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The ThinkGeo Blog Posts

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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Host Your Own Offline Mapping Server

While there are several online mapping providers like Google, Bing, Esri, MapBox, and ThinkGeo’s World Map Kit Online that serve up map tiles, there are scenarios where you might want an on-premise offline mapping server.

For example, your environment might not have internet connectivity. Or, you might be concerned about the security of putting your geospatial data on the World Wide Web. With an offline solution, you can be assured that you have complete control over what is displayed on the map and the peace of mind of a locally-deployed system. Continue reading

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Leaflet vs. OpenLayers 3: Which is the better client-side JavaScript mapping library?

Customers often ask us, “Which is the best client-side JavaScript mapping library to use when building a modern web app with the Map Suite WebAPI Edition?” Like a lot of things in Software Development, the answer isn’t always clear. The answer depends on your requirements and development preferences. Since both frameworks are well documented and work solidly on mobile devices, we usually ask the following questions to help our customers make the right decision.

How simple is mapping portion of the app you are building? Continue reading

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Maritime Map Developer? Check out the Nautical Charts Extension!

The new ThinkGeo Nautical Charts Extension is a great tool for any .NET developer who needs to create or view desktop or web maps that display NOAA’s Electronic Navigational Charts which conform to the International Hydrograph Office (IHO) S-57 international exchange format as defined in the special publication S-52. Use the Nautical Charts Viewer, which is used in conjunction with ThinkGeo’s Map Suite for Desktop or Web Editions, to view any ENC in S-57 format.

Check out the “ENC Viewer for Displaying S-57 Data” sample that can be downloaded from the ThinkGeo Wiki under “Code Samples” on the appropriate Map Suite Edition. Continue reading

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