posted: January 20, 2018 | author: Chris Morabito
We are kicking off 2018 with a major new release of SmartView Connect (SVC). Over the last seven years, we have published more than 500 data sets spanning hundreds of projects at Woolpert. The technology behind SVC empowers us to publish data in new ways and at unprecedented speeds, and it fuels our ability to create unique deliverables for our clients.
Today, I am excited to announce that we are launching version 5—our largest update thus far.
Since its inception, SVC was built using Apache Flex and run in Adobe Flash Player. Year-by-year, however, security and performance concerns have made the web ever more unfriendly to Flash. We knew the days of our Flex application were numbered, and we set out to reconceive SVC as a modern web app. Leaving Flex behind enables SVC to work on mobile devices and in environments where Flash is blocked.
This new version is a ground-up re-write of the SVC front end. We built this version on modern web technologies like Angular, TypeScript and Sass. Perhaps the largest point of pride for me is a return to SVC’s open-source roots. The last two major versions of SVC were built on Esri’s ArcGIS API for Flex, but now we’re using OpenLayers as our map library. I have loved OpenLayers since my early days at Woolpert. It is a robust library with support for many GIS systems and data formats, and I am thrilled to build SVC v5 around it.
As you poke around in the new SVC, you’ll notice many changes, but also many similarities. Version 5 is feature-complete with version 4, and the user interface should be immediately familiar (though there may be some happy surprise enhancements thrown in). Along the way, we also worked in feedback from users to alleviate some common pain points and add some wish list features.
I think the biggest difference you’ll notice is the performance. Load times and render speeds are improved across the board, but especially for large vector data sets. And of course, SVC’s powerful image API will continue to deliver the same fluid experience our users expect from SVC.
Version 5 breathes new life into SmartView Connect, and I’m excited to share it with our users. As always, I’m also thinking into the future for what versions 6, 7 and beyond can bring. Leaving Flash in our dust opens many doors to build more integrations and leverage the latest technologies the web has to offer. I’ve got some big ideas for what we can now build to integrate SVC with other R&D initiatives at Woolpert (see Qassim’s “7 Geospatial Trends to Watch in 2018” for some clues).
Visit maps.woolpert.com to see the new SmartView Connect.