Changes to Vicmap API

As part of our commitment to service improvement, we are pleased to announce an upgrade to the Vicmap API service.


The existing Vicmap API service and website (api.maps.vic.gov.au) has been replaced. Please contact support.vicmapapi@delwp.vic.gov.au if you are interested in accessing the new service.

What is Vicmap API?

Vicmap API is a JavaScript mapping Application Programming Interface (API) created with the purpose of delivering integrated base maps generated from Vicmap and other agreed DSE spatial data.

Vicmap API is a simple web map viewing tool that is ready to use for embedding in any website.

Victoria's web mapping tool to display your business critical information in an authorititative, current and clear context.

  • Features of this API:
  • built on Vicmap - the foundation that underlies most spatial information in Victoria
  • base Vicmap products are constantly maintained
  • allows you to overlay & publish your business information
  • Weekly map tile updates reflecting the latest land developments

Overlay your information over:
MAP - current detailed base maps
IMAGERY - clear aerial imagery
HYBRID - crisp maps overlaid over aerial imagery

Features

Vicmap API is a JavaScript API developed using the open source OpenLayers JavaScript Library. It enables the development of dynamic and customisable mapping applications, which use industry standard methods such as Web Mapping Service (WMS), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) and Web Feature Service (WFS), for geographic data access. The mapping applications are similar to existing APIs such a Google Maps and Bing etc but with one key difference being that OpenLayers is free software, developed for and by the Open Source software community.

Vicmap API has been developed with enhanced security capabilities such that image and map server information is always unknown to the user. This is achieved by concealing spatial data access details in the Servlet that receives and responds to client requests.

"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."

source - http://www.osgeo.org/openlayers

Key Features:

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

Why Vicmap API?

In November 2010, Google, which produces the popular Google Maps and Google Maps API, made a decision to replace the mapping and address information it had licensed from the Australian, State and Territory governments – through the G-NAF product provided by PSMA Australia Ltd – with a once-only ‘snap shot’ mapping base.

The issues raised by Google’s decision led to a State Government review of the appropriate use of commercial APIs in public facing web sites vis a vis the risks of using information that may be out of date for particular purposes, for example emergency communications.

Three main quality issues have been identified:

  • currency (data may lag several months behind Vicmap, the Victorian Government’s authoritative spatial data)
  • completeness (data in commercial APIs may be more complete in highly trafficked urban/commercial areas, while significant gaps in rural and regional areas may exist)
  • reliability (eg some roads in rural and regional areas have been observed as being shown under names that were changed six to seven years ago during Victoria’s Rural Addressing initiative).

These quality issues are sufficient to raise public safety, reputation and liability concerns, particularly where the commercial API information is being presented on a Government website, and believed by the public to be Government information.  Members of the public using the maps developed on commercial APIs to ascertain an address may, in some cases, be presented with incorrect and/or out of date information, or not be able to find recently created addresses in newly developing areas.

There is also the further risk of the Government agency itself acting on the basis of incorrect information and making poor operational decisions as a result.