WTFGL: a beginner's guide to the future of open source web mapping


What is this GL maps thing? What are vector tiles again? How did we get here and where are we going? This talk will provide a (very brief) history of open source web mapping technology and a (comparatively longer) overview of what's to come. Most importantly, this talk will focus on why the future of web mapping is important and how we can all contribute to its success (beyond just contributing code). Beginners very welcome!

Slides (External URL)

Session details
Speaker(s): Session Type: Experience level:
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Schedule info
Session Time Slot(s):
302C - Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 10:30 to 11:05


Hi Lyzi,

Thanks for the proposal. This is a great topic! Can you please provide more details in the abstract?


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Hi Patrick,

I'm happy to! What kind of details specifically are you looking for? I imagine the talk will be largely chronological. It'll look something like this:

- web maps before raster tiles
- raster tile schemes and how they work (including info on Mapnik, tile servers, CartoCSS) + Leaflet/OpenLayers/web mapping libraries
- vector tiles and how they changed workflows (the birth of the vector tile spec and how it was applied to the process)
- GL rendering and how it affects web and mobile
- practical tools for creating and interacting with web maps today (when to use GL vs raster tile schemes)
- why we should be excited about the future and the opportunities that new methods for rendering web maps provide for us in terms of cartography and using maps as modern communication tools

Is this helpful? Anything else I can answer?

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Dear Speaker, Your talk has been selected to be a part of Web Mapping Day. We have switched the track marker on your talk to reflect this. Thank you so much for submitting this great talk! Andrea
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I'm confused by the name and description of the session. The acronym GL is used several times. Is that referring to WebGL, or something unrelated?

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