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Maps For HTML Community Group

The Maps in HTML Community Group seeks to establish at least one hypermedia type which can be considered to be consumed by a (new) "map" element for HTML. Follow-on from Bar Camp at #lgd14. The objective will be to define a hypermedia type which can be linked to from a hypothetical (but prototyped in Web Components) "map" or (geo-map for Web Components) element which will provide simple mashup capabilities and user interface.

This group will publish specifications.

Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.

drafts / licensing info

name
Use Cases and Requirements for Standardizing Web Maps
The HTML map element proposal
Map Markup Language

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Faster, smoother Web maps with new browser features

As an active developer of the OpenLayers mapping library, I have been working a lot on performance improvements in the rendering pipeline. Performance is usually good, but there are corner cases where the user experience is negatively affected by an unresponsive user interface. There is a new browser technology, OffscreenCanvas, which allows rendering in web workers that run in parallel to the main thread. Unfortunately it is not widely supported in mainstream browsers. In this post, I am going to show how rendering performance in OpenLayers could benefit from OffscreenCanvas.

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The Design of MapML

So, the big idea is this: MapML resolves the Web Platform gap by combining map and map data semantics into a hypermedia format that is syntactically and architecturally compatible with and derived from HTML. MapML provides a standardized way for declarative HTML content to communicate with  custom spatial server software (which currently use HTTP APIs based on multiple queries and responses). MapML allows map and map data semantics to be either included in HTML directly, or referred to at arbitrary URLs that describe stand-alone layers of map content, including hyper-linked annotations to further content. This allows HTML and map authors to easily create markup inline or refer to Web map content from their documents without needing procedural programming (JavaScript) to fetch and integrate data.  Finally, MapML defines a DOM structure for the map content that can integrate with Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript, in exactly the same way HTML content does.

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Maps4HTML is on GitHub

There is a new Maps4HTML organization on GitHub, dedicated to the use of the Maps For HTML Community Group.  Every member of this Community Group has received an invitation to join the members team on that organization.  Members can create repos associated to the organization.

A key factor in the success of any Web standard is community.  To that end, if you accept the invitation to join the Maps4HTML community on GitHub, please consider making that fact public.  Your presence on the front page of the organization will help drive other interested people and companies to join us.

The objective of the Maps4HTML organization on Github is to help us collaborate not just on ideas, but on actual specification and implementations of those ideas.   You will find a few repos already there which may help stimulate more ideas and prototyping.  Go for(k) it!

Please feel free to discuss existing repos either as issues or on the Web Incubator Community Group Discourse forum for Web mapping.  Demonstrating community support for a standard is as important as specifications and implementations.

Let’s get the geo-Web moving again!

 

New forum to discuss standardization of Web maps

Standards are hard.  Just ask anyone who has been in the trenches of standards organizations working for the Web. Getting agreement on technical subjects requires a lot of effort, on the part of individuals and organizations.  The broader in scope the intended standard, the greater is the requirement for simple, clear language, meaning and function. Importantly, the greater is the requirement for diverse community input, if not agreement.

The Web Incubator Community Group (WICG) was created from the successful experience of the Responsive Images Community Group, in order to facilitate broader contribution to the development of Web standards that respond to community needs.

Realizing that mailing lists are not always the most productive environment in which to develop standards, the WICG hosts a discussion resource for the Web standards community based on the Discourse platform, and they have graciously accepted to host a category dedicated to Web mapping for the use of our and related communities.

The Maps For HTML Community Group is dedicated to the development of Web standards which support Web mapping, which with your help, will lead to integration of maps into the Web platform.

Please join us, and contribute to the grassroots of the Web mapping standards development process!