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The ThinkGeo Blog Posts

Use Routing to add Intelligence to Your Mapping Application.

Want to add routing to your GIS app? In a previous post we introduced you to routing with OpenStreetMap data. Routing is much more than just getting turn by turn direction and could possibly add value to your existing mapping app. Here are some common routing scenarios:

Traveling Salesman Problem – allows you to generate the optimal sequence for visiting multiple locations.
• Service area definition – answers the question: how far can I travel based on given speed within a specific amount of time? Continue reading

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Use Adornments to Decorate your Map.

Adornments are used to decorate your map with legends, titles, directional arrows, logos, and scale bars and other elements to help the reader better understand the message the map is trying to convey. The title helps the reader understand the theme of the map. Legends helps the reader interpret the map, while north arrows, scale lines and scale bars provide geographic orientation.

These adornments are in a fixed position, regardless of panning and can be added to your digital map or carried over to the print map, where you can add additional adornments prior to printing your final map. Continue reading

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Use the Map Suite GIS Editor to View, Edit and Create Mapping/GIS Data

The Map Suite GIS Editor lets you design stunning maps, perform geo-analysis and visualize your data. Powerful enough for professional GIS technicians yet accessible enough for nearly anyone who needs to create a map, the GIS Editor is designed as a single-application solution to all of your GIS visualization needs.

You Can Use the Map Suite GIS Editor to:

• Visualize data, statistics and trends geographically
• Design, style and label rich and detailed maps
• Integrate data from a variety of sources, including Web Map Services
• See the data attributes contained within your data
• Draw right on the map, edit and create feature data
• Analyze and geoprocess your data
• Re-project your map data
• Create custom scripts in Ruby, Python, and C#
• Make your maps publication-ready with titles, legends and annotations

The GIS Editor is a free open source GIS tool. Continue reading

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Using Topology Rules for Data Integrity

Topology refers to the relationship between lines, points, and polygons. Topology can be very useful in GIS as it allows users to clean up data or to modify geometries to comply with different rules and restrictions. Topology helps us to better analyze data and answer a number of questions such as:

Which parcels of land are adjacent to each other?
Which roads are connected to which?
Is this house within the property line?

Topology also helps us validate data to prevent any gapping issues, etc. Continue reading

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Understanding Map Projections

What are map projections and why should you care? Projection is a method of representing a spherical body (such as the Earth) on a two-dimensional surface (such as a computer screen). There are many different projections available, each of which represents the spherical curves of Earth in different ways.

Because every projection distorts the data in some areas to a certain degree, choosing the right projection for the maps you want to view is important. For example, if you will be creating maps of a very specific local region of the United States, you might want to use a State Plane projection which focuses on that region. Continue reading

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Routing with OpenStreetMap Data

What is routing? Routing refers to the process of finding the best path in a network. Most commonly, routing is used in the context of finding the shortest or fastest path from A to B. However, routing can also be applied to other networks such as gas and oil pipelines. There are several components when it comes to routing, but data is key! If you want to route you must have routable data. For detailed information about the concept of routing, take a look at this Wikipedia article. Continue reading

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What is Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding?

If you are new to GIS you may not be familiar with the terms geocoding and reverse geocoding, but it’s likely you have done some sort of geocoding without being aware of it. Geocoding is the process of taking an address or location and converting it to latitude and longitude. Have you ever searched for an address on Google Maps or any other mapping application? If so, you geocoded! There may be several reasons why you need to geocode, but these are some of the more common applications: finding addresses, plotting customer locations, or plotting locations to get route information. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Add NOAA Weather Radar, Warnings and Stations to your GIS App

Have you ever considered adding weather information to your GIS app? Industries such as agriculture, public safety, aerospace and others can greatly benefit by adding real-time weather information. NOAA provides all the data and Map Suite has all the necessary APIs that allow you to easily enhance your mapping application. Whether you are looking for radar information, weather stations, weather watches & warnings ThinkGeo has you covered.

The weather station data and APIs allows you to display up-to-date weather station data from around the world on top of your maps. Continue reading

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Building Native GIS Apps for Mobile Devices using C# and Xamarin

Are you a .NET developer looking to build native GIS applications for iOS and Android devices? Map Suite for Mobile is a .NET control built on top of Xamarin which allows you add interactive maps and professional-grade GIS to your mobile apps. Of course you can build mobile apps around online mapping providers like Google or Bing, but there are scenarios where you might need more powerful spatial features, custom rendering, require editing or consuming data stored on the local device. Continue reading

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