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Importing and Mapping Data

This article describes how to import shapes into a map from three different types of resources: GeoRSS, Bing Maps, and KML. It also describes how to work with custom icons on a map when importing data from one of these resource types.

The entire listing for the source file developed in this article is available in the Source Listing section.

Creating a Basic Map

Create the file Find.html and add the code shown in Listing 1 to that file.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
   <head>
      <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
      <title>Working with Shapes</title>
      
      <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ecn.dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.3"></script>
      
      <script type="text/javascript">
         var map;
         
         function OnPageLoad()
         {
            map = new VEMap('myMap');
            map.LoadMap();
         }
      </script>
   </head>
   <body onload="OnPageLoad();">
      <div id="myMap" style="position:relative;width:640px;height:480px;"></div>
   </body>
</html>

Listing 1. Find.html

If you open this file in a Web browser, you should see something like the map shown in Figure 1.

Cc316942.ff0b4ce8-3b35-4fdb-946b-9a6f94fe1fae(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 1. A basic map

Basic Shapes

Shapes can be added or deleted to any map, and can have their display icons and pop-up information modified. There are three types of shapes in : Pushpins (single points representing points-of-interest), Polyline (line segments), and Polygons (closed shapes representing regions).

Adding a Pushpin Shape to the Map

You can add a pushpin to a map using the VEShape class. The VEShape constructor requires two parameters, a type and a location.

The first parameter is a VEShapeType object defining the type of shape. In our example we use a pushpin shape type, VEShapeType.Pushpin. The other shape types are polyline, VEShapeType.Polyline, and polygon, VEShapeType.Polygon.

The second parameter is a VELatLong object defining the location. We use the center of the map in our example.

Add a pushpin to the center of the map by adding the code in Listing 2 to the OnPageLoad method.

var pin = new VEShape(VEShapeType.Pushpin,map.GetCenter());
map.AddShape(pin);

Listing 2. Creating a pushpin

The map should then look like Figure 2.

Cc316942.7681462b-054b-48c8-ac2e-83ccd79e52c9(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 2. The basic map with a pushpin in the center

VEShape class objects also have a number of properties that you can set to provide additional information to the map viewer, such as a title and description. These fields can include standard HTML code so we have some control over their appearance. For example, add the code in Listing 3 to provide some additional information to the user when they hover over a pushpin.

pin.SetTitle("Our PushPin Title");
pin.SetDescription("<table><tr><td>Description:<br/><ul><li>HTML elements</li> <li>" + 
                   "Images</li><li>And More</li></ul></td><td><img src='arrows.png'></td></tr></table>");

Listing 3. Adding a title and description to a shape

The image file, arrows.png, is shown in Figure 3.

Cc316942.3cd4034d-f614-4bf1-95e6-4b34c300a169(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 3. arrows.png

The resulting map should look like Figure 4.

Cc316942.bd73c0cd-cd71-42c7-b885-7f9927c0a9f7(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 4. The map with a shape containing a title and description

Custom Shape Icons

If you don’t want to use the standard pushpin icon, you can add a custom icon in its place. This can be done by either using a custom image or by using custom HTML.

The custom image example uses the image in Figure 5.

Cc316942.33288e9e-13e1-4a10-b42f-0e8e774824e5(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 5. The custom image

To create a pushpin using a custom image, add the code in Listing 4.

var icon = "<img src='orange_pushpin.png'/>";
pin.SetCustomIcon(icon);

Listing 4. Custom image as an icon

The resulting map should look like Figure 6.

Cc316942.5c7ae259-97d9-4a43-b26c-f0afef5e355b(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 6. Map with custom image icon

To create a pushpin using custom HTML, replace the icon declaration with the code in Listing 5.

var icon = "<div style='font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;border:solid 2px" +  
           "Black;background-color:Aqua;width:50px;'>Our Pin</div>";

Listing 5. Custom HTML as an icon

The resulting map should look like Figure 7.

Cc316942.b343ae1e-3f50-4e64-bcbc-6c50a0f7070a(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 7. Map with custom HTML icon

You can even create an icon using a custom image and add a CSS style tag so that you can have some text appear on the image. Replace the icon declaration with the code in Listing 6.

var n = " 1";
var icon = "<img src='orange_pushpin.png'><span class='pinText'>" + n + "</span>";

Listing 6. Custom image with style

Then add the code in Listing 7 to the HEAD section.

<style type="text/css">
   .pinText
   { 
      position:relative; 
      top:-25px; 
      left:2px;
      width:30px;
      color:#ffffff; 
      text-align:center; 
      font: bold 12px Arial; 
   }
</style>

Listing 7. The style declaration

The resulting map should look like Figure 8.

Cc316942.588eead5-0ee7-4614-b1f8-973e10aa2353(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 8. Custom image with style

Deleting Shapes

You can delete a single shape using the VEMap.DeleteShape method or all shapes with the VEMap.DeleteAllShapes method.

Working with Collections of Shapes

The supports the following collections of shapes.

  • Shape collections on Windows Live

  • Shape references in GeoRSS files

  • Shape references in KML files

Linking to a Windows Live Shape Collection

Bing Maps gives registered users the ability to create and save collections. To create a collection, perform the following steps.

  1. Go to Windows Live Local.

  2. Sign in to your account, or create one if you don’t already have one.

  3. Create a collection of shapes on your scratch pad.

  4. Save the collection, providing a title and description. Make sure that you select the option to make the collection public.

Once you have your collection saved, select the Share option and then the Copy to link to clipboard option. The clipboard should then contain a link similar to http://local.live.com/?v=2&cid=98C746DDDC3FE6CA!104. This link goes to a short collection of US Civil War battlefields, and we will use it as sample data. If you open this link, you will go to Bing Maps, and see the collection.

The next step is to add a reference this collection.

The layer source is the collection ID from the Bing Maps link. Note that you only need the part after the "cid=" parameter in the original URL.

Replace the OnPageLoad method with the contents of Listing 8.

function OnPageLoad()
{
   map = new VEMap('myMap');
   map.LoadMap();
   
   var layer = new VEShapeLayer();
   var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.VECollection,"98C746DDDC3FE6CA!104", layer);
   map.ImportShapeLayerData(veLayerSpec);
}

Listing 8. The OnPageLoad method with a reference to a Bing Maps collection

If we load this page in a browser, we see that the map automatically displays the collection as a set of pushpins. It also centers the map to show all of the pushpins. The resulting map should look like Figure 9.

Cc316942.cd350a41-ce19-4549-8390-196928f22858(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 9. Map with Bing Maps collection

Linking to a GeoRSS Feed

GeoRSS is an XML grammar for publishing events that are linked to a specific location. supports both the W3C Basic Geo Vocabulary as well as those defined by GeoRSS. Both formats are versions of the basic RSS format, with an additional attribute for providing the latitude and longitude.

In this example, we are going to use a mock GeoRSS feed representing road hazards in the Toronto area. Our XML file for the feed, hazards.xml, is shown in Listing 9.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:geo="http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#" xmlns:georss="http://www.georss.org/georss" xmlns:gml="http://www.opengis.net/gml" xmlns:mappoint="http://virtualearth.msn.com/apis/annotate#">
   <channel>
      <title>Reported Road Hazards</title>
      <link/>
      <description>Road hazards reported to the city</description>
      <item>
         <title>Traffic Light</title>
         <description>Traffic light on north west corner out</description>
         <geo:lat>43.64887</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.385362</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Traffic Signage</title>
         <description>Stop sign missing</description>
         <geo:lat>43.646870</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.383342</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Pothole</title>
         <description>Large pothole on westbound lane</description>
         <geo:lat>43.646511</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.393944</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Flooding</title>
         <description>Flood drain blocked with branches on SW corner</description>
         <geo:lat>43.646658</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.391345</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Traffic Signage</title>
         <description>Street sign bent wrong way</description>
         <geo:lat>43.647729</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.391741</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Pothole</title>
         <description>Pothole forming in center of intersection</description>
         <geo:lat>43.650537</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.390407</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Traffic Signage</title>
         <description>Street sign upside down</description>
         <geo:lat>43.651184</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.391702</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Pothole</title>
         <description>Uneven road surface from sewer work</description>
         <geo:lat>43.651090</geo:lat>
         <geo:long>-79.399210</geo:long>
      </item>
      <item>
         <title>Road closure</title>
         <description>Road closed due to parade</description>
         <georss:line>43.64706790907093 -79.39553260803223 43.66644233053208 -79.4036865234375</georss:line>
      </item>
   </channel>
</rss>

Listing 9. The hazards.xml file

Note that each item in the feed contains a title and a description. These fields are automatically map to the title and details fields for our pushpins.

After you create your file, you need to host it somewhere to ensure that your map can access it. The requires that the GeoRSS file must be publicly accessible through either get or post. This is easily accomplished by saving the file locally and accessing it through the URL http://localhost/hazards.xml.

We can now create the shape layer containing the GeoRSS feed data. Replace the VEShapeSourceSpecification call with the contents of Listing 10.

var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.GeoRSS, "http://localhost/hazards/hazards.xml", layer);

Listing 10. The reference to a GeoRSS feed

The resulting map should look like Figure 10.

Cc316942.33e61ebb-8f65-4e73-bbb8-9058708967ce(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 10. Map with GeoRSS feed

Linking to a KML Feed

KML (Keyhole Markup Language) is another XML grammar, and is quite different from GeoRSS in that it was developed specifically for mapping (rather than being adapted as a flavor of generic RSS).

Adding a KML data feed to a shape layer is similar to adding a GeoRSS feed to a shape layer. Replace the VEShapeSourceSpecification call with the contents of Listing 11.

var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.ImportXML, "http://localhost/kml/lines.kml", layer);

Listing 11. The reference to a KML feed

Adding Custom Icons to a Shape Layer

Adding custom icons to a shape layer can be done with any shape layer regardless of where the data came from: KML, GeoRSS, or a Windows Live collection. For example, Listing 12 creates custom icons for the Bing Maps collection we created earlier.

var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.VECollection, "98C746DDDC3FE6CA!104", layer);

map.ImportShapeLayerData(veLayerSpec, function()
{
   var numShapes = layer.GetShapeCount();
   var s, n, icon;
   
   for(var i = 0; i < numShapes; ++i)
   {
      s = layer.GetShapeByIndex(i);
      
      n = i + 1;
      icon = "<img src='orange_pushpin.png'><span class='pinText'>" + " " + n + "</span>";
      s.SetCustomIcon(icon);
   }
}, true);

Listing 12. Creating custom icons for a Bing Maps collection

The resulting map should look like Figure 11.

Cc316942.07d6f23a-ac07-4756-a48e-79c7d187c720(en-us,MSDN.10).png

Figure 11. Bing Maps collection with custom icons

Conclusion

Now that you know how to import different types of data feeds into a shape layer and set custom icons for each layer, you can create your own mapping application that displays useful information for your customers.

This article was written by Richard Brundritt. Richard is a software developer at Infusion Development.

Source Listing

This section contains a complete listing of the source file in this article, Find.html.

Listing 13 contains the entire source for Find.html.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
   <head>
      <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
      <title>Working with Shapes</title>
      
      <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ecn.dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.3"></script>
      
      <script type="text/javascript">
         var map;

         function OnPageLoad()
         {
            map = new VEMap('myMap');
            map.LoadMap();
            
            var layer = new VEShapeLayer();
            
            // Windows Live Local
            var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.VECollection, "98C746DDDC3FE6CA!104", layer);
            
            map.ImportShapeLayerData(veLayerSpec, function()
            {
               var numShapes = layer.GetShapeCount();
               var s, n, icon;
               
               for(var i = 0; i < numShapes; ++i)
               {
                  s = layer.GetShapeByIndex(i);
                  
                  n = i + 1;
                  icon = "<img src='orange_pushpin.png'><span class='pinText'>" + " " + n + "</span>";
                  s.SetCustomIcon(icon);
               }
            }, true);
            
            // GeoRSS feed
            // var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.GeoRSS, "http://localhost/hazards/hazards.xml", layer);
            
            // KML feed
            // var veLayerSpec = new VEShapeSourceSpecification(VEDataType.ImportXML, "http://localhost/kml/lines.kml", layer);
            
            // map.ImportShapeLayerData(veLayerSpec);

            // var pin = new VEShape(VEShapeType.Pushpin, map.GetCenter());
            
            // pin.SetTitle("Our PushPin Title");
            // pin.SetDescription("<table><tr><td>Description:<br/><ul><li>HTML elements</li> <li> " + 
            //                    "Images</li><li>And More</li></ul></td><td><img src='arrows.png'></td></tr></table>");
            
            // Custom image icon
            // var icon = "<img src='orange_pushpin.png'/>";
            
            // Custom HTML icon
            // var icon = "<div style='font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;border:solid 2px" +  
            //            "Black;background-color:Aqua;width:50px;'>Our Pin</div>";
            
            // Custom image icon with style (note the space)
            // var n = " 1";
            // var icon = "<img src='orange_pushpin.png'><span class='pinText'>" + n + "</span>";
            
            // pin.SetCustomIcon(icon);
            
            // map.AddShape(pin);
         }
      </script>
      
      <style type="text/css">
         .pinText
         { 
            position:relative; 
            top:-30px; 
            left:10px;
            width:30px;
            color:#ffffff; 
            text-align:center; 
            font: bold 12px Arial; 
         }
      </style>
      
   </head>
   <body onload="OnPageLoad();">
      <div id="myMap" style="position:relative;width:640px;height:480px;"></div>
   </body>
</html>

Listing 13. Find.html

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