Cartagen – A Framework for dynamic Mapping

Cartagen ( is a vector-based, client-side framework for rendering maps in native HTML 5. Written in JavaScript, it uses the Canvas tag to load mapping data from various sources, including OpenStreetMap. Maps are styled in GSS, a cascading stylesheet specification for geospatial information – a decision which leverages literacy in CSS to make map styling more accessible.


Vector Web mapping

Instead of sending pre-rendered tiles for every zoom level, Cartagen draws maps dynamically on the client side. This means maps can move, adapt, and redraw, and can include as many layers of data as needed. Vector mapping is done in native HTML 5, which runs on the iPhone and the Android platforms, and uses less bandwidth overall.


GSS (Geo Style Sheets) is an evolving specification based on CSS and JSON. It is designed to handle dynamic data sources in a flexible manner, and allow interactions to be specified directly in the style sheet. GSS is a subset of JSON that is intended to feels natural to CSS users. The usage of GSS allows a designer or developer to completely customize the appearance of the map and thus creating a holistic look and feel allover the application.


The framework is hosted on Google Code and ready for you to download it and giving it a play. The code is licensed under the MIT license. More nformation about the installation, usage and customization is available on the Cartagen Wiki.

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