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Working with GeoJSON and Vector Tiles

Alpaca provides a GeoJSON version of the mapping data for developers to access geometry.

Information IconGeoJSON and Vector Tiles are created after content is published. These formats are recommended for presenting content authored on the Itinerary Editor opposed to interactive planning tools. In those use-cases, we recommend requesting map information via the API, which will be kept up to date throughout all mutations.

About GeoJSON

GeoJSON is a format for encoding a variety of geographic data structures

GeoJSON supports a wide range of geometry types to represent the features of an itinerary, including Point and LineString. The objects include additional properties that provide information related to the itinerary content.

Example of a GeoJSON feature

2  "type": "FeatureCollection",
3  "features": [
4    {
5      "type": "Feature",
6      "geometry": {
7        "type": "Point",
8        "coordinates" [125.6, 10.1]
9      },
10      "properties": {
11        "class": "location_marker",
12        "id": "itinerary/123/location/234",
13        "label": "My Itinerary Location"
14      }
15    }
16  ]

Vector Tiles

Vector Tiles are hosted and optimised representations of mapping data broken into a series of xyz data sets.

Vector tiles work to optimise the presentation of data by breaking the geometry into a series of tiles across a coordinate space and zoom level. As the user interacts with the map, additional fidelity of the data can be progressively requested, improving the load time to maps.

Data is vectorized, which means that Vector Tiles may not be supported by the mapping technology that you are leveraging.

"Itinerary" Introduction

Predominantly, when working with itineraries, the use case relates to showing the suggested movements of the user across a map. These features include;

  • The locations the user will travel to, including locations that are optional to visit along the way.
  • Travel directions and options for the user to move between those locations, such as via car or plane

When working with GeoJSON, you are able to target specific feature types of the itinerary and then use feature data to present and style that data.

Itinerary GeoJSON and Vector Tiles Reference

Feature Types

Common features include Point and LineString geometry types, identified in the geometry.type field.

You can then further discriminate their type by accessing the properties.class field, which will identify further the type of feature, such as the common elements of location_marker or directions_path.

There are a number of additional feature types that are available to describe and represent further fidelity in your maps, such as representing way points, preferred directions and progress markers.

Feature Data

Along with each feature, the properties field provides broader access to data that can be used to further style the presentation of elements. These change depending on the type of feature.

Location features include data for styling locations, including the common properties of properties.label as well as properties.location_num and properties.optional to represent stops along the way.

Direction features include data for styling routes, such as the properties.mode of transport or providing progress markers at certain percentages along the routes (often to place markers) via the properties.percentage property.

More complex relationships between features, such as hierarchical relationships, are represented. Fields such as properties.depth and nested set properties of properties.lft and properties.rgt can assist traversing the itinerary. This also extends to the use of properties.segments to group locations or properties.tags for general tagging of specific content.

Accessing More Data

Features also include a properties.id field, which can be used in combination with the Alpaca GraphQL API in order to access additional specific content or data for a feature.

Where information within the itinerary relates to information in a clients own platform, Alpaca includes the properties properties.external_ref and properties.external_source to assist developers in creating interactions with information sourced from their own applications.

Vector Layers

Vector Tiles support the grouping of fields into layers. Data is grouped based on their logical type, such as locations or directions.

Preview of Data

Alpaca provides an interactive preview of the mapping data to help identify the data for your itinerary.

Preview your data


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