[GeoJSON] Integrating GeoJSON with other kinds of data via JDIL

chris goad chris at platial.com
Fri Jun 1 08:20:08 PDT 2007

I've been working with JSON for geo for a year or so at Platial. I love the simplicity and conciseness of JSON, but there were things that I missed from earlier work with RDF - not the whole  stack, but basic capabilities for data integration. JDIL  (Jason Data Integration Layer -  http://jdil.org )  , which I formulated earlier this year, was my stab at retrieving what was missing; JDIL has nothing specific to do with geo, but implementing geo inside JDIL makes it play well with other data.   

Briefly stated, JDIL is a thin encoding on top of JSON  which adds namespaces, and labeling of objects for representing object graphs as well as trees.  Labels may be URIs, which supports merging of property-value assertions from different sources about the same object.   JDIL implements the core of the RDF data model  within JSON,  though RDF need not be mentioned in explanations of JDIL.

Minor changes in GeoJSON would make it compliant with JDIL's conventions, and as a consequence would allow  GeoJSON to  mixed with other kinds of data in a wider range of applications. This is an important benefit, since geo applications that involve data of other varieties are the norm rather than the exception.  The changes : 1)  support the namespace construct, and allocate a URI for the GeoJSON namespace, 2) utilize the generic JDIL "@type" name for the type-of concept.   

In pure geo applications (eg sending feature geometry off to a client for rendering), the overhead is miniscule. A pure GeoJSON file would need only  include  this property in the root object:

"@namespaces":  {"":"http://whateverthegeojsonuriturnsouttobe"} 

This specifies a blank prefix for the GeoJSON namespace, removing the need to prefix GeoJSON properties in the body.

Platial supports JDIL in its feeds and api, with GeoRSS properties carrying the geo.  I'd like to add support for GeoJSON as well.

-- Chris
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