In addition, by default the Mapstraction-OpenLayers creation uses the OpenStreetMap tiles, therefore no longer requiring a Google Maps API key just to use OSM in Mapstraction.
Why wrap one wrapper in another?
At conferences and get togethers, the devs and users of Mapstraction and OpenLayers frequently ask the question “What’s the difference between Mapstraction and OpenLayers?”
The primary distinction between the libraries is a difference in objective. Mapstraction seeks to provide a simple wrapper to meet the primary needs of a mapping user. The purpose being to make it easy for a user to read a single API and then easily switch to any of the major providers. By contrast, OpenLayers provides a very powerful, but potentially complex, interface that allows for bringing in content from OGC services, data feeds, overlays, and tile servers.
With Mapstraction generally targeting the ‘lowest-common denominator’ of all the API’s there isn’t built-in support for the additional capabilities of OpenLayers for layers, drawing, and services. However, Mapstraction goes provide a simple mechanism for gaining access to the underlying mapping provider such that a developer can utilize Mapstraction for the 80% of their development, and then access the remaining 20% provider specific capabilities directly.
All you need to do is call
getMap() on the Mapstraction object to get the underlying OpenLayers object and go to town.
With this new support, it now brings Mapstraction up to 9 supported map interfaces (Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Map24, MultiMap, MapQuest, FreeEarth, OpenLayers, OpenStreetMap). If you are a map provider and would like to find out how to be the 10th provider feel free to email the dev team – firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MapQuest support in Mapstraction
- Mapstraction Updates
- Mapstraction updates – Time Navigation, Polyline, FreeEarth
- Web Mapping Standards – pah!
- Ruby and Mapstraction