A core component of GeoCommons is visualizing data through maps – allowing anyone to be a cartographer. We’ve worked with a number of amazing organizations to help us make GeoCommons a leading map visualization platform – such as AxisMaps and Stamen Design. In particular, a core piece of this visualization is built on Stamen’s work with the ModestMaps flash library. While Flash has recently received a lot of difficult criticism, we have sought to harness its power by integrating it as part of a larger web-based architecture and interface. In testing there has not, to date, been a nearly ubiquitously available technology across all of the Web that also provides the capability for high-end client side processing.
But that’s changing. Over the past few weeks the engineering team at FortiusOne has been hammering out some great new capabilities. One of those new capabilities has been the integration of Polymaps into our mapping platform.
The goal of this work has been to provide GeoCommons users with new ways of making maps, and to make those maps easily accessible on a larger number of platforms and devices. The integration of Polymaps creates a lot of new possibilities for our users that didn’t exist before, and will ensure that GeoCommons remains an industry leader and one of the most cutting edge tools available. Over the coming weeks and months users can expect to see a lot of additional capabilities being added to our Polymaps platform. We hope to deliver a complete and fully functional alternative to our Flash based maps in open and accessible formats.
We’re releasing our integration with Polymaps as a “beta” version and primarily for developers at this point. Many components that users are used to in regular GeoCommons maps aren’t quite ready yet, but will be soon. And of course we’d love to get feedback, so please let us know what you think!
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How to use Polymaps inside GeoCommons:
Using Polymaps within GeoCommons is simple. Any map, new or old, can be viewed as a Polymaps map. Below are a few examples of how to create/access a map with Polymaps from within the GeoCommons platform.
- regular map url: http://geocommons.com/maps/29087
API: Accessing Geocommons maps can also be done via our new API. Here again we’ve added the “view” parameter to the embeddable maps API.
Its important to note that this is still the beginning of our work with Polymaps. We wanted to release this to the public early to get your feedback and demonstrate to developers how to use the new GeoCommons API’s. We’re committed to regularly releasing updates to this new capability.
Welcome to the Esri DC Development Center blog. We write about features of our work on big data analytics, open platforms, and open data, what is new and exciting in the Esri and community, and general industry thought leadership and discussions of geospatial data visualization and analysis.
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