The hypermap concept was introduced in 1992 as a way to hyperlink geospatial features to text, multimedia or other geospatial features. Since then, the concept has been used in several applications, although it has been found to have some limitations. On the other hand, Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) adopt diverse and heterogeneous service oriented architectures (SOAs). They are developed by different standard bodies and are generally disconnected from mass market web solutions. This work expands the hypermap concept to overcome its limitations and harmonise it with geospatial resource oriented architecture (ROA), connecting it to the semantic web and generalising it to the World Wide Hypermap (WWH) as a tool for building a single 'Digital Earth'. Global identifiers, dynamic links, link purposes and resource management capabilities are introduced as a solution that orchestrates data, metadata and data access services in a homogeneous way. This is achieved by providing a set of rules using the current Internet paradigm formalised in the REpresentational State Transfer (REST) architecture and combining it with existing Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. A reference implementation is also presented and the strategies needed to implement the WWH, which mainly consist in a set of additions to current Geographic Information System (GIS) products and a RESTful server that mediates between the Internet and the local GIS applications. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.