Data maps? Map charts? Dashboard maps? Interactive maps?

18 July 2008

I bet there's a name for this, but it's not coming to me right now. Sigh.

Oh well, since a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at this:


This is a "proof of concept" that the Gauges team came up with. A new developer needed to come up to speed with what the team had implemented with our new WinForms gauges product, XtraGauges, especially the vector rendering engine and he wrote a preliminary datamap control. The image shows the demo program (Windows, not WPF, remember), which is loaded with some freely available state statistics (here showing the number of electors, and the shade of blue for the state denotes the elector count in the state).

What I've also tried to capture in this static image is that the current state is highlighted with a red border as the mouse hovers over it; in this case, Colorado.

The map is a vector drawing with the GIS information stored in an XAML file. Since it's rendered as a vector image, it grows and shrinks without pixellation as the form is grown/shrunk. And yes it's very smooth at doing so.

As I said, at present this is a quick experiment to show that our XAML rendering engine is able to display other kinds of images and figures than it was first designed for. Yet I can guess that many of our customers would be interested in seeing this fleshed out into an actual product. But, instead of saying, would you like to have this product?, to which everyone would say, sure, next week would be great thanks, I'm going to couch this in a different way:

1. If it were a choice between gauges for ASP.NET and this product, which would you choose? How about between gauges for WPF and this? Gauges for Silverlight and this?

2. If this were an extra-cost product because we had to purchase/license the GIS data for other countries or for counties within a state/country, etc, would you still be interested?

3. If this were a product without data, and you had to license the actual GIS data from a third-party (maybe we only had some basic free GIS data we shipped with the product itself, like the US or Europe), would you be bothered about it?

Let me know. All feedback is welcome.

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