Peter's Pages Peter's Pages
It's useful to display some information on a map. On my website for instance the places Virginia and I want to see are listed at Wish List Map. Previously this was implemented using a free account with Google's Javascript API, but Google announced they would only support billable accounts in the future. Google are a business, it was kind of them to make this API available free for so long, but time for a change. Inspired by a page I found surfing the web I decided to try another more primitive approach.
Data sources
To display maps you need base data for where cities or roads or coastlines and the like are. Happily there's a lot of free stuff out there. I'm currently using data from Natural Earth, OpenDataNI, and Ordnance Survey. Base data is available in a number of formats including ESRI shapefiles and GeoJSON.

Particularly to create test data is a useful site.
Transforming the base data
There's a number of transformations which can be applied to the base data before displaying it on a map. The coordinate reference systems need to be changed to the one to use for display, otherwise things will be in the wrong place. It's useful to clip the data to the area to be displayed. It's also useful to simplify the data to the resolution needed, and to reduce the data if it contains items not be displayed.

To achieve the coordinate transformations I used the GDAL toolkit, in particular the ogr2ogr utility. I did try this for clipping and simplification, but for me it behaved oddly.
Generating SVG for display
Still working on this. The idea is to convert GeoJSON into SVG, and include that SVG into the webpages.