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Archive for July 8th, 2014

Census Mapping Made Easy with OpenLayers 3

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Three months ago, Paul Ramsey created a tutorial that builds an example census mapping application using OpenGeo Suite. Since then, we’ve released OpenGeo Suite 4.0, which includes early access to OpenLayers 3, and we’ve updated the tutorial to use OpenLayers 3 instead of GeoExt.

A Different Approach
GeoExt, a combination of ExtJS and OpenLayers 2, allows one to create web applications without writing any HTML and CSS, which was useful back when all browsers behaved differently. However, with HTML5 and CSS3 available in all modern browsers, a more modular stack adds flexibility.

With GeoExt, the easiest way to read in the list of available census variables (topics) was to pre-process them and load them as JSON. Rather than spending much time on user interface work, we’ve added Bootstrap to leverage the JQuery dependency and save some lines of JavaScript code. With JQuery, a few lines of code are enough to create drop-down options directly from the lines of the original metadata text file:

(more…)

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