On June 16, 2008, GeoJSON version 1.0 was announced, a large success for a small group of dedicated volunteers. This news is important to people around the world who share spatial data over the web because of the new format’s ability to exchange information much faster than we’ve seen before.
As a company that works with a lot of formats, we at Safe get to see them born in all sorts of ways. The fascinating thing about GeoJSON’s adoption was that a small, self-appointed community came together to quickly create a very practical specification using a lightweight, informal adoption process. Most impressive was their pragmatic agreement on a regularly controversial topic: how to express x and y coordinates. While other formats often encounter confusion on the issue, the GeoJSON community made a quick, efficient decision to express them x,y.
Even as the GeoJSON format was in draft stages last year, we introduced support in FME because we saw that this specification had the potential to meet the emerging market need for faster online sharing of spatial data. Since then, we and many others have been playing with GeoJSON to find out just what kind of cool things can be done.
Back in September last year, our customer at the City of Nanaimo, Jason Birch, explored the possibilities of using FME to access and transform GeoJSON data. He posted some scenarios on his blog that made use of GeoJSON’s ability to quickly share spatial data over the web. He not only consumed GeoJSON data from web services, he also used FME to integrate GeoJSON data with data from other web services, creating mashups.
Today, sharing spatial data over the web is not just cool, it’s often a necessity. Anything that can make this process faster and easier is welcomed. Since GeoJSON clearly has a lot of potential for speeding up the communication of geospatial data over the web, I think we’ve only just seen the beginning!