[OpenLayers-Dev] OpenLayers Architect - GSoC 2008 Final Project Stats Report

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sun Aug 17 17:24:52 EDT 2008

I'm had a look at your application and am very impressed with how much 
you have achieved in such a short period of time.

You should be proud of yourself.

I see an immediate need for such an application in a "Live CD" of the 
GeoFOSS stack that can be handed out to potential new users.


Also, there is an opportunity for someone (maybe you) to set up an 
Openlayers hosting service which allows users to build their own webmap 
hosted page.

And, the tool could be incorporated into Content Management Systems like 

For your next steps. You have sufficient options for a new user. (You 
possibly have too many). I suggest that your next focus should be on 
usability. Make it really easy for a new user to build a map. Things 
that come to mind are:

1. Create a map preview as it is being built.

2. Reduce the number of buttons that need to be pressed during the setup 
workflow. Eg: Remove the save button, and continuously build the 
javascript and example map as the use selects options.

3. Add user help for everything. There are lots of options that would be 
unfamiliar to a new users. Maybe have tool tips, or alternatively an [i] 
button which opens a new window. Answer questions like:
What is a WMS? What is the difference between a WMS and a Tiled WMS? Why 
select one over the other?

4. I'd love to see a BoundingBox creation tool, an Openlayers map which 
allows users to zoom into their preferred area of interest.

Erik Hazzard wrote:
> Overview
> -------------
> This is my final status report for GSoC.  (I'm submitting it tonight
> because I'll be moving tomorrow and I don't know if I'll have an
> internet connection anytime soon).   Having started programming not
> even a year ago, this project has given me the opportunity to
> challenge myself and become more confident in my programming
> abilities.  I still consider myself a novice programmer, but it would
> have taken me ages to even get to the level I'm at now after GSoC.
> This has been an invaluable experience, and I want to again thank
> Chris Schmidt for the great help he's been and will (I'm sure)
> continue to be - I'm greatly indebted to him.  I've made more progress
> on the project than I thought I would, and I honestly feel that
> overall, while I still have a ways to go for a finished, polished
> product, this GSoC has been a phenomenal success.  I will most
> definitely continue working on this project after the summer ends, and
> I will occasionally post major updates to this list if anyone is
> interested - I'll also be keeping my blog updated.
> The past couple of days I've tied up the few loose ends I wanted to,
> and while the application is not fully functional, it does provide the
> basic map creation ability that I originally sought out to accomplish.
>  I haven't been able to test every example and combination of
> features, but I have not been able to find any bugs in IE or FF (there
> are things that do not work yet - but I've fixed all known bugs).
> Sebastian had suggested I implement a preview function, and although I
> hadn't planned to do it until after GSoC, there is a preview button
> once map code has been generated that will open a new window with a
> preview of the map.  The following is a brief list of some of the
> features that currently work
> -Configuring Maps, Layers, Controls, and Panels
>      -Configuring location of Panels and controls
>      -Base layers are determined by the order of the layers in the
> sortable layer list, default panel controls are specified by the order
> the controls are sorted in the panel control list
> -Generating Javascript code to create an OpenLayers map based on the
> selected configuration
> -Generating CSS code for panels / controls ( further explanation follows )
> -Viewing a preview of the map generated directly from the code
> CSS Generation
> ----
> Currently, classes are created for most controls and panels (save the
> editing toolbar for now).  Right now its main purpose to is to
> position and size panels / controls.  When a control or panel is
> created, the size and location scales based on the size of the actual
> map div.  The next step I will take after GSoC is over is to begin
> working on creating further theme customization tools, so no
> stylesheet editing should be necessary.  The overview map provides a
> good demonstration of how OLArchitect is currently generating and
> using CSS.
> Overall, I don't expect this to be able to and hadn't planned for it
> to create a very robust map at the moment.  It does, however, provide
> a very solid foundation and demonstrates an easy and quick way to
> general OpenLayers maps.  (The "button" control don't do much
> currently either).  However, nearly all the hard work is done, and the
> code is as extensible as I could make it (albeit not great code) so
> adding features won't be much of a hassle.  I look forward to not only
> working on this project after GSoC ends, but hopefully start to get
> involved with OpenLayers development as I've gained a fairly solid
> understanding after spending so much time with it these past months.
> I'll be posting a more detailed analysis on my blog within the week,
> outlining what I plan to do next. Thanks again for giving me this
> awesome opportunity to work on my project, and thanks to everyone who
> has helped and supported me along the way.
> URL - http://olarchitect.com/
> Blog - http://vasir.net/blog/olarchitect
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> http://openlayers.org/mailman/listinfo/dev

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Commercial Support for Geospatial Open Source Solutions

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