Saturday, March 22, 2008

MetaCRS - Coordinates & Projections

MetaCRS is a project started by Frank Warmerdam of PROJ.4 fame.

The initial basis for this project is to act as an anchor for an OSGeo Project encompassing several projections, and coordinate system related technologies.

The first technologies or libraries that are being used in this project are:

proj4js (Javascript: Rich Greenwood and Mike Adair )
libproj4 (the projection-only library maintained by Gerald Evenden)
OSGSpatialReference (GDAL coordinate system translation classes)
CS-Map (the recently open sourced library from Norm Olsen/Autodesk)

So where do non-programmers fit into this?

Frank has covered that as well and there are areas where a little geodesist like myself can contribute. If you feel you can, by all means join the mailing list.

He states on the wiki the following suggestions:
  • Common Spatial Reference System or Coordinate Reference System Names and Descriptions
  • Coordinate System (and CRS related object) dictionaries. Stuff like the EPSG dictionary.
  • Datum shift lists (towgs84), and datum grid shift files (NTv1, etc).
  • Transformations, calculations, and algorithms written in pseudocode that can be edited in different languages.
  • Descriptions of spatial reference systems that can be used by developers in different programming languages.
  • Notes on transformation from different representations of a CRS (WKT, PROJ.4, GCTP, GML,...).
  • Test suites with test points in a variety of coordinate systems and their lat/long and WGS84 equivelents).
  • Articles on spatial reference systems and translations useful for programmers interested in spatial reference system implementations. For example: Understanding The Difference Between National Vertical Datum of 1929 and the North American Datum of 1988
This will be an interesting project to be involved in.

I also hope to explain in my blog a little later, some answers to some of the suggestions above.

MapGuide Open Source 2.0 Released

On February 29, 2008 MapGuide Open Source 2.0 was released.

There are many enhancements to this version, mainly the integration of Fusion, which was developed by DM Solutions.

Fusion was mainly built in JavaScript and is described as a web-mapping application development framework. i.e. the tools that allow you to build cool mapping applications!

Fusion uses “widgets” that provide the interface functionality within Fusion’s modular architecture; therfore developers are able to add, remove, or modify functionality using standard-compliant HTML and CSS. Fusion provides an extensible platform that allows the developer to develop their own widgets.

One advantage of Fusion is that it requires no proprietary browser plug-ins, and it produces applications that work in all major browsers on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Fusion is bundled with many of the typical functions that are expected in a web-mapping framework. Fusion includes navigation widgets (e.g., zoom In, zoom out, pan, etc.), legend controls (e.g., view, layer management, etc.), GUI widgets (e.g., buttons, menus, tree views, panels, dialogs, etc.), and many more.

It is good to see how two companies can work together to produce a web-mapping application development framework that makes internet mapping what it should be - not difficult!

Way to go AutoDesk & DM Solutions!