WorldMap is an open source web mapping system that is currently under construction. It is built to assist academic research and teaching as well as the general public and supports discovery, investigation, analysis, visualization, communication and archiving of multi-disciplinary, multi-source and multi-format data, organized spatially and temporally.
The first instance of WorldMap, focused on the continent of Africa, is called AfricaMap. Since its beta release in November of 2008, the framework has been implemented in several geographic locations with different research foci, including metro Boston, East Asia, Vermont, Harvard Forest and the city of Paris. These web mapping applications are used in courses as well as by individual researchers.
Introduction to the WorldMap Project
WorldMap solves the problem of discovering where things happen. It draws together an array of public maps and scholarly data to create a common source where users can:
Interact with the best available public data for a city/region/continent
See the whole of that area yet also zoom in to particular places
Accumulate both contemporary and historical data supplied by researchers and make it permanently accessible online
Work collaboratively across disciplines and organizations with spatial information in an online environment
The WorldMap project aims to accomplish these goals in stages, with public and private support. It draws on the basic insight of geographic information systems that spatiotemporal data becomes more meaningful as more “layers” are added, and makes use of tiling and indexing approaches to facilitate rapid search and visualization of large volumes of disparate data.
WorldMap aims to augment existing initiatives for globally sharing spatial data and technology such as GSDI (Global Spatial Data Infrastructure).WorldMap makes use of OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) compliant web services such as WMS (Web Map Service), emerging open standards such as WMS-C (cached WMS), and standards-based metadata formats, to enable WorldMap data layers to be inserted into existing data infrastructures.
All WorldMap source code will be made available as Open Source for others to use and improve upon.