I started off this week with the intention of resurrecting and upgrading a demo openlayers map of all our sites, that had been stuck in a sorry corner of our corporate website being neglected. This tied in with moving the map to a different server, upgrading all the components, and generally giving it a shave and a haircut (it is male, that’s for certain). For those people interested in our wms and wfs data- these will be online again soon, I promise.
The geospatial world rightly got quite excited over the last few weeks with the discovery that Geofabrik are offering openstreetmap data in shape file format. You have been able to export openstreetmap data to postgresql (and from there to shape or whatever takes your fancy) for some time, but this makes the process of really using the data far easier. However, I got to wondering exactly how useful it would be as a real-life background dataset (in the absence of anything affordable from the Ordnance Survey or similar), when you would need to repeat the process ad infinitum to keep the dataset up to date.
Exposing our data using WFS has certainly prompted some debate, which is good! Particular thanks go out to Andrew Larcombe, who put together a great OpenLayers page, with some nice ajax touches, and a clever mechanism that clusters nearby sites together and reduces the load on the server. We had a few requests to release this data by wms as well, so here is the request for that. The process of doing this has thrown up some challenges, which I think are mostly down to my ignorance than anything else!