Friday, September 14, 2007

MapGuide Open Source 1.2 Released & DM Solutions Fusion

MapGuide Open Source 1.2.0 has been released.

With this release of MapGuide Open Source, there have been enhancements that include:

1) Support for Unmanaged Data Sources
2) Cartographic Enhancements - Phase I

This includes the ability to use new symbols for Points and Labeling Linear Features (e.g. Highway Shields)

3) Feature Join Enhancements
4) Support coordinate system overrides on feature sources

More details can be found here.

Point 4 is interesting, as in MapGuide Open Source, there is within a feature source, an optional tag called SupplementalSpatialContextInfo. If an entry exists for a given Spatial Context, then the specified coordinate system override will be used. The coordinate system override will be given preference over the coordinate system defined in the data.

In the previous version, the SupplementalSpatialContextInfo was used only for data containing spatial contexts with undefined coordinate systems (I'll talk more about co-ordinate systems and map projections in future blogs). This SupplementalSpatialContextInfo would allow a coordinate system to be specified for a given spatial context. Essentially, the new SupplementalSpatialContextInfo can now be used to override coordinate systems for all spatial contexts in a feature source -- regardless of whether it contains a coordinate system or not.

Why did this modification come about?

Sometimes a feature source geometry may contain an incorrect coordinate system or does not have a coordinate system defined. What can be now? The above solution provides a convenient way to change the coordinate system without having to change the data of the feature source.
MapGuide Open Source handles spatial data with a specified coordinate system and with this modification it allows for the specification of a coordinate system override thereby letting the developer use data that in the past you may not have been able to use.

Symbols and Labels

Many GIS and Mapping applications are in need of very sophisticated symbolization. In the oil and gas industry, we see so many symbols and sometimes one symbol may have more than one definition (dry well, dry & abandoned, etc.).

In many parts of the world, countries published maps must adhere to high standards that are often even written into law. Amazingly though, sometimes even these maps are missing some of most standard information, such as Datum and Map Projection. The Cartographic Enhancements - Phase I introduces a high quality symbolization engine for MapGuide Open Source and allows for point symbols to be used as labels. This is especially pratical in the E&P industry.

Leaders Collaborating - MapGuide Open Source Fusion

As it can be seen Autodesk and the Open Source community are working together successfully in producing a user-friendly, practical, and powerful web-mapping tool.

DM Solutions and Autodesk have been working together on MapGuide Open Source Fusion. Dave McIlhagga and the DM Solutions group provide a very good description of Fusion here.

Take a look at how collaboration between these two companies have helped to move MapGuide ahead. Fusion is also available for UMN MapServer.

Open Source - A new software development paradigm?

Open Source development has been around for awhile, but it looks like it is gaining more momentum and with Autodesk's participation, we are seeing leaders in CAD and GIS realizing the advantages of working collaboratively with others to develop products that can be used and accepted by others.

I'll be talking more about Open Source Software development and some of the business models used and the many advantages of using Open Source in many different industries.