OpenLayers, an open source map framework, has released its first new version in a year and has added support for mobile maps and multitouch gestures. That makes it all the more compelling an alternative to maps from Google and Bing for developers who would incorporate maps into their applications.

Geo community leader James Fee calls OpenLayers one of his favorite javascript libraries available and a great place for aspiring map-geeks to get started.

"As a framework, OpenLayers is intended to separate map tools from map data so that all the tools can operate on all the data sources," the OpenLayers site explains. "This separation breaks the proprietary silos that earlier GIS revolutions have taught civilization to avoid. The mapping revolution on the public Web should benefit from the experience of history."

OpenLayers is a project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.