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Venturing around in the OpenLayers source code, it seems like everything related to zoom-levels is done using resolutions. Fair enough since this related directly to screen space.

I would like though, to use scales instead, and further more explicitly define the allowed scales.
- Is this possible?

So far I have created a set of scales which I transform into resolutions:

var scales = [500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 10000, 25000, 50000];
var resolutions = [];
for(var i = 0; i < scales.length; i++) {
    resolutions.push(OpenLayers.Util.getResolutionFromScale(scales[i], units));

map = new OpenLayers.Map('', {                        
    minScale: scales[scales.length - 1],
    maxScale: scales[0],        
    resolution: resolutions,
    numZoomLevels: scales.length,

My problem is that the first and the last scale are respected, but in between the current resolution converted into scale is not among the ones I specified.
- What have I missed?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

In order to use scales on your map:

  • Set only the 'scales' option. Do not set maxResolution, minResolution, maxScale, minScale, numZoomLevels, or any other scale related property. Set it to an array of scale denominators (or scales).
  • Configure a unit: note that for meters, this should be 'm', for degrees, 'degrees', etc.
  • You can set a maxExtent. Do not set a minExtent.

Once you do this, the scales should be used on your map. (Note that they will be ordered from most zoomed out -- highest scale denominator -- to most zoomed in -- smallest scale denominator.)

In your case, this should look exactly like:

map = new OpenLayers.Map('map', {                        
  scales: scales,
  units: 'm' // or whatever       

Then add your layer.

Note that layer-based resolution options will 'control' the map; you should typically only specify these things on the map or the layers, not both.

Note that the base layer controls the overall scales of the map; overlays will be entirely controlled by base layers.

Note that OpenLayers uses a DPI assumption of 72. To control this DPI setting, you can set OpenLayers.DOTS_PER_INCH before creating your map. A typical value (used by the SLD spec) will be different, so if this assumption matters to you, you should change this configuration parameter to match your server.

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@Christopher: Thanks a lot. That was exactly what I was looking for and its working like a charm :) I miss though to find the scales parameter in either the source or in the docs: – Chau Sep 10 '10 at 6:51
 var options = { scales: [50000000, 30000000, 10000000, 5000000],
                resolutions: [1.40625,0.703125,0.3515625,0.17578125,0.087890625,0.0439453125],
                minScale: 50000000,
                maxResolution: "auto",
                maxExtent: new OpenLayers.Bounds(-180, -90, 180, 90),
                maxResolution: 0.17578125,
                maxScale: 10000000,
                minResolution: "auto",
                minExtent: new OpenLayers.Bounds(-1, -1, 1, 1),
                minResolution: 0.0439453125,
                numZoomLevels: 5,
                units: "degrees"
map = new OpenLayers.Map( $('map') , options);

Units needs to be set: units: "degrees"

String - The units in which to display the layer.

This affects the Scale-Resolution calculation.

Official source:

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