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  SPATIAL DATA IMPORTER CONTEST SUBMISSION: EXPORT SHAPES  

This code will export regions, lines, rectangles and pushpins/points to the MapInfo mif/mid file formats (other shape types are ignored). This allows people to use the drawing tools built into MapPoint to generate the shapes they will later want to import with the spatial importer, adding layers of regions and points to their MapPoint maps without owning a MapInfo product. One restriction should be noted: regions and lines are differentiated by whether or not the shape is filled. In MapPoint you can have a line that is filled, but I couldn't find a way to programatically differentiated between that and a region. It seems as if there should be a Shape property like "IsClosed" (True for a region, False for a line) which would allow you to tell a filled region from a filled line.

Included in the export are fields which could be used to more completely define the shape if they were recognized by the importer. For example, regions are exported with the line weight and fill color properties. (This leads to the obvious suggestion for another enhancement to the importer: that it use these shape properties.) Also, it appears as if the importer wants all of the shapes in an mif/mid file to be of one type (Is this a MapInfo restriction for how mif/mid files are created?). When I exported the shapes from a map with one region, one line, one rectangle and one pushpin and then tried to import it, only the first object was imported. When I exported a map with 10 regions, the importer recreated the regions perfectly.

To add the export functionality to your importer add-in:

  • Add MapInfoCreator.cls to the VB project. It contains code to export MapPoint Shape objects to MapInfo mif/mid files.
  • Replace the original modMapPointFunctions.bas with this new one, which has been modified to add Gilles Kohl's Arccos and CalcPos procedures.
  • Add a button named "cmdExportShapes" to form "frmSpatialDataImport".
  • Behind the button add the following code:

  • Also, add the following function to the form:


  • Author: Walt Cygan
    Email: wcygan@macrogroup.net
    URL: http://www.macrogroup.net
    Walt is a consultant for The MACRO GROUP, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The MACRO GROUP, Inc. is an information systems consulting firm whose customers include public, private and non-profit organizations of all sizes.



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