WinForms and WPF Map Controls: Coordinate Systems, SQL Server Spatial Data and More (Coming soon in v14.2)

DevExpress Data Blog
21 November 2014

I wanted to talk a bit more about maps! I’ve already talked a bit about the mini maps. In this post I wanted to show you some more map goodness coming in our 14.2 release.

Cartesian Map for WinForms

Ever wanted to visualize something other than, well, a map of the earth? In this release you can literally create a map of anything and use it as a visualization. How amazing is that?! With the addition of Cartesian Maps comes the ability to add any vector data with its own units. Currently the map control supports Centimeters, Feet, Furlongs, Inches, Kilometers, Meters, Miles, Millimeters, Nautical miles, and Yards with the ability to even add your own custom measures.

Cartesian Map

In this example we’ve visualized an entire hotel floor. Currently we’ve implemented the Cartesian Coordinate System for WinForms.

SQL Geometry Support

Some store their map data using SQL Geometry. In this release we have added support to this type of data source for WinForms:

SqlGeometryDataAdapter adapter = new SqlGeometryDataAdapter() {
    ConnectionString = "YOUR_CONNECTION_STRING",
    SqlText = "YOUR_SQL_TEXT",
    SpatialDataMember = "YOUR_DATA_MEMBER"
vectorLayer.Data = adapter;

A word about WPF support for both Cartesian Coordinates and SQL Geometry: we are still working on having full support. Currently in WPF we have full support for Geographic data (whether from SQL Geography Data or some other source) and are working towards having full Cartesian support sometime in the future. We do have the CartesianCoordinateSystem which can be used in WPF to load Geometry data and convert it to Geography data.

New Map Projections

Sometimes a flat map just doesn't cut it:

Map Projections

Starting in 14.2 you can use the following projections in both WinForms and WPF: Equidistant, Lambert Cylindrical Equal Area, Braun Stereographic, Kavrayskiy, and Sinusoidal.

Why is this useful you ask? Sometimes a map answers the pertinent data questions better when projected into a new spatial representation. Insights you would not have gleaned from a tradition flat map (which is also a projection, mind you) become more apparent when projected into new spaces.

WPF Map Analytics

Previously we added a number of analytics features to our map control for WinForms. In this release we are adding the same features to our WPF Map Control as well:

WPF Map Analytics

Map Printing

Our powerful printing system has been expanded to allow for directly exporting maps to a report:

WPF Map Printing

This enables your users to find the exact portion of the map they wish to see and memorialize it forever in the form of a hard paper copy.

Final Thoughts

Overall these are fantastic addition to our growing staple of analysis tools. I am proud of the work we are doing to help your customers glean the pertinent information from their data, thus allowing them to make the best decisions available.

As always, if there are any comments and/or questions, feel free to get a hold of me!

Seth Juarez
Twitter: @SethJuarez

What’s New in v20.1

To explore the scope, breadth and capabilities of our new products/features, please visit:
9 comment(s)
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

We support furlongs? Wow.

<Julian is taken back to his time in primary school when he learned about them and never used them again>


Cheers, Julian

21 November 2014

Cartesian maps look great - will you have some examples of using these?

23 November 2014
Ted (DevExpress)
Ted (DevExpress)

Laurence, the HotelPlans module of map demo demonstrates how to work with the cartesian coordinate system. We plan to add some SC examples too. Thanks.

24 November 2014

Can you use Coordinate Systems in the ASPX map control?

2 December 2014
Rudy Scott
Rudy Scott

I'm really excited about the new Cartesian features!  I'd like to study the hotel map examples.  However, I'm having a hard time opening the hotel shape files.  It looks like the SHX files are missing (SHP and DBF are present).  I know DevExpress control doesn't use the SHX files but many shape file tools (QGIS, etc..) seem to require it to be present in order to open the files.  Do you have SHX files for your examples and do you have any additional information about creating the shape files?  

5 December 2014
Ted (DevExpress)
Ted (DevExpress)

Hi Rudy,

Thanks for your feedback. Our map control manipulates shapefiles in read mode and reads the .shp, .dbf and .prj files only. To create a new .shx-file for your shape file, you can use the Shapeviewer tool at

19 December 2014
Guy Morris
Guy Morris

Hi, I'm really interested in the hotel example - how the hotel map was created?

5 January 2015
Rudy Scott
Rudy Scott

@Ted Thanks--that worked great.  One feature I'd love to see is the ability to put a raster background image under the vector layer that stayed in alignment even when zoomed, etc..  Really tough to align a MapCustomElement with the vector layer and keep it scaled properly.  

6 March 2015
Rudy Scott
Rudy Scott

@Guy -- I think they said they used ArcGIS to create the hotel example.  But I've found the free QGIS with the CAD Digitizer plugin works pretty well for this sort of thing.  (Although learning GIS has been a whole new experience for me :-)

6 March 2015

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