Locus Technologies, a firm that specializes in environmental information management, has released the first version of a Web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) for its LocusFocus suite of Internet technologies.
The system — based entirely on a new Web graphics format and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) — lets users see a map of a site, click on a well on the map, and obtain chemical and water level information for that well, including a log, if one exists.
Data can be displayed in tables or graphs, posted on the map or downloaded. But these capabilities and features are just the starting point, according to company officials. Locus also intends to expand capabilities into contouring, animation and 3D visualization.
Since SVG is a vector format, images download faster and users can zoom in on a section of a map or graphic without any loss of resolution and without having to reload the image, according to Neno Duplancic, President and CEO of Locus. This is of particular importance for the environmental industry that deals with large amounts of information, he added. And since it’s entirely text-based, users can search for text (such as a well ID or a contaminant name) within the SVG image itself.
SVG allows for three types of graphic objects: vector graphic shapes, images and text. Graphical objects can be grouped, styled, transformed and composited into previously rendered objects. Text can be in any XML namespace suitable to the application, which enhances searchability and accessibility of the SVG graphics. The feature set includes nested transformations, clipping paths, alpha masks, filter effects, template objects and extensibility.
SVG drawings can be dynamic and interactive. The Document Object Model (DOM) for SVG, which includes the full XML DOM, allows for straightforward and efficient vector graphics animation via scripting, according to W3C info. A rich set of event handlers such as onmouseover and onclick can be assigned to any SVG graphical object. Because of its compatibility and leveraging of other Web standards, features like scripting can be done on SVG elements and other XML elements from different namespaces simultaneously within the same Web page, says W3C.