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Open Layers

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The OpenLayers homepage. source

OpenLayers is an open source map viewing library, written in JavaScript, that provides a 'slippy' map view, as used for OpenStreetMap homepage.



OpenLayers provides a JavaScript API which enables users to incorporate maps from a variety of sources into a webpage or application. E.g. the OpenStreetMap aplication of Mapnik to provide its homepage 'slippy' map. It currently has support for OGC WMS layers, navigation, icons, markers, and layer selection.

It is written in object-oriented JavaScript, using components from Prototype.js and the Rico library and is licensed under an open source BSD license. The goal of OpenLayers is to separate map tools from map data so that all the tools can operate on all the data sources. The data can be displayed in a variety of ways, including heat maps. [1]

OpenLayers is used by many open source projects, such as OpenStreetMap and YourNavigation and also commercial services such as Open Space from the Ordnance Survey.


The first version of OpenLayers was developed by Christopher Schmidt of MetaCarta and Schuyler Earle who then released it to the public. Since then OpenLayers has developed as is now a project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Continued development is ensured by a group of dedicated developers with 'Committer' access and the project.

External Links


  1. OpenStreetMap heatmap using OpenLayers - Felipe Barriga blog
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