[whatwg] Geographic hyperlinks

Matthew Slyman whatwg at aaabit.com
Mon Oct 10 07:27:53 PDT 2011

[Topic has been on forum for 2 weeks without reply. Now posting to  
mailing list.]

Hyperlinks for geographic coordinates are a mess. Designers of web  
applications are being forced to design their own solutions to make  
geographic links more user-friendly...



There's a relatively simple solution to all of this that could easily  
be upgraded over time. We already have "mailto:" hyperlinks, for  
example, that accept certain fields and map those to certain  
parameters within a user-definable (or system-specific) mail client  

The same could be done for geographic data. The user might install  
certain geographic information systems on their viewing device,  
specify their favourite for "geo:" links, and then when they follow a  
hyperlink with geographic content, any relevant information fields  
present might be transferred over to the geographic information system  
(GIS) as coordinates.

I suggest for the HTML standards people to simply talk to Wikipedia or  
Google and copy their system, as a starting-point for discussion at  
least. Maybe their format could be tidied up slightly, but generally I  
think they've done a good job and that their work should be adopted as  
a standard, so that you don't end up seeing pages with dozens of  
hyperlinks (one for each GIS) as we do on Wikipedia.

Matthew Slyman, M.A. Computer Science (Camb)

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