web mapping

"The Ubiquitous Digital Map" Talk: a Quick History of the Digital Map

InfoQ have published a talk by Gary Gale (@vicchi) called "The Ubiquitous Digital Map (Abridged)" giving a half hour potted history of the digital map. Worth a watch (but not as full screen as you'll miss the slides!) as knowing where we came from might help to understand where we are going.

Batch Geonews: Bing Maps in AutoCAD 2014, iOS Geofences, GitHub for GIS, TeachGIS.org, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the Apple front:

In the everything else category:

In the maps category:

MapGuide Open Source 2.5 Released

After v2.4 last fall, MapGuide Open Source 2.5 has been released. Can anyone share thoughts or links regarding MapGuide's user community? Is it still vibrant as it used to be?

Major new items from the release notes: "

  • PDF-based QuickPlot? for Fusion (RFC 124)
  • Google Street View widget for Fusion (RFC 125)
  • Support for user coordinate system dictionaries (RFC 127)
  • Integrated IDE API documentation support for Java/.net (RFC 129)
  • New enhanced Java wrapper API (RFC 129)
  • Streamed HTTP feature/data/SQL query results (RFC 130)
  • Various AJAX Viewer UI and functionality improvements
  • Enhanced Redlining widget with expanded data format support  more info
  • Fixes and enhancements to assorted Fusion widgets and templates  more info"

Why Map Portals Don’t Work

Catching up last month's geonews, here's a 5-parts series named Why Map Portals Don’t Work, here's Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.

From the intro: "[...] we’ll lay out some major drawbacks of standard web portals as well as suggest a few alternatives along the way.  While the baseline scenario I have in mind are public-facing government mapping portals, those rolling corporate intranet solutions would do well to take heed."

Some quotes taken from the entries, but go read the full 5 entries, it's worth:

  • No one has widely circulated their own web metrics that shine a more positive light on map portals
  • Problem #1: Map Portals Over-Focus on the Map, Under-focus on Text-Based Search and Discovery. Takeaway #1: Users Want and Need a Large, Obvious, Auto-Complete Text Box to Drive Search & Discovery
  • Too many choices are psychologically debilitating and make people less happy (cue the TED talk). So yeah, your map portal has too many layers, leaving your users psychologically debilitated and unhappy
  • Problem: Multiple map layers make it difficult to elicit a user’s intent and vastly overestimate the public’s interest in figuring out how to manipulate the map display
  • Cures for Layerrhea:  a) break out most important layers into single-topic maps; b) provide data downloads for power-users; c) roll your own basemap with supporting, contextual layers baked-in
  • Because if you are building any public-facing interface you have exactly four requirements: FAST  •  INTUITIVE  • INFORMATIVE  •  FAST

  • The primary use of maps is quick information retrieval, NOT deep interaction with map interfaces
  • The greatest recent improvement in map interactivity has been the work Mapbox has done with UTFGrid (interactive demo here) [this is a shame, I admit, that we never mentioned before UTFGrids on Slashgeo]
  • Icon-laden toolbars are a desktop thing, not a web thing

GeoServer 2.2.4 Released

The GeoServer team is happy to announce the release of GeoServer 2.2.4, now available for download.

This is the latest release of the stable 2.2 series. The changes that might interest the most users are:

  • the monitoring extension module just got promoted to official extension [GEOS-5538]
  • the status page does not throw errors after catalog reloads anymore [GEOS-5371]
  • one critical fix in the REST configuration of freemarker templates [GEOS-5533]

The changelog also contains the following minor bug fixes

  • [GEOS-5338] – Filter function IEEERemainder mishbehaves in SLD
  • [GEOS-5537] – Tiling artifacts with RasterSymbolizer using bilinear interpolation (when oversampling raster)
  • [GEOS-5551] – WFS 1.0 capabilities will NPE with misconfigured OGR and XSLT output formats
  • [GEOS-5565] – workspace admin unable to create sql view
  • [GEOS-5570] – QueryProcess fails if called with an OGC filter (either 1.0 or 1.1)
  • [GEOS-5197] – Use the layer abstract as the GeoRSS channel description
  • [GEOS-5561] – Missing i18n support for ReprojectPage
  • [GEOS-5562] – Missing i18n support for WorkspaceEditPage
  • [GEOS-5563] – slight mixed up order of Y-parameters in AffineTransformPanel

Also, looking at the corresponding GeoTools release changelog we have the following extra goodies in:

  • improvements in the WFS cascading, we can now better interact with remote WFS servers running on TinyOWS and ArcGIS
  • imageio-ext was upgraded to version 1.1.6, which means from now on GeoServer uses GDAL 1.9 to extends the range of raster formats it supports

Download GeoServer 2.2.4, try it out, and provide feedback on the GeoServer mailing list.

Thanks again for using GeoServer!

Leaflet 0.5 Released

The open source javascript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps named Leaflet is very popular and seriously competing with OpenLayers, and it just got better, Leaflet 0.5 has been released.

From the announcement: "Rejoice, everyone — after 4.5 months of development with 26 contributors involved since the previous major release, I’m happy to announce the release of Leaflet 0.5 stable, hooray!

0.5 highlights include IE10 touch devices and Metro apps support, retina-enabled markers, a much better panning inertia implementation, hand cursors for dragging and a new zoom control design. But the real power of this release comes with about a hundred of subtle improvements and bugfixes, improving usability, performance and overall “feel” of browsing the map even further."

How to Keep Up With Changing Web Mapping Technology

Directions Mag offers an article named Research Explores How to Keep Up With Changing Web Mapping Technology, starting with 'change is inevitable: deal with it'.

From the results: "Despite the fact that the Google Maps API delivered on more of the requirements set out in the Needs Assessment Survey, the team selected Leaflet as the answer to the first question of which technology should be used for teaching. Leaflet was, in fact, second best in supporting the requirements, but the Diary Study suggested students made more progress and felt better working with that set of libraries. The team suggests that might be due to the added transparency and control provided by a fully open source library."

MapServer 6.2 Released

The serial winner of the FOSS4G WMS Shootout just got better, MapServer 6.2 has been released. We of course mentioned the open source web mapping server MapServer innumerable times.

The major features of 6.2:

  • MapServer 6.2 is INSPIRE View Service compliant, i.e. supports the provision of an INSPIRE View Service compliant WMS Server.
  • Mask Layers: Mask layers are used to “mask out” part of a given layer, to only represent data that intersect features from another layer.
  • Precise Symbol Placement: Traditionally, MapServer centers a marker symbol on the point it should be rendered to. ANCHORPOINT is a new SYMBOL level keyword that describes where the given symbol should be anchored.
  • Complex Multi Label/Symbol Symbology: Some cartographic representations require juxtaposing multiple symbols and/or labels in order to obtain a complex final symbol.
  • Vector Fields: MapServer can render vector fields based off data from GDAL supported raster formats containing u and v bands.
  • Label Leader Offsetting: For densely labelled maps, MapServer now supports offseting a label with respect to it’s original anchorpoint if the original location resulted in a collision with an already present label. An optional line can also be rendered to link the rendered text to it’s original feature location.
  • Multiple Font Support: List a set of true type fonts to search for required characters.
  • SVG Symbology: Along with the traditional ELLIPSE, VECTOR, PIXMAP and TRUETYPE symbols, MapServer 6.2 now supports SVG symbols directly.

Batch Geonews: JS.geo Conference, ArcMap2SLD, MapQuest Discover, GLONASS Corruption, and much more

Here's the latest batch-mode edition of the geonews.

From the open source front:

  • InaSAFE 1.0 launched, it's a "free software that produces realistic natural hazard impact scenarios for better planning, preparedness and response activities", it's also a QGIS plugin

From the Esri front:

From the Google front:

In the miscellaneous category:

And finally, at the suggestion of a Slashgeo user which made a donation, we added a 'Paypal button' to ease the process of making donation to Slashgeo.

Leaflet 0.4.5 Released and Plans for 0.5

One of the main open source competitors to OpenLayers, Leaflet 0.4.5 has been released and they share their plans for version 0.5.

From the announcement: "Highlights of things already implemented in the master branch include touch interaction support for IE10 touch devices and Metro apps and a more smooth and responsive panning inertia. Follow the full changelog for more details. We’re also in the process of a major refactoring of vector rendering code to allow much simpler extension of base functionality with custom shapes, additional rendering systems (like WebGL in addition to existing SVG/VML and Canvas renderers), easy switching between renderers, also making the code simpler and easier to understand. The same goes for projection-related code to make using Leaflet with non-standard projections easier, inluding plain projections for game and indoor maps."

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