is suited for commercial use and which technical context (e.g. security) has to be observed to be able to offer it. The whole article is based on a case study and prototype where we implemented a geographic database and geographic web services from each of the different categories in the domain of hydrology.