[ka-Map-users] ka-Map and OpenLayers

Chris Brown chris at basebloc.com
Wed Jun 21 02:22:56 EDT 2006

Wow, that was a bomb shell post. To me it seems that the only real benefit
would be the ability to integrate tiles from Google, Yahoo etc and then drop
our own data on top without using the crude method currently being used by
Google Maps hackers. But I pose the question; how many people currently
using/developing ka-map would even want to do that? 


The world of web mapping as I see it has two camps: The first camp which for
lack of a better label I will call the ‘GIS Camp’, these are people who are
developing web maps usually as part of a larger GIS related project and
using all their own datasets. And the second is what I would call the
‘non-GIS camp’, people who are interested in web mapping solution to
display, hotels in a city, or all their stores in the country and will use
whatever datasets that they can find. For me ka-map is very much geared up
for the first camp and so are most of the contributors from what I can see,
whilst OpenLayers (I’m might be wrong) seems to be looking to please the
second camp by producing Google style interface (no scale, no legend, no
query tools etc). 


I have been impressed with the resolve of the main ka-map
developers/community so far to avoid taking ka-map down the road of being
merely a Google Maps emulator despite knowing that this would probably
increase the popularity of the system 10 fold. I feel although it would
increase long term popularity and exposure in the long term going down this
track would stifle development as the guys in the GIS field who maybe turn
out ten web maps a year slowly disappear and are replaced by developers
looking for quick fix mapping solutions for commercial sites who in my
experience from other open source projects will tend to take a more grab and
run approach and contribute very little.


If this is the way that ka-map has to go then maybe it would be worth
starting the new development with the aim to have two release versions? The
first could be an application geared towards the GIS camp with full
functionality and the extra performance hit that goes along with that and
the second could be a faster slimmed down Ka-map/OpenLayers Lite which would
aim to be a Google Maps type system.   

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