OpenLayers Info Sheet


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OpenLayers makes it easy to put a dynamic map in any web page. It can display map tiles and markers loaded from any source. OpenLayers is completely free, Open Source JavaScript, released under the BSD License.

OpenLayers is a pure JavaScript library for displaying map data in most modern web browsers, with no server-side dependencies. OpenLayers implements a (still-developing) JavaScript API for building rich web-based geographic applications, similar to the Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth APIs, with one important difference -- OpenLayers is Free Software, developed for and by the Open Source software community.

Furthermore, OpenLayers implements industry-standard methods for geographic data access, such as the OpenGIS Consortium's Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) protocols. Under the hood, OpenLayers is written in object-oriented JavaScript, using components from Prototype.js and the Rico library. The OpenLayers code base already has hundreds of unit tests, via the Test.AnotherWay framework.

As a framework, OpenLayers is intended to separate map tools from map data so that all the tools can operate on all the data sources. This separation breaks the proprietary silos that earlier GIS revolutions have taught civilization to avoid. The mapping revolution on the public Web should benefit from the experience of history.


  • Support for a variety of data sources
  • Support for displaying geographic features, with markers and popups
  • Easy build configuration, designed to help build OpenLayers into other applications
  • Javascript API to allow full control over OpenLayers-powered map from within Javascript on a web page.

Data Sources

  • WMS
  • ka-Map
  • TMS
  • WorldWind
  • WFS
  • GeoRSS
  • Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, MultiMap