Thursday, August 28, 2008

ArcMap to Google Map Polygons

ArcMap2GMap: download
+ (not yet tested for 9.3)
Samples:
+ Presidential Election Data 2004
+ Hodge Podge Sample of Stuff From My Computer
+ Health Resources

Finally completed a major update for the ArcMap2GMap script that exports ArcMap layers to a standalone Google Map webpage.

This latest update now includes support for choropleth polygon layers using the gPolygon object. Previous versions included support for point and line geometries. The choropleth map is hard-coded to generate 4 equal interval classes based on the attribute selected by the user, but we do have plans on providing more flexibility with this in the future. I want to whole-heartedly thank my GRA, Shivkumar Chandrashekhar, for all of his assistance with this project.

This version includes all features of previous versions, including:
  • multi-layer support
  • geocoding
  • proximity searching (top 10 closest visible points displpayed)
  • driving directions
Students at our university are restricted from registering DLLs, so we could not compile the VBA forms. This means the MXD provided in the download must still be used.

The major issue we needed to resolve to include this polygon support was the complexity of the vertices in a polygon shapefile. Even the simples polygon shapefiles may have thousands of vertices that will timeout any browser on virtually any computer. We have two point reduction methods in place to help resolve this.
  1. First, each polygon feature's vertices are filtered through a Douglas Peucker Algorithm. The code for this can be viewed in the DP.py script.
  2. Second, after the algorithm is run, each polygon feature class is dissolved using ArcMap's geoprocessing dissolve tool. This effectively removes shared boundaries by features with identical color representation.
We are holding an open workshop on campus on September 24. If anyone tries out the script and has any comments, please leave them here or if you do not want them on the permanent blog record, leave them in the IM client to the right.

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