[Chameleon] ka-Map: new open source project

Paul Spencer pspencer at dmsolutions.ca
Tue May 17 17:13:43 EDT 2005

ka-Map: new open source project


DM Solutions Group is pleased to annouce the release of a new MapTools 
open source project aimed at the growing interest in highly interactive, 
javascript mapping applications based on MapServer.  Here are some 
details ...

ka-Map provides many of the features that one should expect in a 
state-of-the-art web-mapping application.

Features include:

* tile-based continuous panning

* no page reloading

* keymap, legend and scalebar

* zoom in/zoom out

* keyboard navigation

* sliding effects for panning on double click (ok, that one's for fun!)

We have also implemented some advanced features that are more in tune 
with the MapServer community's needs:

* configuration can include multiple map files with different extents, 
image formats, and scales for each map file.  Client side interface can 
include the ability to change between map files

* ability to have layer visibility controls by drawing each GROUP as a 
separate HTML layer on the client side

* ability to use HTML legend template to build more advanced layer controls

* flexible tile caching system

* separation of the javascript logic from the HTML page to provide an 
API with which to build your applications

ka-Map is built on AJAX principles and uses the XmlHttpRequest object to 
communicate with the server, providing a much more responsive user 
interface.  The server side is implemented using PHP/MapScript (what 
else!) but could easily be replaced with anything that would spit out 
the equivalent javascript in response to the various requests.

ka-Map uses cached tiles generated on demand by drawing much larger map 
images and slicing them up.  The caching mechanism is currently quite 
simplistic and could not handle large data projects, but it is 
definitely sufficient for getting started.  There are issues with this 
kind of tile generation, but it is almost essential for performance 
given the current state of the art.

ka-Map is aiming to be an API for developing mapping applications.  As 
such, we are hoping it will be picked up by, and integrated into, some 
of the other open source projects such as MapBender, ZMapServer, 
GeoServer, and (of course) Chameleon.

The home of ka-Map is:


Downloads and CVS are not quite ready, but you can try out the interface 
by visiting our first public site based on this technology (basic 
features only in this one):


Subscribe to the user list to find out when downloads and CVS access are 
available, and also to participate in the ongoing development and 
testing of this new technology.


We are hoping this project will engage the MapServer community's 
interest and gain momentum from user contributions.  Please join up and 
start contributing if you are interested in this technology!


|Paul Spencer                           pspencer at dmsolutions.ca   |
|Applications & Software Development                              |
|DM Solutions Group Inc                 http://www.dmsolutions.ca/|

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