I'm currently working on a project where we need to incorporate the TIME-dimension of WMS-layers (see http://docs.geoserver.org/latest/en/user/services/wms/time.html#wms-time) in our web map.

The technicalities of the time-dimension is rather straight-forward, but in terms of creating a good user-interface things are more difficult. What I'm wondering is if there exists some (open-source) javascript library for handling a "timeslider" of sorts, where the user can skip through time and update the map, preferrably also with a "play"-button to play back an animation.

My searches haven't turned up anything, so I don't expect such a library to exist. What I do suspect exists are several implementations of similar functionality. If you know of any such implementations (be it web, desktop or mobile) I'm interested in hearing about them, to get ideas to how this can be solved.

So, specifically, what I'm asking is:

  1. Do you know of any open source openlayers-components/plugins/examples of advanced time-navigation?

  2. Do you have any input on how the GUI for such a component could look like? Screenshots, links to programs/apps or websites.

(A bit more background: I'm working on a web map that uses OpenLayers 2.x, and we currently have 20-something map layers that supports the TIME-dimension. These ranges from 48 hours into the future to 100 years back in time (with different resolutions of course). The available timestamps for each layer can be parsed from the GetCapabilities-document. This means that I need to create (or find) a rather generic component with no hard-coded dates or layers.

I do realize that creating a timeslider-component that handles both the year-by-year and hour-by-hour aspect will be difficult. Some compromise could be done here.

Technically I'm thinking of basing a solution on OpenLayers, moment.js, Backbone.js and bootstrap, but I'm open to suggestions here as well)

  • 1
    How much screen estate do you want to use for the control? Sliders work if you have a lot of room (otherwise you will have problems with fine-grained control), calendars/spinners provide better control with less space, at the cost of speed of use. I believe there should be a lot of prior art in UI design for time/date selectors. – relet Feb 25 '14 at 8:24
  • Not really decided on how much screen estate. I guess the answer is "as little as possible, but without sacrificing efficiency". I also think there should be prior art, but my google-fu isn't as strong as I thought, hence this question. – atlefren Feb 25 '14 at 8:26

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