Turf: New Open Source WebGIS

We begin year with pretty interesting and major news. WebGIS is one giant step closer to be seriously useful, thanks to the new open source WebGIS project named Turf.

From the MapBox announcement: “Turf is GIS for web maps. It’s a fast, compact, and open-source JavaScript library that implements the most common geospatial operations: buffering, contouring, triangular irregular networks (TINs), and more. Turf speaks GeoJSON natively, easily connects to Leaflet […]  Unlike the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, Turf can run completely client-side for all operations, so web apps can work offline and sensitive information can be kept local. We’re constantly refining Turf’s performance. Recent research algorithms can make operations like clipping and buffering faster than ever, and as JavaScript engines like V8 continue to optimize, Turf will compete with native code. […] With the building blocks for GIS analysis on the web, you can create your next spatial application in a whole new way: as small pieces joined together intelligently using Turf.”

You can try the examples yourself from MapBox’s entry or look at the list and try examples directly on turfjs. Discussing Turf and why it may succeed, Howard points to Plasio, point cloud rendering capability in a browser for Lidar data. Geospatial directly on the web might indeed see great progress this year.

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