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TIMEMAPPER – USING ANIMATED SVG IN A WMS TO VISUALISE MOVING OBJECT DATA
Within a larger aim of improving vector animated mapping possibilities, the main objective of this research was to look into the possibility of combining two technologies: distributed geo services and animated, interactive, vector maps. In a service-oriented, distributed architecture such as we propose, the visualization layer should be loosely coupled to the other layers of the system. For this, OGC’s Open Web Services are especially useful. TimeMapper was developed as an OGC-compliant Web Map Service implementation that serializes spatio-temporal data from a database backend into Scalable Vector Graphics. The SVG is used in a web browser to show animated maps with a built-in advanced user-interface. This interface allows the user to interact with both the spatial and the temporal dimensions of the data.
The potential and limitations of the TimeMapper WMS were explored in a test-case for Antarctic iceberg data, provided by the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC). NIC provides records movement since 1978 of 301 icebergs. As a test-case, we tried to visualize the dynamics underlying the calving and movement of icebergs. The main features that we intended to implement were three types of temporal legends, a time-slider, a speed control, all combined with standard mapping interface features, such as zoom, pan and layer switching.
The prototype can be tested on the TimeMapper website (http://geoserver.itc.nl/TimeMapper/).
Barend Köbben - ITC - University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Timothée Becker - Laboratoire d'étude en transferts en hydrologie et environnement (LTHE)