Saturday, November 17, 2007

MapServer Getting Started Tutorial!

Welcome to the MapServer Getting Started Tutorial! The Maptech MapServer provides you with access to over 65,000 topographic maps, nautical and aeronautical charts, aerial photographs and satellite images covering the United States.  Browse, view, print and email the maps for free. 
The Getting Started Tutorial takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

Click here to start the tutorial.

Click   previous and next    at the top of each page to step through the tutorial.  Or, select one of the lessons below by clicking on it, then follow the step by step instructions.  When done close this window to return to the MapServer.

Tutorial Lessons:
  Selecting a map location
  Selecting maps, charts or photos
 Moving around on a map - panning
 Changing zoom level - on same map
 Choosing a scale - different map

  Making "My Map" with location symbol
 Saving in a personalized My Maps list
  Printing MyMaps to take with you
 E-mailing MyMaps to friends and colleges 
 Buying maps, charts and software with
    advanced GPS, 3-D, and printing

Related Pages:
 MapServer Help - descriptions of each MapServer feature
  About My Maps - learn about making, saving and sharing personalized maps
 More about the maps and charts available from the MapServer
 Reference guide to topographic maps symbols
 Reference guide to nautical chart symbols

Links: Glider Towing, 3D Bonanza, John Hanke Presentation, Google Maps Profiles, Virtual Earth 3D Modeling

  • Glider being Towed in Google Earth

    Glider Towing - GoogleSightseeing highlights a great plane in flight find showing a glider being towed to altitude in southwestern England. See it here . The amazing thing is that this aerial photo is clear enough to see the tow cable - probably due to the right sun angle glinting off the cable. The sighting was discovered by Noisette at the GEC.

  • 3D Bonanza - The 3D Warehouse can help you find all kinds of interesting model collections in Google Earth. Some 3D building collections are amazingly detailed. Fly to " Beaver Creek, Colorado " and turn on the 3D Buildings layer for a very detailed model of this ski village. Even the chair lifts are models (and there's no lift lines! Hmmm). Note: depending on your connection and computer, this collection may take a while to load due to the detail.

  • John Hanke Presentation - John Hanke, Director of Google Earth and Maps at Google, and the CEO of Keyhole before it was bought by Google, spoke at Berkeley where he got his business degree (video here - Real Player required). This is a fascinating lecture as it tells the story of his several business ventures and the challenging history of Keyhole before it was acquired. Also, at the end he shows some interesting slides about the success of Google Earth. I especially liked the heat map showing all the placemarks on Earth in their search index on a map. He also shared a photo of the fleet of cars Google is deploying to take Streetview imagery which was taken by a blogger. Well worth watching if you want to know more about the history of Google Earth. Video discovered via this blog post.

  • Google Maps Profiles - Google is increasingly adding social networking elements to Maps. This week they announced you can make a real profile of yourself in Google Maps (picture photo, pseudo, and other info), plus when people look at your photo they can see your reviews, photos, links, and the My Maps you've chosen to share. They also made a video talking about the new profile features presented by SketchUp newsletter Googler Tasha.

  • Virtual Earth 3D Modeling - There haven't been many blog posts about this, but when Microsoft released their big update to Virtual Earth this week they also released a free application for building 3D models. This is not a SketchUp killer or anything, but it was yet another move to have the same suite of tools Google has created for Google Earth (gee, is this a competition or something?). Earthware Blog has three posts mentioning, showing a video demonstration, and comparing Microsoft's 3D tool to SketchUp.

Google Earth 4.2 - Release notes wanted, new icons

Google still hasn't updated the release notes for the new Google Earth 4.2. So I'm still discovering little things which have been updated in 4.2 from the last beta. We are well aware of some of the big changes like the new Sky and the new 3D photo viewer. But, I'm sure there are lots of smaller changes like the bug which kept the navigation gadget from going away when on automatic in 4.1 is now fixed. Last night, I noticed that the standard icons used for placemarks have changed. They are now more similar in style to the icons used in the layers and in Google My Maps. The image below shows the new choices (if you create a placemark and click on the icon button, this is what you see).

Compare New Icons in Google Earth to old
Click on the image above to see a comparison of the new images to the old.

WMS Javascript Library

A Web Map Server (WMS) will return a static map image if given the required parameters in the URL.
For example, the URL:,10,80,45&height=150&width=200&srs=EPSG:4326&styles=
will return this image
However, this image is static and any change requires typing in a new URL.
The purpose of the WMS Javascript Library wmsmap.js is to facilitate the creation of dynamics maps using freely available WMS servers. For example to create the dynamic equivalent of the image above, include the javascript files, define the Layer object, create a new map object, and associate it with an html DIV element.
// define layer object
var myLayer = {
URL: '',
FORMAT: 'image/jpeg',
BBOX: [20,10,80,45]
// create new map object with layer
var myMap = new WMap('map_div',[myLayer]);
Where map div is defined in the HTML as:
<div id='map_div' style='width:300px;height:200px></div>

The WMS Javascript Library provides an API to allow the creation of dynamic maps including simple zoom functionality, clickable googlemap-like overlays, and GetFeatureInfo queries by clicking the map (coming soon).
See the examples for details.
This EXACT code will create the pan-able map below
Try it: click and drag to pan the map
All of this is done without any server side scripts (no PHP or Perl) Two more lines of code adds zooming capabilities.


In addition, this code currently uses the incredibly useful prototype library.
Prototype may be overkill for the implementation in wmsmap.js, but provides a lot of tools for cross-browser web development.

This library also uses dragdrop.js and util.js from the library, which is overkill and these may be removed if their functionality can be encompassed in a tighter script targetted for the dragging in wmsmap.js


This code borrows from ideas in:

Related Sourceforge Projects :

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Map Icon Factory!

Hi Friends if anyone is interested in creating map icons for google maps, yahoo maps, this weblink will help you attain that goal, simplifying your work. Just follow simple steps, choose colors and there you go...


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Google map Icon Creator, Applications and the Future

If you've ever done any development work that includes Google maps and you're not a genius with Photoshop then this should certainly help - Terra IMS' Mapicon Factory.

It has a great UI and has a free option, it's great for creating unique icons for your Google maps.

It's been a busy couple of weeks here at the kitchen table, when Elliott and I haven't been coding we've been discussing the future and more to the point our plans for Roomstr. The conversations have been the usual mix of frank debate and down right excitement about what the project has become.

Yesterday we came to our decision over the application and the future.

The outcome was that we are not going to release Roomstr as a downloadable application, we will be initially launching it as a UK property search site. We know it has huge potential to disrupt the UK property market as some of the user generated map based features will bring a whole new set of benefits to house hunters.

To achieve this will mean some big changes to our own organisation, we'll have to grow and focus, this will mean divesting some of our current projects and so Folkstr will be put up for sale.

We will also be looking at building the team, to add the necessary new skills and once the site has gained enough traction probably look at finding the right equity partner.

Roomstr's unique use of maps, video, sms, mobile and user content has huge potential, it's going to take a lot of phone calls and shoe leather to get Estate Agents on board but we're ready for that

GPlotter : Make Google Maps Easily

GPlotter is a Javascript object which provides a simple interface to plot markers onto Google Maps using a simple XML file. The interface allows the user to write a few of lines of Javascript to provide this cross-browser functionality. It has been tested and works with MSIE (6 & 7), Firefox and Safari. [ See Documentation ]

Example: Locations in Milwaukee, WI, USA

Map data ©2007 Tele Atlas - Terms of Use
1. The Gig
1132 E. Wright Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
414 562-0219

2. Trocadero
1758 N Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414 272-2050

3. County Clare
1230 N Astor Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414 272-5273


Using the GPlotter requires the Google Maps API and Prototype (1.5.0), a cross-browser Javascript library providing AJAX and object inheritance functionality. Simply reference them as is normally done with Javascript. Then reference GPlotter. This page is a working example and can be used as your starting point.

Extending GPlotter

The Prototype object inheritance model can be used to extend GPlotter with your own custom object. Either add your own custom methods or override the GPlotter behavior. This clean separation will reduce to work to integrate your changes with a future release of GPlotter.

var MyMapper = Class.create();
Object.extend(MyMapper.prototype, GPlotter.prototype);
var mapper = new MyMapper();
mapper.plot("map", "labels", "milwaukee.xml");


Free Map Icons

These free icons are in red, green and blue numbering 1 to 25 each as well as an empty one for each color. Please host these icons on your website, just download Google Maps

XML Format

The XML format is currently marked as 0.9 and the GPlotter object is designed to support this version and future versions. The root element must be named locations and include the version attribute. Child elements may change with each new version. As new XML format version are defined new versions of GPlotter will be published. Also, The XML format is also intended to remain neutral to the mapping system while GPlotter will remain specific to Google Maps.