Re: Inline support for vector files

David Crossley (
Fri, 18 Nov 1994 02:20:44 +0100

Stephen Trew <> said to www-talk:

> I ead Jodi Moline's paper from the 2nd WWW conference,
> Inline Support for Vector Files: Engineering Dawings on the WWW
> How was this paper received at the conference? This is an issue I would
> like to see addressed. In the School of Geosciences at QUB we want to
> provide maps and GIS information over the Web and support for an inline
> vectro format is critical.

The paper was delivered by other people from Softsource - the CAD company
proposing Simple Vector Format (SVF) and its incorporation into WWW. The
paper was generally very well received.

The proposal shows support for in-line vector files which can be zoomed
and panned, layers switched on and off to prevent clutter and mis-use as
you zoom in, regions of layers defined as hotlinks, local actions defined
- all at the client-side.

This is very important for many areas though I too feel that it is critical
for Geographic Information Systems. We have been building all sorts of
workarounds to imagemap and raster files.

> Jodi mentioned that DXF, the de facto standard, is being looked at but
> hinted that it does not meet the needs for an inline vector format, and
> SoftSource intent to create a new vector format meet the needs.
> If you read this list Jodi (you did not give your email address) why
> does the standard format, DXF, not meet the needs. Does the fact that
> many current CAD, GIS and image pckages support DXF not mean we should
> push it as the standard format?

As I understand it, DXF is simply a drawing exchange file and does not
have enough structure to do the job. I think that it lacks the topology
to have objects such as polygons and, most importantly, it has no way to
define a region as a hotlink to some URL.

The uproar from the audience was more along the lines of "Why not use
Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) rather than create yet another format".

> ----------------------------------
> Stephen Trew <><
> School of Geosciences
> Queen's University of Belfast
> Belfast
> BT7 1NN

There is a newly created discussion list for SVF and there is also
discussion on GeoWeb (serving geographical information through WWW).
Try these URLs:

I would like to see relevant discussion continue on www-talk to solve
some of the technical issues specific to WWW.

David Crossley - Geographic Information Systems Manager GPO Box 787
email: Canberra ACT 2601
phone: +61 6 274 1139 fax: +61 6 274 1333 Australia
ERIN Environmental Resources Information Network ERIN