[OSGeo-Discuss] New Project.

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at crschmidt.net
Wed Feb 28 12:45:55 PST 2007

On Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 02:22:37PM -0600, Bob Basques wrote:
> Paul,
> It's funny you put it the way you did.  From an Email exchange today
> about how our project compares ti OpenLayers :
> This is how I see them as being different.  Others, feel free to chime
> in.
> Moose has more of the Desktop GIS functionality and more tightly
> integrated with MapServer. For example: measure, data popups, graphic
> design skins, move layers, legends, printing, more configuration
> options, identify, and select.  I don't think this type of
> functionality
> is the goal of OpenLayers, they strive more to make it easy to
> integrate
> multiple data sources.

Although this is not in the goal of the *core* of OpenLayers, building
the application on *top* of OpenLayers (assuming that you're searching
for a web interface) is exactly what OpenLayers is targeted to. The
examples directory of OpenLayers contains an example for how to do
feature identification/query
(http://openlayers.org/dev/examples/getfeatureinfo.html), and path 
measuring is one of the tools that the new vector integration will allow
us to build.

Styling the OpenLayers UI and integrating it into a larger surrounding
UI is also part of the design of the project:
http://www.warwide.com/images/wwscreen/wwss_01.jpg shows, for example,
an OpenLayers interface integrated into a war game.

Moving layers is something that there is no existing UI for, but
something that I would love to see, either as an example or as an
external control. However, at the moment it is true that we're
concentrating on how to get data into the interface.

In general, OpenLayers seeks to create an API which can be used at the
base level of any browser-based GIS application. MapBuilder has already
begun to use the OpenLayers API to replace their existing map renderer,
by building their tools around an OpenLayers Map created via that API.

ka-Map may do something similar in the future. 

> OpenLayers strives to have easy support for numerous data sources like
> Google, Yahoo, GeoRSS, and WMS.  Then they work off of the concept of
> placing point markers and soon vector (line and polygon) on top of
> those
> data sources.  The also support tiled and untiled data sources in the
> same interface.  This works very nice if your don't have a lot of
> layers
> that are changing all the time and you can make use of caching.  I
> think
> an interface like this would be pretty slow and hard to manage for a
> organization like Douglas County, MN that is updating their parcels,
> plats, E911 address points and roads every week.

I'm not sure how you're going to be able to improve that -- I'd be
interested to learn more about what you feel the challenges are that
OpenLayers doesn't help you meet. 

> A more discrete description might be that MOOSE is shooting for the
> customers that need to publish data in all sort of formats (and legacy
> Systems), in a near Realtime fashion.  The intent is to make the process
> as transparent to the Data publishers as it is to the Data users.

I'm slightly confused, now. You mention 'publish their data', which to
me, sounds like a server, rather than a client. Clients consume
published data. OpenLayers is a client. Mapserver, GeoServer, 
ka-Map, TileCache, WorldWind are servers. Which is MOOSE?

Christopher Schmidt
Web Developer

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