Map tools open sourced
We are pleased to announce that the code for the two mapping tools used in data.gov.uk has now been released as open source. The map tools were developed by Ordnance Survey as part of a collaborative effort between the UK Location Programme, Ordnance Survey and Cabinet Office. This work enables the publication of location datasets in support of the UK Location Strategy, and as part of the UK contribution to the European INSPIRE project.
The Map Based Search allows the user to draw a box on a background map that leads to a search for datasets which are wholly or partially contained in that area. It also features a gazetteer so the user can locate by place name where on the map they want to draw their search box.
The Map Preview allows the user to display geospatial data as a previewed sample on a map. The data must be published using a Web Map Service (WMS), a widely used protocol for serving geo-referenced map images from distributed databases.
Whilst the code is open, these tools require access to web map services and gazetteer services to operate. Ordnance Survey supply commercial-grade versions of these services to data.gov.uk under licence, but other websites that wish to use this software can obtain their own licence from Ordnance Survey (link to http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/web-services/os-ondemand/index.html), or substitute free alternatives, such as services based on Ordnance Survey OpenData or OpenStreetMap.