[webmap-discuss] Roll Call

Schuyler Erle schuyler at nocat.net
Thu Apr 6 16:23:53 EDT 2006

* On  5-Apr-2006 at  9:41PM PDT, Cameron Shorter said:
> Wecome to the webmap-discuss list.  Let's kick off with a role call. 
> Introduce yourself and what project(s) you represent.

Hi, gang, my name's Schuyler Erle. I co-wrote _Mapping Hacks_ and
_Google Maps Hacks_ (http://mappinghacks.com/) and have been
interested in web map tools for a couple of years now.

At present, I'm working for MetaCarta, helping to develop OpenLayers,
a BSD licensed JavaScript toolkit for adding dynamic maps to HTML
pages. My experience with Google Maps has led me to believe _very
strongly_ that the Open Source Geospatial community would benefit from
having at least one very simple, server-independent, straight-up
JavaScript API, one that a non-GIS person might use to build locative
applications on the Web.  This philosophy is very much in line with
the design of the Google Maps API, and somewhat in contrast to what's
been implemented in, say, ka-Map, with its PHP dependency, or
MapBuilder, with its emphasis on server-side XML configuration and its
powerful but very complex MVS framework.

OpenLayers lives at http://www.openlayers.org/ but right now there's
not a whole lot to see there. We're gearing up for a major code
release in a couple of weeks, which of course we'll announce here when
that happens. The code will feature support for the slippy tiled maps
that folks have come to expect on the Web, via OGC WMS, and some
support for putting markers on the map and associating events with
them via the JS API.

Personally, I don't have much attachment to the OpenLayers code base,
as it stands. My primary interest is in seeing some kind of library
with the properties I've enumerated, with the flexibility to have many
different applications hacked on top. I'd be thrilled to find ways to
share code with other projects (or infect them with our
requirements)...  ;-) Also, I have yet to see an Open Source map API
that isn't total weak sauce in the documentation and QA department --
and OpenLayers is, as yet, no exception. We gotta fix this, folks!

On a separate but related note, I want to draw your attention to the
Public Geospatial Data Committee's efforts to explore ideas for a WMS
tile caching standard:


I hope that the OSGeo web mapping community will help offer the
impetus to advance the state of the art in this direction!


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