[maplab-users] Re: Fwd: info chamaleon

Dave McIlhagga
Tue, 25 Nov 2003 15:10:42 -0500
Hi MapLab and Chameleon users,

We received an email asking about the differences between Chameleon and 
Maplab, and why there appears to be two pieces of software that 
effectively do the same thing (create a mapserver based web mapping 
application) but do it in different ways.

I figured this would be a good opportunity to share with both user 
groups some of the developments that are ongoing with MapLab and 
Chameleon in order to clear this up.


Chameleon, as many of you are aware, is a new tag-based system for 
implementing MapServer-based web mapping applications. The original 
incarnation of this (1.0) was released as an OGC toolkit for deploying 
applications that only read map data through WMS. This is known as the 
CGDI WMS Client Component or CWC2.

We are now working towards the release of Chameleon 2.0 which represents 
the core of the CWC2 technology, but allows data to come from any source 
(local or remote). Chameleon 2.0 when released will come with a set of 
base widgets that will provide many of the standard capabilities we have 
come to expect from web mapping software -- namely navigation, querying, 
legend, keymap, etc...  Chameleon 2.0 in itself will leverage Map Files, 
but when used in conjunction with the OGC widget pack, will enable the 
use of Context files instead of Map files for referencing WMS data 
sources -- just as the current 1.0.x release operates.

In the short-term, you can get snapshots of alpha versions of Chameleon 
2.0 in the form of the Chameleon 1.1 download through the MapTools site.


MapLab is currently undergoing a major transformation in an effort to 
make MapLab work in conjunction with Chameleon. The goal of MapLab 3.0 
is to act as a much improved web cartography and OGC data discovery tool.

It is important to note, that the current capability to generate 
GMapFactory applications as is done in the 2.x release stream will no 
longer be possible in the MapLab 3.x releases. Instead, Chameleon will 
act as the application deployment environment with Map Files 
created/maintained with MapLab.

There is no *absolute* date for release of either Maplab 3.0 or 
Chameleon 2.0 at this point ... however I think it is safe to expect to 
see initial versions (perhapse beta, but hopefully full releases) 
sometime this winter. Due to projects we are currently engaged in, it 
will be necessary for stable versions of both of these to exist sometime 
during the first couple of months of 2004.

I just wanted to give everyone a head's up about this now as it will 
represent some significant changes (but neccessary and very good ones) 
for anyone currently leveraging Chameleon, and mostly MapLab.

We're very excited about the new releases of both of these tools as we 
see them as being much more intuitive and useful tools for the future.

Our apologies that we haven't been able to get more information out to 
you before this, but we have been so busy getting the work completed on 
these initiatives that we have not had much time to inform and consult 
with the community this time around. However, we do look forward to 
opening up both projects to more active participation by the open source 
community in the future.

Dave McIlhagga
President, DM Solutions Group
EMail : wrote:

> Tuan Nguyen
> Marketing Specialist
> DM Solutions Group
> (613)565-5056 ext. 17
> --- the forwarded message follows ---
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> info chamaleon
> From:
> <>
> Date:
> Mon, 24 Nov 2003 11:12:39 +0100
> To:
> <>
> Surfing on the web looking for internet mapping solutions I have found 
> mapserver and maplab technology. I tried to set up a demo application 
> and after a lot of tries I got the result (very nice).
> Now I have discovered a similar solution named chamaleon (I dint'n test 
> it directly) I tried to understand the differences with maplab but I 
> still have  the following doubts.
> Questions:
> are maplab and chamaleon two differents approach to the same problem ?
> they are mutually exclusive or they can integrate each other ?
> If I decide to use maplab, what are the benefits of using also chamaleon ?
> Thanks Gianluigi Nozza, geologist, GIS analyst

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