Monday, May 22, 2006

Crunchin' Map Bones

Ok. So, we've all heard and saw the news about Microsoft Research's MapCruncher. Well, on the PLANET we've decided to take it for a whirl. As always, we advocate safety on the job, so we'rekeeping all our fingers out of the Cruncher. Here's our screen shot of the interface. It's pretty easy to understand for a GIS professional. Here we uploaded a PDF map of the US & Canada. We had to register 17 control points to get the map to fit nicely over the Virtual Earth base data. We used state boundary intersections as control points for ease of use. An interesting thing once you lay down your control points is that you can lock them. Then save your mashup as a native .yum file. Once you've done that, it's time to render the mashup, or "Crunchup." When you render the crunchup, you can set the max zoom level. This determines the size of your crunchup file. If you go into the max VE zoom level of 10, in our case, we would have ended up with a 2500MB file! Remember, MapCruncher renders tiles just like the imagery for VE. So your mashup is only big as what you set your max zoom level at. In this case we set it at 6 and we ended up with a 14MB file. Above you can see our final mashup. It's ok. I would be better if there was a transparency setting. Anyway, it's not bad. I'm not a VE API guru, but if I was, this would be good if I had a website and wanted to try a few things.


Anonymous Danyel Fisher said...

Thanks for trying out MapCruncher! We're really excited to see people out there starting to build their own Crunches.

While I appreciate that you don't want to stick your fingers in the Cruncher, you'll be glad to know that it does in fact support any transparency that is in your original image.

Check out the bottom of the image that you have of the interface: see how the pink goes all the way up to Texas? That's transparent you're (not) seeing there.

You can also control the bounding box around the image: right click on it, and hit "add corner." Presto: your bounding box is now a bounding pentagon. That might be a way to slice out the scale on the right side or the thick border on the bottom. See the section on Editable Bounding Regions for more information.

Alternately, if you tweak the original image, you can remove other background colors, too--or make the whole thing just a little translucent.

5/23/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger GeoMullah said...

Thanks, Danyel! I did this without reading the instructions. Now that I have them, I'll give it another go-round with the 'Grinda.

Geo. M. Ullah

5/23/2006 11:42:00 AM  

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