A New Technology for Interactive Online Mapping with Vector Markup and XML

Ilya Zavlavsky

http://dx.doi.org/10.14714/CP37.810

Abstract


As Internet cartography matures from static map images to interactive and animated maps, and embraces extensive GIS functionality, the limitations of presenting Web maps as image files become obvious. In this paper, a new technology for Internet cartography is demonstrated that uses direct vector rendering in a browser to create highly interactive virtual maps from distributed sources of geographic data. This technology is made possible by the advent of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and XML applications for 2D vector rendering such as VML (Vector Markup Language) and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). AXIOMAP – Application of XML for Interactive Online Mapping – is a Web map publishing kit and a customizable virtual map interface that allows for the display and manipulation of multiple point, line and area layers, database query, choropleth mapping, hyperlinking, map labeling and annotation. To render maps in a Web browser (Internet Explorer 5, in the current version), AXIOMAP generates VML shapes “on the fly” from XML-encoded geographic data that can physically reside on different servers. A thin client-side solution, AXIOMAP provides for better interactivity than traditional map serverbased approaches. The paper explains the functionality of AXIOMAP, the technology behind it, and presents several applications. A free version of the software can be downloaded from www.elzaresearch.com/landv/.

Keywords


interactive maps; online maps; vector markup; XML

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