OpenLayers/ka-Map Merging BOF Results

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at
Thu Sep 14 09:22:26 EDT 2006

So, the OpenLayers/Ka-Map merger BOF was much more than that -- in fact,
it was a similar gathering to the tiling BOF, in that every web map
client was well represented at the session and the goal was a consensus,
with possibly some compromises, which would suit all persons involved.

After much discussion, we came down to the idea of a general set of
functionality that all webmapping client developers could use --
specifically, it should be possible to take any div on a page, and draw
a map inside that div using this library. The library will work in such
a way that it will have the following bits of code:
 * Map
 * Layer
 * A few useful subclasses of layer (WMS)
 * Event handling

The idea is to make a small library for displaying image tiles in a div,
and make everything else up to the application. Doing this means that we
can combine the work on actually doing tiled map drawing -- a tile
renderer is something that many people, from Ka-Map to MapBuilder to
maybe MapBender, MapGuide, etc. could use. 

The core of this is going to be a small subset of OpenLayers which does not
depend on Prototype: Essentially, the Map, Layer, and Events classes we
have currently developed will be modified such that they can fit in with
other clients as well as possible. The goal is to pick a limited subset
of useful infrastructure, and attempt to make it possible for all web
mapping applications -- OpenLayers, kaMap, and others -- to be built on
top of it. To do that, a limited subset of a tile rendering engine is

We're going to have a goal of a draft version of the newly discussed
"WebMap.js" in the next 2 months ish, with the hopes of making sure that
all projects who are interested -- from MapGuide to OpenLayers -- can be
built on top of the framework, with no dependancies which block other

I've been working on this email for far too long -- so, I'll send it,
and hopefully in the relatively short term, it can start being backed up
with code.

Please feel free to augment this post with further exlanation and
discussion :)

Christopher Schmidt

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