Mapnik

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In the maps category:

Mapnik 2.1.0 Released

I'm back from holidays - thank you for your patience. Expect several days for me to catch up geospatial news and share them with you. You can always submit anything pertinent directly.

Last November we mentioned the major 2.0 release, and now, Mapnik 2.1.0 has been released. Mapnik still is "a free Toolkit for developing mapping applications. Above all Mapnik is about making beautiful maps. It is easily extensible and suitable for both desktop and web development."

Here's the highlights for 2.1.0: "

  • A new framework for Style level image manipulation called Image filters.
  • A new pipeline for chained coordinate transformations like clipping or smoothing called Vertex Converters
  • Compositing modes at Symbolizer and (experimental) Style level. Infinite possibilities from this, see a few examples from AJ.
  • Support for Style level opacity
  • WKT, WKB, GeoJSON, SVG parsers and generators that can be used outside of rendering
  • Data-driven SVG style transforms on svg markers and images thanks to @lightmare
  • Data-driven orientationfor Text, heightfor Buildings, and width/heightfor Markers.
  • A new CSV input plugin
  • A new GeoJSON input plugin
  • A new Python input plugin
  • Better text labeling through support for placement-type="list". See the docs at the bottom of this page.
  • Improved Map loading speeds as well as warnings and errors"

Mapnik 2.0 Released

Jumping from version number 0.7.1, Mapnik 2.0 is a major release. While we mentioned Mapnik quite a few times, I don't hear that often about it. That said, many of us experience Mapnik frequently, since Mapnik is used for the rendering of OpenStreetMap's main map. Hey, Mapnik even participated to this year's WMS shootout.

Here's a reminder of what Mapnik is: "Mapnik is a Free Toolkit for developing mapping applications. It's written in C++ and there are Python bindings to facilitate fast-paced agile development. It can comfortably be used for both desktop and web development, which was something I wanted from the beginning.

Mapnik is about making beautiful maps. It uses the AGG library and offers world class anti-aliasing rendering with subpixel accuracy for geographic data. It is written from scratch in modern C++ and doesn't suffer from design decisions made a decade ago. When it comes to handling common software tasks such as memory management, filesystem access, regular expressions, parsing and so on, Mapnik doesn't re-invent the wheel, but utilizes best of breed industry standard libraries from boost.org."

Here's the list of major new features for Mapnik 2.0.

FOSS4G 2011: WMS Shootout and Sol Katz Award

While at FOSS4G in Spain last year, UMN MapServer (Linux) won the annual competition WMS Shootout with Mapnik not fare behind. During this year event, for distributing vectors (PostGIS) data only : Mapnik was at its best, for vector seeding : MapServer on Linux was way much faster than the other products, for vectors and raster data : Mapnik and MapServer Linux looks better and finally for vectors, rasters and DEM data: MapServer Linux was the fastest.

At the same time, MapServer on Linux was about 3 times faster than on MapServer on Windows on some of charts! The results in details of WMS Shootout will be published soon. At the end of the conference the annual Sol Katz Award was given this year to the lead developer of the JTS Topology Suite, Martin Davis. Congratulations to the first "Java" contributor to win this FOSS4G award!

TileMill: a New Open Source Web Map Design Tool

On the OSGeo mailing list was mentioned TileMill, a new open source Web map design tool.

From the post: "TileMill is a tool for cartographers to quickly and easily design maps for the web using custom data. It is built on the powerful open-source map rendering library Mapnik - the same software OpenStreetMap and MapQuest use to make some of their maps. TileMill is not intended to be a general-purpose cartography tool, but rather focuses on streamlining and simplifying a narrow set of use cases. And how government agencies can use it."

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