To prove this, I set out to write some additional vector format support last night. I decided to add one read, and one write.
- Read: KML. I added support for KML point display in about 20 minutes, including the time to find data and write a demo HTML page loading some example data. Adding LineString support was another 15 minutes.
- Write: GeoRSS. Support for writing georss:simple points, lines, and polygons was simple… once I found data. I asked for a live example, and was unfortunately unable to find any valid line data outside the GeoRSS website, so I just generated something that was as close as I could come to the examples. I’m lazy, so the export is just RSS 2, and I’m sure that someone will come along and criticize it, but that’s one of the benefits of Open Source: Anyone can offer up a patch. Time from when I created the file stub to when I committed the code was 27 minutes, again, including a demo.
Altogether, the Format support in the new OpenLayers is pretty cool. Because of the way it’s built, I can even do something that is pretty damn ridiculous: Import KML, and export GeoRSS (or GML), all from the browser. Certainly, this is an incredibly crazy thing to do, but OpenLayers is a pretty crazy project.