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Using OpenStreetMap Data in Your Application

When it comes to GIS one of the biggest hurdles usually involves mapping data. Data comes in many forms, formats, licensing options from a variety of providers. Premium providers can be cost prohibitive and have strict licensing policies. The good news is the growth of OpenStreetMap.

In case you aren’t familiar with OpenStreetMap, it’s a giant crowd-sourced database of free geographic data built by users all around the world. You can even add or correct data in OpenStreetMap yourself — and if you do, it will appear on OpenStreetMap as well as under ThinkGeo’s World Map Kit Online within a couple of hours. As the OpenStreetMap community grows the data and coverage will also improve.

However, it also comes with its challenges. The dataset is very large, can be complex to work with and handling constant updates can be difficult. If you are looking for data ThinkGeo provides both online and offline options.

Map Suite World Streets is an extension for the ThinkGeo line of Map Suite GIS mapping tools. ThinkGeo’s GIS software gives you the ability to add world maps into your applications using Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. Additionally, because Map Suite World Streets comes with full source code, you can completely customize the look and feel of the maps or even add your own data to the mix. Map Suite World Streets includes a utility to cut out only the part of the world you care about, allowing you to deploy a much smaller dataset.

The Map Suite GIS Services Cloud Hosted option is the easiest way to gain access to the complete global dataset of Map Suite World Streets and World Imagery directly over the Internet. This options gives you access to the powerful functionality without needing to install anything or maintain your own servers. ThinkGeo hosts everything on Amazon servers, making it easier for you. All you need to do to get started is to connect your applications in order to begin receiving great map imagery of any place on Earth.

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