Version 3 (modified by tsauerwein, 6 years ago) (diff)

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OpenLayers and HTML5

Tobias Sauerwein has written his Bachelor thesis at Camptocamp about using HTML5 in OpenLayers, with a focus on the canvas element and Web Workers.


Evaluation of HTML5 for its Use in the Web Mapping Client OpenLayers


HTML4 the latest revision of the markup language HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) was published more than a decade ago. Currently HTML5 is under development which aims to fulfill the needs of modern web applications, so that the dependency on external browser plug-ins is reduced.

This bachelor thesis evaluates the newly introduced elements and interfaces for their use in the JavaScript library OpenLayers, which allows to embed interactive maps into a website. The thesis focuses on the element canvas, an interface to draw graphics, and on the Web Worker API, which is used to run JavaScript files in background.

It was shown that canvas will not replace the currently used technology SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) to render vector geometries, but creates new ways of visualizing geographic data, which were not possible with JavaScript inside the browser so far. Web workers used in combination with canvas are a promising option to execute pixel-based graphic operations, but data exchange with web workers is a serious weakness, as this thesis will describe.

Download as PDF

The examples developed for this thesis can be found in this sandbox: camptocamp/canvas

And here a list of live examples: