Online Maps with APIs and WebServices

Part of the series Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography pp 23-36


Current Trends in Vector-Based Internet Mapping: A Technical Review

  • Christophe LienertAffiliated withLandscape and Waters, Canton of Aargau Email author 
  • , Bernhard JennyAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Oregon State University
  • , Olaf SchnabelAffiliated withDepartment for City Planning
  • , Lorenz HurniAffiliated withInstitute of Cartography, ETH Zurich

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Possibilities and limitations of Internet cartography software largely depend on the pace set by the software industry. The variety of commercial and non-commercial software caters for the needs of a continuously growing mapping community, including both professional and amateur cartographers. This chapter provides an overview of state-of-the-art technologies for vector-based Web-mapping as of the beginning of 2011. Both proprietary and open format technologies are discussed for vector data rendering in browsers, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. The discussed technologies are Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), JavaFX, Canvas, and WebGL. The chapter also discusses client and server side frameworks which provide Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for creating custom interactive maps, mainly by overlaying raster images with vector data.