[whatwg] Geographic hyperlinks

Matthew Slyman whatwg at aaabit.com
Tue Oct 11 06:46:31 PDT 2011

Dated June 2010... It appears someone raced me!
I look forward to seeing this implemented.

Only... One weakness in the existing document that might be addressed  
as an "upgrade" to this specification at a later date: there appears  
to be scant reference to methods of specifying date and time as part  
of GEO hyperlinks. For some GIS applications, this might be important.  
(I grant that this could be a nightmare to implement on geological  
time-scales where it's hard to decide upon a fixed longitudinal  
reference point, but on shorter time-scales of hundreds or even  
thousands of years, this feature might be a boon to the publication of  
historical maps and data.)
What say you? How might I suggest this to the relevant people, if not here?

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

Quoting Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu>:

> See RFC 5870[1] for a proposed standard geo URI scheme for "geo:"
> hyperlinks. - Tantek
> [1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5870
> On Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 10:27, Matthew Slyman <whatwg at aaabit.com> wrote:
>> http://forums.whatwg.org/bb3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4725
>> [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...
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Geographical_coordinates
>> http://toolserver.org/~geohack/geohack.php?pagename=London&params=51_30_26_N_0_7_39_W_type:city(7825200)_region:GB
>> 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 application.
>> 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)
> --
> http://tantek.com/ - I made an HTML5 tutorial! http://tantek.com/html5

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