Moving to OpenLayers 4

Session

Tips & Teknik II

Resume

A fundamental GIS challenge is to get data out of the database and into people’s hands. WebGIS or providing GIS data over the web is the obvious solution.

OpenLayers is an open source javascript framework for displaying and interacting with GIS data in a browser. Over the last few years, it has undergone significant changes that solve some of the fundamental limitations in version 2. However, these changes have led to a framework that is not backwardly compatible and is in effect a completely different framework.

In this session, we will explore how the new framework can enhance the user experience. Through a demonstration, we will look at how the new framework solves previous technical issues and brings new options to the table. The demonstration will include several code examples, like using WMS and WMTS services, reprojection of rasters, using WFS services and vector data, etc.

Målgruppe

Developers, technical administrators, GIS administrators, and project managers.

 

Abstract

OpenLayers 4 deals with many of the biggest challenges in the previous versions. But - it isn’t backwards compatible. In this session, we will be taking a closer look at the biggest differences between OpenLayers 4 and its predecessors and try to assess the benefits and drawbacks of upgrading.

One of the fundamental challenges of GIS is still to get data out of the database and into people’s hands where it can be of use. WebGIS or providing GIS data over the web is the obvious solution.

While OGC services (i.e. WMS, WFS etc.) provide a standardized way of distributing data there is still a need for clients that can take advantage of modern browser's new capabilities. These allow users to interact with that data in ways that are more sophisticated.

OpenLayers is an open source javascript framework for displaying and interacting with GIS data in a browser that has been around for many years. Over the last few years, it has undergone significant changes that solve some of the fundamental limitations that existed in version 2. However, these changes have led to a framework that is not backwardly compatible and is in effect a completely different framework.

As a software supplier that has used OpenLayers in many solutions a big question for us was ‘Is it worth upgrading?’ We looked in particular at the framework changes to how it handles raster map services, vector map services and map interactions. Our findings were generally positive and we have started using version 4 in our solutions.

In this session, you can benefit from our experiences and see how the new framework can enhance the user experience. We will take a closer look at the technical issues with version 2 and similar implementations and see through a demonstration how the new framework solves these issues and brings new options to the table. In particular, the demonstration will include these code examples:

  • Using WMS and WMTS services
  • Reprojection of rasters
  • How to optimize WMS layers for performance using with caching software e.g. MapCache
  • Client manipulation of raster data
  • Using WFS services and vector data
  • Using vector tiles
  • Styling of vector data
  • Interacting with the map on desktop and mobile platforms
  • Creating map markup

We will also explore what the new framework is missing in relation to the previous one and how this can make implementation of it problematic.

Moving to OpenLayers 4
Steve Wright
Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure