Map whiteboard for collaborative map making

Technologists at Plan4all have been developing web map applications for 23 years and have observed and taken part in the transition from plain HTML image maps via early instances of browser-specific plugins with custom APIs to present day HTML5/Javascript web map applications built on high performing client-side libraries and consuming standardized web map services across a decentralized and global web of resources.

Much effort has been put into the sharing of data, the publishing of maps and the decentralized capture of data through field mapping applications and applications dedicated to user generated content allowing individual users to contribute to ever-growing centralized yet shared information resources.

Web map protocols are largely RESTful with some tweaks added to support features like authentication. With the mainstream availability of technologies like Web Sockets that enable persistent connections between clients, there is a potential for real-time collaboration in map and spatial data creation.

The prerequisite for this is a format that allows the representation, storage and transfer of maps and map data. Since the Web Map Context service was conceived, little has changed in terms of standardization of interchange formats for maps.

The working title of the effort is a “Map Whiteboard” and the transport and storage for data is a JSON based format called “Map Compositions” that draws on the early work of Web Map Context documents, but that extends them with 20 years worth of added features.

The proposed technology will support a number of common use cases for “maps” that have shown themselves exceptionally resilient despite the many and significant improvements that have been made to map technology.

Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124