The ESRI API is most similar to OpenLayers
in that it devotes much of its
complexity to dealing with projections and coordinate systems, and treats much
of the web component as an implementation detail. This has some negative ramifications
in that Wax needs to rely on a private API in order to provide interactivity -
the API doesn’t document access to tile elements.
available for download
by those who have ESRI accounts. Despite taking advantage of a great deal of
open source code in the Dojo toolkit,
ESRI’s code is explicitly copywritten and labeled as
TRADE SECRETS: ESRI PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL. This is unfortunate in
an ecosystem of open and understandable code.
Being able to mix tools is what enables people to create powerful
stories through maps. Wax is one of the many tools that can be built from
the Mapbox API and the open standards we’ve
been pushing like TileJSON
and UTFGrid. Recently
NPMap from the National Park Service and
slashmaps from Seabourne Consulting
have demonstrated other ways to use the toolkit and integrate maps into websites.
Integrating with ESRI and Google Maps open up new possibilities for
Mapbox users, and we hope this bridges web and GIS
worlds, getting the best of both.