OpenLayers Report 2007

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OpenLayers

  • Period covered by report: Jan-Dec 2007
  • Contact name: Chris Schmidt and Erik Uzureau

Key Accomplishments

  • Graduated from OSGeo incubation
  • Three major releases in 2007
    • 2.3:
      • Bug fixes from 2.2 release
      • Improvements in tile handling
      • Support for TMS
    • 2.4:
      • Vector drawing support
      • Improved event handling framework
      • New editing controls
    • 2.5:
      • Additional format support: KML, GeoRSS, GeoJSON
      • More vectorization tools
      • Better third party API integration
      • Improved system for developer documentation
  • Many, many new participants:
    • 250+ subscribers to developers list
    • 550+ subscribers to users list
    • Over 110 users manually signed up for TRAC accounts
  • Integration of OpenLayers into existing toolkits: MapBuilder, Fusion, and MapFish

Areas for Improvement

  • Plan to migrate to OSGeo infrastructure for SVN/Trac
  • Process to become a committer better defined (add more committers, add reviewer role, etc.)
  • Better documentation, memory handling
  • Continue to expand support for existing Geo standards.

Opportunities to Help

  • Case Studies: Why are you using OpenLayers? What do you gain by using it over other tools?
  • Examples:
  • Documentation: Prose text describing how to perform a series of steps to achieve a goal in OpenLayers, to add to the existing developer documentation and examples
  • Improved interaction with current users of proprietary software to understand and target their needs, including (but not limited to):
    • Possibly developing support for ESRI-specific map requests like ArcXML
    • Improved documentation on how to transition from proprietary software to OpenLayers

Outlook for 2008

In 2008, OpenLayers is poised to continue on its current trend of taking geographic information to the web. With support for new geographic formats and servers, improved performance, and web browsers becoming more and more commonly used as the sole client to access datasets, OpenLayers has placed itself in a strong growth position. Patches and contributions are arriving from around the globe, from contributors on 5 different continents.

In 2008, expect to see wider usage of OpenLayers as the project becomes more widely used and better documented. Already, we have seen major governmental organizations take up OpenLayers as the sole public API to their data, preferring the open source project to commercial ventures such as Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft's offerings. With this trend, it is likely that users can expect to see continued usage leading to wider support for different browsers, improved functionality, and more in 2008.