OpenLayers Blog

All the maps that are fit to blog

OpenLayers Holiday Present: Case Studies

December 24th, 2008 by crschmidt · 2 Comments

Here’s an OpenLayers Holiday Present, for those of you working on getting OpenLayers in more places in your organization:

OpenLayers Case Studies: Examples showing the usage of OpenLayers inside of organizations, and how the use of OpenLayers has helped that organization.

Currently, the number of case studies is small, but we’re working on growing these case studies so that for any particular application, there is an example of someone who has used OpenLayers to do something similar.

If you’re interested in sharing a case study with the OpenLayers project, feel free to comment here, or follow up to the mailing list post made on the topic.

Happy Holidays!

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GeoConnexion Magazine Article

November 17th, 2008 by crschmidt · Comments Off

In the November issue of the GeoConnexion magazine, (“Geo: International”), an article I wrote was published in OSGeo’s Monthly Column, “Open Sources”. The article talks a bit about the history of OpenLayers, and how it came to be developed the way it did:

OpenLayers was the first mapping framework to make an explicit statement that it was not an application at all, but a toolkit for building mapping applications. This different approach resulted in a somewhat long curve to acceptance. In its infancy, the project was used only by developers: people who had a strong knowledge of what they wanted to do, and needed to have more control over their tools in order to do it. This early audience helped to build a rapid development environment where many of the users of the code were also able to contribute fixes and improvements based on their needs. This developer-friendly environment may be one of the key differences that has allowed OpenLayers development to continue to grow.

More is included in the full article, available as a PDF from the GeoConnexion website.

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OpenLayers Workshop from FOSS4G 2008

October 29th, 2008 by Tim Schaub · Comments Off

We had a good time in Cape Town putting on an OpenLayers intro workshop.  The 3 hour session was well attended, and very well supported by OpenLayers developers.  Thanks to those who participated and especially to all the developers that came to help out.

I have made the workshop documents available – and am looking forward to putting up a couple translations soon (French and Spanish at least).  I’ll be shifting around the structure a bit and making an HTML version (and RST source) available at some point.  If you’re interested in using the material, please do – we’ve put on a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

You can find some instructions on getting set up for the workshop on our workshop wiki.  Note this version requires a local GeoServer running (or a proxy).  I’ll update the material to work with a publicly available GeoServer at some point.

If you make use of the material, or are interested in doing a translation, let me know (me @

(Update: Initial HTML version is now up –

(Update II: Thanks to Yves Jacolin, we’ve now got a French translation of the workshop:

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Announcing: OpenLayers 2.7 rc1!

September 5th, 2008 by euzuro · Comments Off

The OpenLayers Development Team is proud to announce the first release
candidate of OpenLayers 2.7!!

As of 2.7-RC1, the OpenLayers 2.7 release closes 187 outstanding
, split nearly down the middle between bug fixes and new
features. Although this ticket count is less than previous releases,
the 2.7 release is the first release which has been executed as a
date-based release (instead of feature-based)… which represents a
bit of a departure for the project. Whether or not we will continue to
make releases based on this fixed date style is up in the air, but the
experiment has proved interesting and mostly successful.

The 2.7 release should not present the drastic changes that we’ve seen
in previous releases (like 2.6). Overall, it turns out to be much more
of a bug fix release, although it does include some exciting new
functionality. Highlights include:

* Vector-Behavior: Strategies, Protocols, Filters (though the
completion of this going in at RC2)
* Improved Vector rendering for better performance
* Canvas rendering class
* Z-Ordering and Y-Ordering for Vector layers
* New Basic Measurement Control
* New OpenLayers.Request interface for AJAX
* Smarter Popups

… and tons of other new features and bug fixes that you can see
detailed here:

For information on possible changes that will need to be made between
this version of OpenLayers and previous versions, please look at the
Release notes.

We invite you to help us test the 2.7 release candidate! To test 2.7
in your applications, include the following tag in your
OpenLayers-powered page:

As always, the source is available at
Bug reports can be filed in Trac, under the 2.7 version and 2.7 RC1

There are so many people who have really made this release happen, too
many to name here. OpenLayers is not about the fame, it’s about the
glory. You know who you are. Thank You.

A special thanks, though, goes out to John Frank/Josiah Strandberg at
MetaCarta and Chris Holmes from OpenGeo for putting up the funds and
clearing away the time so that we could have an excellent ‘bunker
out in Cambridge at the end of July. That bunker was a critical
pow-wow for us in terms of getting things under control for the 2.7
release and also in general for project synergy and getting some great
patches in. Thank you!

All forthcoming RC announcements will be sent only to the Developers
list: anyone interested in tracking the progress to a final release
should subscribe to that list.

We look forward to your feedback on this release.

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Cambridge Sprint Recap

August 7th, 2008 by Tim Schaub · 1 Comment

Last week, a number of OpenLayers developers gathered in Cambridge, MA to push towards a 2.7 release. Erik Uzureau and Chris Schmidt from MetaCarta hosted. Andreas Hocevar, Sebastian Benthall, Tim Coulter, and I went from the OpenGeo team. Closing tickets against 2.7 was our main objective, and we managed to get a handful of cool features in.

Tim C. and Erik worked together to integrate Tim’s nice y-ordering support for vector features (see the example with background shadows). Andreas continued to make vector rendering and styling improvements with the addition of well-known graphic names and dash style. Chris closed a good number of tickets and made some performance enhancements. Seb and I laid the groundwork for bringing in the new vector layer behavior work (strategies and protocols).

Thanks to Erik for all the organizational work, to MetaCarta for hosting us in their office and providing time for Erik & Chris, and to The Open Planning Project for supporting the rest of us in the sprint.

→ 1 CommentTags: Features · Future

MapBuilder Moving On

July 29th, 2008 by euzuro · Comments Off

A post yesterday from Steven Ottens on the Community MapBuilder website announced the retirement of the MapBuilder project. Citing increased competition and development, specifically from projects like OpenLayers, they have made the decision to call the 1.5 release the final stable release for the project.

As mentioned in the post, a meeting at the FOSS4G2006 conference helped to concentrate efforts of multiple web-based mapping projects, eventually leading to the MapBuilder project incorporating OpenLayers code as its core rendering engine. Since then, we have really enjoyed working together with the mapbuilder developers, many of whom are now also core contributors to OpenLayers trunk.

Without any more rehashing of the same old cow, we’d just like to send a smile and a thumbs up to the MapBuilder project, not only for a job well done but also in great anticipation of their participation with the OpenLayers project in the future.

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Cluster Strategy

June 23rd, 2008 by Tim Schaub · 5 Comments

Following up on the paging strategy, I’ve put together a cluster strategy as an alternative for managing large numbers of (potentially coincident) features.

The cluster strategy intercepts batches of features before they are added to a layer. It caches all features, creates points that represent clusters of features, and sends the clusters to the layer instead. The original features are accessible through a cluster property on the features added to the layer. This works for features with all geometry types (clustering based on bounds center for non-point) and always calculates clusters as point locations.

The cluster example uses the same photo feed as the paging example. Just another strategy for dealing with large numbers of features client side.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Future · Vector

Paging Strategy

June 20th, 2008 by Tim Schaub · Comments Off

In a previous post, I wrote a bit about how we were starting to improve vector layer behavior. That work has been chugging along in a couple sandboxes. We had a dev talk some time ago about allowing multiple strategies on a single layer. Today I put together an implementation of that idea with a new paging strategy.

This strategy allows for client side paging of vector features for protocols that don’t support it on the server. The paging example loads a batch of 100 geotagged photos from Flickr (thanks FeatureServer) and displays them 10 at a time.

With the paging strategy, we can display manageable batches of features in the browser with protocols (like WFS) that don’t (yet) support paging. This is handy in situations where you’re primarily limited by the renderer (because you’re still stuck parsing whatever number of features you get from the server).

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GeoJSON 1.0 Release

June 16th, 2008 by crschmidt · Comments Off

From the GeoJSON mailing list:

The GeoJSON Authors are proud to announce the finalization of the GeoJSON 1.0 Specification.

Representing more than a year’s worth of community discussion and development, the GeoJSON specification describes an easy to use, extensible format for transferring geographic data over the web. With support in more than 20 different applications, GeoJSON is already quickly becoming a de facto standard for transferring geographic data in a JSON format. The finalization of the spec represents the final step in formalizing the GeoJSON format for encoding this data.

More information on GeoJSON can be found at , or from the GeoJSON mailing list at .

OpenLayers has been a long-time supporter of GeoJSON, and was one of the first web-mapping clients to support read/write of GeoJSON.

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New and Improved Examples

May 8th, 2008 by crschmidt · 5 Comments

With a bunch of work from Tim, and a little bit of serverside admin cleanup on my part, I’m proud to announce that as of today, the OpenLayers Examples are a lot nicer.

Improvements include:

  • Shiny UI for browsing the examples, including keyword search
  • Improved consistency of display of examples
  • Changing the examples on the live server to depend on a singlefile build — no longer need to wait multiple minutes just to see a single example.

I’d like to thank the original doc team workers from the FOSS4G sprint team led by Josh Livni to get the titles/descriptions for most of these in place, Tim for his work on creating the nicer UI and getting me to update the server to point to it by default, and all OpenLayers contributors for making the number of features we have so easy to demonstrate!

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