Mapstraction updates - Time Navigation, Polyline, FreeEarth

Mapstraction, the Javascript Mapping Abstraction library that lets you add maps to your website easily, and then switch between various providers has just released a large number of updates.

Looking good


Mapstraction HomepageThe first thing you may notice is that the Mapstraction site has gotten a complete design overhaul. We're programmers, and we're not great at design. Fortunately, OSWD helped us out and Minimalistic Design had a great design that now graces the Mapstraction homepage.

We've also cleaned up the links, the examples, and demos to make it easier to see all the features that Mapstraction has to offer.

More than just 2D


First is added support for MultiMap and Map24 which adds to the current list of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. In addition, Mapstraction has added experimental support for 3D viewing using Poly9's FreeEarth. So now you can easily switch from 2D to 3D.

Layers


Sometimes you have additional data you want to include with your map and overlay on a specific area. Mapstraction has added support for GeoReferenced Image Overlay. Now you can easily add data overlays, imagery, or anything to your maps. They then automatically pan and zoom with your map and you don't have to worry about it anymore.

Standards - GeoRSS


Thanks to the broader support of GeoRSS by numerous of the mapping providers, it was straight-forward to add GeoRSS support to Mapstraction. Now you can just load a GeoRSS feed as a list of Markers in any of your maps (yes, even in FreeEarth for GeoRSS-3D).

More than just geometry


The greatest new feature is something that is currently unique to Mapstraction - Time Navigation. In general, Mapstraction now supports filtering of markers based on any value. In this demo, we've used it to filter markers by their timestamp. Using the dual sliders, you can now limit viewing the markers by when they are stamped. You could do additional filters for any values you care about: population, price, rating, and so on. Watch the GoogleMaps Google Group for more discussion on this feature.

The future is bright


We're adding more features to Mapstraction all the time. So let us know if you have specific suggestions. Also, did I mention Mapstraction is Open-source? So you're free to make any modifications you want as well and submit them to us to be added in.

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.