Four of us as founders and members of the SVGMap Consortium work with partners to develop browsing software for electronic maps utilizing Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and to provide map delivery infrastructure provisioning services in SVG format.
As the progress of downsizing and mobilization of computer and the growth of the wireless communication network develop along with the progress of ubiquitous computing over the Internet, mobilization of WWW (Mobile Web and Ubiquitous Web), the information providing services utilizing maps and location information such as Web Map Services, Web Location Based Services are attracting attentions, and the social environments, where the exchange of real-time map information and location information are available, have been set up.
Although the effect and importance of the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) as the backbone service system has been highly recognized, more attentions have been paid recently to more versatile GIS (Web GIS, Web Mapping System) based on WWW because of its high introduction costs, interoperability and introduction know-how hurdles.
However, the versatile platform to achieve such GIS, location information service, and the information exchange has not been established. Therefore, since the location information providing service, the information exchange service and the GIS can not have interoperabilities , the advantage of WWW has not been realized.
On the other hand, new web platforms such as WebLog and Wiki on WWW known as Web 2.0 which started in around 2005 have inherited the original human-centered and user friendly philosophy on WWW. Besides existin HTML, this trend is realizing the more advanced exchange systems for the contents and information, the environments for the location information exchange system and interoperabilities are now being put in place.
SVG electric maps are now being used in the Autonomous Movement Support Project lead by Land, Infrastructure, and transportation Ministry, and in the DIGITAL JAPAN project operated by Geographic Survey Institute, the delivery of the background maps is under examination. Also, JIS(Japanese Industrial Standards) standardization of SVG Tiny 1.2 recommended by W3C is under examination by Ministry of Economy , Trade and Industries.
Based on the background stated above, the consortium will promote the dissemination of SVG recommended by W3C that has open-standard data specifications, and the description of geographical spatio-information and exchange on WWW are possible.
The purposes of the consortium include studies of the usability of SVG in businesses and information infrastructure, dissemination and promotion of the application developments and the system integrations using SVG, dissemination and promotion of the exchange infrastructure developments and the system integrations using SVG, acquisition, exchange and provision of information regarding SVG, establishment of the portal aggregating SVG information, contribution to both domestic and international standardization (e.g. JIS) activities for such as W3C SVG, MWI, GeoXG, PlaceXML and ISO TC211, etc., and resolving issues of supplying " Provisioning services of electric map browsing software for utilization of SVG and SVG format map delivery backbone" , and to improve convenience in introduction of spatio- information applications in WWW.
It is also intended through this consortium to develop the market for " Provisioning services of electric map browsing software for utilization of SVG and SVG format map delivery backbone", and to provide solution services with high reliability and quality riding on each member company's strength.
- Distribution of free SVG Viewers which support SVG Map profiles
We will distribute SVG Viewers which will support Windows Vista by the summer of this year. This SVG Viewer will have the following characteristics.
- High-performance rendering of large map data.
- The hyper-layering functionality. (See *1)
- Support to scrollable and zoomable map services. (See *2)
- Handling and visualization of geo-metadata. (See *3)
- Of course, SVG 1.2 Tiny profile compliant.
- Proposal and distribution of the SVG Map profile specification.
We regard that especially three functionalities such as layering, scrollable and zoomable map and geo-metadata visualization are important for its open architecture, interoperability, semantically-rich web map and spatial information services. We will, therefore, propose the SVG Map profile to clarify it.
- The hyper-layering (*1)
Dispersed multiple map resources are merged on one graphic canvas based on geographic coordinates. This technology is regarded as the basic function of the map services utilizing Web. Since this technology contains the basic patent, the royalty free use shall be declared only when SVG is used. SVG MAP will be useful for free use of this technology.
- Scrollable and zoomable map services (*2)
Map services which can be scrolled and/or zoomed in/out unlimitedly are very popular now. However, their architectures and protocols are diverse per each service. This profile proposes the standards for the following typical architectures.
- Interface for dynamic map generation services
- Support to tiled map data
Functionality which interprets the geographic metadata embedded in the RSS feed, etc. and visualize then as SVG maps. It is often called Geo-vocabulary or Geo-RSS.
- The hyper-layering (*1)
- Collection and distribution of the free map data based on the SVG Map profile
We will collect and distribute free maps conforming to the SVG Map profile including the "Global Map".
- Collection and distribution of free tools for services based on SVG Map profile
We will collect and distribute the free authoring tools, CMS, server program know-hows conforming to the SVG Map profile.
Supporting companies and associations
Technical support for SVG rendering
Technical support for Windows Vista
- Japan Information Processing Development Corporation
Support for education campaigns
- g-Contents Exchange Promotion Association
Support for education campaigns
- Research Institute of Geographic Information System
Support for education campaigns of SVG as infrastructure
- Article in INTERNET WATCH: Trend of "2.0" in Geographic Information System
Realization of Japanese equivalent of "Google Maps" ?
- g-Contents WORLD 2006