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With the rapid development of Internet / Intranet and computer technology, geographic information system (GIS) has gone through the development process from a single application environment to the network application environment, web GIS has gradually become a mainstream application of GIS. Compared with the Client / Server structure, web GIS has the characteristics of deployment with convenient, simple to use, the low requirement of network bandwidth. This paper introduces web GIS and extensible markup language (XML), explains their research status and advantages. Then we focus on how to design a web GIS framework based on XML with the characteristics of universality and flexibility. First, we give the web GIS framework, and then explain the function of each component of web GIS framework. Meanwhile, we discuss the implementation of the web GIS framework through two application systems. Finally, we look forward to the future work.