Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Styled Layer Descriptor and Metro Extracts

In WhirlyGlobe-Maply 2.5 we added support for the Styled Layer Descriptor format.  We also added an example in the AutoTester and a tutorial.

Belfast, it seems.

Let's start with the data.

Metro Extracts

Mapzen provides regular extracts of OpenStreetMap data.  These are available in a variety of formats; useful if you just want a little OSM data.

Courtesy Mapzen

We chose Belfast in GeoJSON for our own example.  This is just data, though, so how do we make it visual?

Styled Layer Descriptor

The Styled Layer Descriptor format is an OGC standard used to style data into map images.  It's a bit crusty but, you know, standard.  We edit it in QGIS and export it for use in our toolkit.

WhirlyGlobe-Maply reads SLD and uses it to style Shapefiles, GeoJSON, or Mapbox Vector Tiles.  Any vector data, basically.  So let's put it all together.

Example & Tutorial

Rather than blather about it here, we put a nice example in the AutoTester app for iOS.  In Swift!

Ranen put together a tutorial that walks you through the process.  You can start with a Metro Extract and modify the SLD styles to your heart's content.

Up Next

We're picking up SLD users for the toolkit at a steady clip.  There's a lot more to SLD we could support, so let us know how you like it.

We'd also like to circle back and improve the Mapbox GL Style Sheet support and implement Mapzen's Tangram format.  But we need customers for those.  Speak up if you're interested.