November 09, 2007

Species Distribution Map #

Dr Robert Mesibov has put together a nice simple species distribution map of Australian millipedes.

August 20, 2007

910Arts -- Youth mapping Denver with worldKit #

Chris from PlaceMatters wrote to share that worldKit was used in a recent project and exhibition, Mapping a youth friendly city - the 910Arts project. The map got a good response, it's great to see people using worldKit.

August 14, 2007

new sites, trac back #

I've added a few new sites to the examples page and finally gotten worldKit trac up again & in a good, up to date condition.

Particular highlight is UNL 360 a campus tour for the University of Nebraska. The developer implemented some custom code for this one.

Also Flowbru a network of water network sensors in Brussells. It uses the latest release of PloneWorldKit.

May 03, 2007

Emergency and Disaster Alert Map. worldKit 3.3 #

RSOE Havaria Emergency and Disaster AlertMap have updated their service with worldKit. I'm really proud to have worldKit used for disaster alerts .. this is similar to GDACS but even more full on.

To support the AlertMap, I've released version 3.3 of worldKit. worldKit can now be configured to load any number of GeoRSS feeds. Because Havaria has so much data, it made efficiency sense to split their alerts into multiple files. More detail in the documentation

February 16, 2007

Experimenting with G-Y-M Tiling #

Work has begun on supporting the Google/Yahoo/Microsoft and OpenStreetMap tiling schemes .. also basically the same with slightly different naming patterns. The biggest hurdle will be undoing all the projection specific code in worldKit, to also support Mercator. Any help welcome.

This was triggered by Mike Migurski building tiles from Blue Marble NG, in basically the same scheme.

worldKit can handle the tiles in this test of the Blue Marble S3 tiles. But GeoRSS annotations wouldn't be placed correctly.

worldKit 3.2 .. Zoomify Improved #

This is a bug fix release, but a really good one. Zoomify support has vastly improved. Zoomify integration often had problems and was causing headaches, due to some hackery in loading zoomifyViewer.swf .. well now zoomifyViewer.swf is not required any more, and Zoomify is supported natively in worldKit.

The one minus is that the navigation box in the upper left is no longer available (so the <zoomifynav> option doesn't work). That could possibly be built natively into worldKit later on.

Other small fixes..

  • <atom:updated> is now the preferred way to specify time in Atom (as per 1.0).
  • <zoomto> now triggers <onzoompan>

December 29, 2006

Examples Page Updated #

The examples page has been updated with a load of new sites.

As ever, I'm chuffed and astounded by the ever growing uses of worldKit.

Especially cool is MIRAVI Envisat MERIS Image Rapid Visualization service from the European Space Agency.

December 28, 2006

worldKit 3.1 #

I'm taking advantage of a little quiet in the interholiday to bring the worldKit distribution and documentation up to date. There's a bunch of small new features, some sponsored by MetaCarta, and a few experiments since the summer.

FP 8

The biggest change is that Flash Player 8 is now the required minimum version. Penetration is now high enough to do this safely. It fixes some bugs in the javascript communication (the ExternalInterface class), and allows worldKit to work with PNGs and GIFs. And it greatly simplifies support. Hopefully this will be relatively painless for everyone.

Look and Feel

In the toolbar, there are two new icons to switch between zoom (rubber band zoom) and pan modes. The config options "zoomselect" and "grabber" now simply set the default mode.

When in annotation mode, the cursor is replaced by a small crosshairs icon.

And worldKit now responds to the Mouse Wheel, by zooming in or out.


MediaRSS is now the preferred namespace for using images in worldKit. It's widely supported and a "mature" standard (as mature as a web standard can get these days). media:content is for specifying images in GeoRSS, and media:icon for specifying the annotation icon.

In addition to the recent update of the docs to GeoRSS, the "Box" geometry is also now supported.

New RSS Config Options

  • <fade> Specifies a number seconds for an annotation to fade to transparent. Useful for visualizing transient information. The default value is "-1", which means no fade.

  • <rssbbox> Set to "true", the bounding box of the current view is appended to the RSS feed url. url&bbox=WEST,SOUTH,EAST,NORTH. This is useful for displaying only part of a large data set. Default value is "false".

New Javascript Communication

Even more integration with Javascript. The amount of functionality here is getting complex .. I expect all these "APIs" could use some rationalization in the future.

worldKit -> JS: <onzoompan>, <fadeditemcallback>, and <newitemcallback> are configuration options for specifying javascript callbacks to these events.

JS -> worldkit: JItemActComm, JNavmodeComm, and JGetExtentComm are new functions available to javascript.

TileMap and WMS

Tiling schemes for map data sources is a hot topic among open source geo developers. Tiling speeds up access to WMS dramatically. worldKit already supports tilings schemes for OnEarth. Tile Map Service is a specification under active development, and worldKit now supports the global geodetic profile. More information in the docs.

Also, <wms now accepts "minview" and "maxview" optional attributes, for setting the viewable range of a WMS.

That's It!

Do get in touch with any comments, suggestions or bug reports.

December 13, 2006

GeoRSS docs updated #

It's long overdue. The worldKit documentation has been updated to refer to

The W3C Geo encoding will continue to be supported, but not recommended.

Hopefully this will have some ripple affect to other GeoRSS applications, as I suggest in my review of Yahoo's newish GeoRSS support.

July 26, 2006

Mapchester #

Mapchester has launched :). Grew out of discussion at the Open Plan Workshop, into a OpenStreetMap Data Gathering Weekend, and flash hacking effort based on an open sourced, time navigatable worldKit. Drew says...

The inaugural Mapping Weekend brought together a wide array of different people, transforming them into map hackers and citizen cartographers: people who walked / cycled / drove / bussed / trained / skated the city streets recording GPS tracks and road names. These tracks were then uploaded to the OpenStreetMap database and edited into coherent map features.

From this data, a Manchester map has been created for Futuresonic 2006 - presented as a test-case for producing a usable, functioning city map and festival guide via this open source, collaborative approach.

Though still in its infancy, at an experimental stage with many glitches, the Mapchester online map includes the functionality that can be seen in commercial digital maps, and also features calendring tools. Not only static features such as venues and landmarks appear, but also time-based events. By scrolling across the time bar at the bottom of the screen, club nights, live music gigs, exhibition
openings and other festival happenings appear and disappear across the city.

The cumulative result is a picture of a weekend in the life of Manchester, a map of events taking place across the city, a snapshot of its musical and creative culture.

This first version is designed to be "good enough" to function as a festival city guide. Please be aware that this beta version may have some errors, and is not appropriate for all uses. People using this map do so at their own risk.

June 22, 2006

MetaCarta MediaMonitor #

At Where 2.0, MetaCarta announced the launch of several labs projects, including the MetaCarta MediaMonitor. This is a tool to monitor topics in the news, in real time, georeferenced by MetaCarta's geographic search technology. The MMM is based on worldKit, and involved a number of small tweaks to the code. Soon these new features will become available in the main worldKit distribution.

March 25, 2006

OnEarth Optimized WMS #

OnEarth is a publicly accessible WMS hosted by NASA, serving high resolution (15m/pixel) imagery produced from the Landsat7 satellite. OnEarth also serves Blue Marble Next Generation, daily snapshots from MODIS satellites, and SRTM topography.

OnEarth is an incredibly valuable resource for open and free web mapping. An optimized tile cache of OnEarth imagery has been assembled, and with proper configuration, worldKit can access this high speed cache. The results are, well, awesome! Big thanks to Lucian Plesea for engaging with worldKit.

If global imagery required, the recommendation is to use one of the options from the OnEarth docs; also listed directly on the OnEarth website.

worldKit 3.0 released! #

worldKit 3.0 is the true open source release of worldKit -- the code has been refactored into Actionscript 2.0, so worldKit can now be developed using only open source tools AND this version features the first (of many I hope) contributions from the community of worldKit developers and users.

worldKit is also now hosted on

Flash Player 7 is now required to run worldKit. With nearly the same version penetration as version 6, this should cause minimum disruption to users.

The most exciting new feature I think is support for OnEarth's optimized WMS. I'll say more in the next post.

More good stuff..

  • There are two new Javascript API functions -- JInputComm and JGetItemComm.

  • Point annotations now respect the config options linealpha, fillalpha, linethickness, linecolor.

  • Time navigation can now be controlled by key presses.

  • Many small bug fixes.

As usual, please do not hesistate to report bugs. There are some outstanding reports of image loading problems from the beta; recent fixes should with luck solve these bugs.

March 15, 2006

BMNG WMS Time Navigation #

Blue Marble Next Generation

WMS Time Navigation in worldKit

Pretty pictures, optimism and some technical stuff

Check it out..

February 15, 2006

worldKit 3.0 beta #

The newest version of worldKit is being released into beta. Most of the changes are behind the scenes -- worldKit has been rewritten in Actionscript 2.0 to facilitate open source development. I've done a good round of testing (it's presently running as the sample map on the worldKit site), but a few more tests on various installations would be very helpful.

Download the swf directly

So if you're running worldkit, please spare a minute, download the new version and give it a whirl (and back up your current version just in case something goes wrong). Send any bug reports to the worldkit-dev list or direct to worldkit [at] brainoff [dot] com.

Thanks for your help!

November 17, 2005

PloneWorldKit #

PloneWorldKit 0.1 has been released. It's "an out of the box web mapping solution for ZOPE/Plone. It is built around the worldkit mapping engine and makes annotating pretty easy!"

This is a deep integration of the Plone CMS and worldKit. Much of the configuration, and many advance features, are accessible directly from the web interface. Nice!

A cool example: European Union member states.

November 11, 2005


The license for worldKit has settled on the GPL.

Next up, I want to install Trac and get the code in Subversion. Trac is really nice.

Then, we need to investigate open source flash compilers. I've looked into it briefly at and it looks promising.

Then, we roll.

October 22, 2005

worldKit is now Open Source #

Yes it is!

Just over two years ago, the first rev of worldKit was released. It was basically World as a Blog, with some config to read any geocoded RSS file. The aim was simple: to make mapping easy.

Since then, I've developed in my spare time and full time. Loads of fantastic maps and geodata have been published, from all over the world, from individuals and huge beauracracies, in themes I never imagined. GeoRSS is fast becoming the baseline for publishing geographic data on the web. It's been fantastic. And the real privelage is that it has led to contacts, collaborations, and friendships with so many smart, creative and passionate people.

Today, mapping is a whole lot easier. Google, Yahoo, O'Reilly, all the big tech and media companies, are clued into this and are fully aware of the power of maps. It sometimes seems incredible to me that worldKit still has a strong niche in the web mapping world. I think it's both one of the simplest and most sophisticated packages out there, and still has a lot of potential.

Going Open Source is the best way to see worldKit reach its potential. I will still be very involved, but you know, I can't do it alone. I'm really looking forward to see how this develops. Welcome!

worldKit 2.4 #

This is a long overdue release. Significantly, WMS support has been radically simplified. Otherwise, it's mainly small bug fixes that have accumulated over the last few months. Get it!


Configuring WMS is now way easy. Check out the WMS docs

End Dates in Time Navigation

The end date of an event can now be specified, and worldKit will only display the item when its current in time navigation. Time docs

Atom/Blogger Feeds Fixed

Problems had been reported with Blogger Feeds and geotagging within items. This has been fixed, and atom:content is now also supported. Blogger Docs

Minor bug fixes

  • Image loading messages are corrected.
  • swflayer's can be categorized
  • Zoomify now loads at the current zoom level.
  • Categorized track logs are fixed.
  • Dynamics params are possible in ascomponent mode.

Wow! Huge update of new sites #

The past six months have seen a mass mindshift in geo and mapping. Mapping is open and amateur and everywhere. We all know the big straw that broke the camels back in this field. Fantastically, worldKit has maintained a strong niche in web mapping. For the latest examples update, there are nearly 30 new sites! And this is just a slice of the installs out there. Check out worldKit examples for the full list of sites I know about. Here are some highlights.

Environment and biodiversity is, encouragingly, a growing theme. Phillipines Biodiversity Web Map tracks bird sitings. Biodiversity and Conservation in Africa is a huge resource on every African nation; for example, Algeria. Also, EcoMap - Karte für Umwelt & Entwicklung.

Humanitarian relief and politics is another positive development in worldKit mapping. Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System is a joint project of UN-OCHA and the JRC European Commission, to improve communication and coordination; makes great use of geoRSS. PHRplus is a USAID project, demonstrating GIS Applications for Health in Yemen. Safer Now? tracks terrorist attacks attributed to al Qaeda since the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 19, 2003. Nazitracker, part of a reconciliation process, maps extremists in Balkans (some explanation). WaterWiki is a knowledge management project with the UNDP.

In music, Tribe of Frog PsyTrance Nutters are everywhere in the UK. But for those that prefer their tunes in Teutonic Rocksteady beat, German Raggae Map.

Botswana Tours helps plan safari vacations.

Finally, the utterly unique Colourgroup Route Map. A group of aviation enthusiastics have developed the flight plan for their virtual airline. Totally delightful and bizarre!

August 16, 2005

New sites #

Site Meter: Recent Visitors World Map

Site Meter, the venerable web site statistics service (employed on my own personal weblog) has introduced a World Map of Visitors feature. The latest site visitors are geocoded by IP and plotted on a worldKit map. Nice! Welcome Site Meter.

Locus Times

Students and staff at Østfold University College provided full event coverage at the historical opening of the new main bridge between Sweden and Norway. The coverage was provided with several mobile phones and wireless Bluetooth GPS receivers. Mapped with worldKit.

July 08, 2005

Bug fix posted for annotation mode in 2.3 #

In the last update, annotation input does not work properly in certain unusual circumstances. If necessary for your app, update with the latest worldkit.swf - ver
2.3 20050708.

June 29, 2005

worldKit GeoWiki #

This is a complete application available for download with worldKit. It is a simple, publicly editable map, with tag folksonomy and Ajax updates. It only requires php on the server. Use it on your site, or as a working tutorial for building applications with worldKit. There's a demo here to play with.

Details in the GeoWiki documentation. This is still pretty fresh stuff, so feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

June 28, 2005

worldkit 2.3 #

The June update with accumulated new features and bug fixes over the last month.

Flash Component

worldKit can now be used as a Flash Component in other Flash movies. Well, just about. Load it in your movie from Actionscript, and control by setting the Javascript API variables.

Minor new features

<linethickness> sets the width of tracks, lines, and polygons.

GPX logs are now categorizable, and respect the values of <linecolor>, <linealpha>, and <linethickness.

JLoadComm can be set to "clear" to remove all current annotations, from the Javascript API.

Annotation Input now includes an "extent" variable, the west/south/east/north extent of the current map view.

Bug fixes

There was a bug affecting the request of the "updateurl", when <uniqueurls> was set to true. Now resolved.

If annotation input was made immediately after the map was loaded, the lat/long passed on was incorrect. Now resolved.

Mapping Hacks #

Mapping Hacks was released last week! The book is a defining step, includes loads of interesting projects, and is just nice. Several worldKit hacks are included.

I used Taqueria Vallarta in Santa Cruz as an annotation example in the geocoding RSS hack. Got to visit there yesterday. The burritos are still tasty and too big to eat in a single sitting.

June 17, 2005

Presentation at OSGeo #

Gave a presentation at Open Source Geospatial. on worldKit and integrations with WMS and mapserver. It went pretty well, giving a real alternate approach to geospatial. The talk was primed with a presentation on GIS for non-experts, and a heated discussion on Flash! Thanks to the organizers for inviting me to present.

Here is the presentation for download.

June 05, 2005

mapufacture #

I'm happy to announce the launch of the mapufacture web mapping application. Worldwide satellite and map imagery, location lookup, and geocoded RSS are brought together to build maps intuitively. worldKit is powering this one, with ajax/javascript glue smoothing out the experience, and registration for storing maps. Read the details about mapufacture.

mapufacture is exciting for many reasons. It collects free geo imagery and data from many sources, and will continue to add more. The focus is worldwide, right now. It's easier than ever for anyone to create maps, and for integration of maps in other sites. Most tantalizingly, mapufacture is poised to build aggregation on top of geocoded RSS, enabling a truly open and searchable geospatial web.

Hope you find it useful!

May 21, 2005

worldkit 2.2 #

Another regular release of new features and bug fixes developed over the last month. Lots of geeky stuff and minor adjustments this time.

WMS Support!

Only hard core geowankers and GIS pros will think the exclamation point is justified; and they are warned that WMS support is completely working, but currently a bit crufty to set up in the new option <swftemplate>. The interesting capability is that multiple WMS sources can be included in a single map. Setting this up is covered in Templates/WMS.

New Configuration Options

<locupdate> can be used to receive continual updates of the map's current viewing area. <timenavpos> sets the position of the time navigator on load. <visible> can set the visibility on annotations at load.


<dayimg> can be set to blank, and no image will be loaded. Dynamic options can now be categorized. And the <geo:Point> element is now accepted in a RSS item.

<swflayer> has a number of new attributes, in line with the <swftemplate>. Despite the name, it's legal to set these to jpegs (always was, just not documented). This release also fixes a bug introduced in 2.1 in how swflayers responded to Javascript actions.

April 28, 2005

worldKit 2.1 update #

Several new features released today, one month on from last month's major update.

GPS Tracklogs

There's now support for displaying GPS tracklogs in GPX format.


Click and drag for panning: The <grabber> config option enables intuitive gmaps style panning.

Zoom to annotation: The <zoomto> config enables zooming when an annotation is clicked, rather than opening a new url.

Display options

The alpha levels of lines and polygons can be set with <linealpha> and <fillalpha>

Annotation text can be displayed at the top of the map with

In image loading dialogs, the number of images left to load is specified. Also more fonts have been specified in text annotations, for some linux systems with limited fonts installed.

Javascript API

JZoomComm: Javascript can zoom and/or pan to any place on the map.

JActComm: Colors of annotations can be changed from Javascript.

Bug fixes and other minor updates

The "daynight" displaytype now works correctly for any north/south/east/west extent.

If confurl is set to NULL in dynamic options, no config file is requested. Same goes for <dataurl>.

It's now been documented that certain variations of RSS geocoding are permitted (though it's still recommended to use the geo namespace). This includes the new "geourl" namespace used in geourl RSS feeds.

April 20, 2005

mapping Internet 2.0, Paris #

I'll be at the Les Blogs conference next Monday, in Paris.

For the event, we've put together a collaborative, taggable map of Paris. The excellent base layer is by hot-maps.

Done a few of these conferences so far, sometimes useful and always interesting. If you're attending, or know Paris, feel welcome to contribute.