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 Tuesday - April 10, 2007
What's New at MP2K Magazine - Articles 
Welcome to another issue of the MP2Kmag Update. This issue includes six new articles, each with downloadable sample code contributed by readers in the past few months. In upcoming issues we will focus on MapPoint / Virtual Earth news and share highlights from

MP2K Magazine is your source for independent news and information about MapPoint and Virtual Earth technologies and is home to the popular web forum for MapPoint users and developers. In this issue we also also feature another tutorial on Automating MapPoint with Excel VBA and announce the re-launching of the application.

This Issue's Contents at a Glance
 - features: MapPoint Programming Tutorial: Drawing Circles Around a List of Addresses, Relaunching
 - Using Virtual Earth to Write a Vista Gadget That Tracks the International Space Station 
 - Determing Whether A Point Is Located Inside Polygon
 - Using Virtual Earth in a Vista Gadget 
 - An API to Control MapPoint 2006 GPS Features - Part I of II
 - Using MapPoint and Excel for Supply Chain Management 
 - Creating Geocoding Exceptions for MapPoint Web Service Applications

Happy Mapping and please forward this newsletter to anyone who would be interested!

Eric Frost, Editor
MapPoint 2006

MapPoint 2006
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 - Navteq streets and a TON more data for the European version

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RadiusAutomating MapPoint with Excel VBA - Tutorial 5

In this installment of the tutorial series on programming MapPoint with Excel we should how to loop over a series of addresses and plot pushpins and draw radius circles around each location. Earlier tutorials can be found here 1, 2, 3, and 4.

To get started with this tutorial, download the spreadsheet with VBA code. The code works with MapPoint North America and the sample data is for the North American version, but it can be easily modified for MapPoint Europe. Let me know if you would like help with this and I will post it in the discussion area for the tutorials.

The main portion of the code is a loop. The program looks for a list of addresses on the spreadsheet stops when it finds the first blank line. Further comments are found in the code below.

  szAddress = Cells(nCurrentRow, 3)
  Do While (szAddress <> 0)  'stop when it reaches a blank line.

    'read line from spreadsheet and assign to variables
    szName = Cells(nCurrentRow, 2)

    szCity = Cells(nCurrentRow, 4)
    szState = Cells(nCurrentRow, 5)
    szZip = Cells(nCurrentRow, 6)
    nRadius = Cells(nCurrentRow, 7) 'column G

    'find the address and add a pushpin to the map
    Set objFindResults = objMap.FindAddressResults(szAddress, szCity, , szState, szZip)
    Set objLoc = objFindResults(1)
    Set objPushpin = objMap.AddPushpin(objLoc, szName)

    'draws circle based on radius in column G

    objMap.Shapes.AddShape geoShapeRadius, objLoc, nRadius, nRadius

    'pop up pushpin name

    objPushpin.BalloonState = geoDisplayName
    nCurrentRow = nCurrentRow + 1
    szAddress = Cells(nCurrentRow, 3)

If you have any questions, suggestions, or enhancements you would like to share please post in the MapPoint / Excel VBA discussion thread. Keep an eye out for a continuation of this series in future issues. Virtual Earth Webmaster Tool Mashup

The MapVisitors application was first mentioned in this newsletter back in 2005 has now been moved to its own web site at MapVisitors is a free tool for web sites to generate a worldwide map of their visitors. Additional features to be added soon include a color-coded map at low resolutions to more clearly depict concentrations of visitors, ability to use custom graphics, improving the layout and look of the map, and more -- send us your feature requests. This is the html code to paste into your web site layout --

<a href='' title='Map of Visitors'><img src='' alt='IP Map' style='border:0'></a>

If you would like a custom graphic that uses a different button or image that better fits into your web site design, send it to me and I will get it ready right away and provide you with the new html code. Inquire about a custom implementation of this tool for your web site.

Large MapPoint MugGet Published in MP2K Magazine

If you have a MapPoint presentation, neat programming technique, or would simply like to share the ways in which you are using MapPoint technology or any other ideas, contact us to discuss how we can turn your knowledge into an article and share your experience with the rest of the MapPoint community of users and developers.

Thanks to Marvin Hlavac for allowing us to use the picture on the right of his Maltese puppy eating from the MapPoint mug.


The new standard for route optimization

Don’t miss the sign to get your fleet operations on the right track.

With TourSolver for MapPoint you can easily plan & optimize your delivery routes, sales & service calls for your entire workforce.  TourSolver calculates stop sequence for your fleet while taking over 60 constraints into account.

Start reducing unnecessary mileage, & fuel usage today.


International Space StationUsing Virtual Earth to Write a Vista Gadget That Tracks the International Space Station

This is the second of a two article series about writing Vista Gadgets that use Virtual Earth. The first article ("Using Virtual Earth in a Vista Gadget") showed you how to write a Vista Gadget that showed a simple interactive map using Virtual Earth. This second article extends the gadget into something more useful: A Tracker for the International Space Station (ISS)

"At start up, the gadget automatically downloads the latest orbital parameters from the AmSat website. The map is updated every half second with the ISS’s latest position. The position is tracked with a pushpin shaped like the ISS. The map automatically pans to keep the ISS centered in the map. The user may zoom in or out using "+" and "-" buttons. A "Refresh" button allows the orbital parameters to be refreshed from AmSat. These orbital parameters should only be refreshed every few days -- you do not need to do this if you restart Vista (and hence the gadget) on a daily basis.

Instead of two files, the gadget now contains ten files. One of these is an image: ISS_pin.gif stores the image of the ISS pushpin. The remaining extra files (global.js, graphic_clock.js, math.js, sgp4sdp4.js, time.js, utils.js, view.js ) are all JavaScript files used to calculate the orbit of the ISS. These are based on the orbit calculation routines available from"

   More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story Discuss Download code

Point in PolygonDeterming Whether A Point Is Located Inside Polygon

Wilfried Mestdagh wrote this article on determing whether a vehicle is located inside or outside a convex polygon. "Simplify the polygon by make triangles from it one by one, until we have a triangle where the point is inside. At the end we only have to verify if the point is in the last triangle."

"This article explains a method to calculate if a position is in or outside a convex polygon. It does not make use of floating point numbers to optimize for speed as much as possible. To transform Latitude / Longitude pairs into X/Y coordiantes, just multiply them with a given factor, for example 100000. 1/100000 of a degree gives precision of around 1 meter which is already better than any GPS receiver. 

To make the calculations easy we will reduce the polygon to triangles by replacing each time two successive sides by a new one, provided that the triangle formed by the two polygon sides and the new side does not contain the point."

   More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story Discuss Download code
Click here!
The Virtual Earth platform represents an integrated set of services that combines unique bird's-eye, aerial, and satellite imagery with best-of-breed mapping, location and search functionality. It enables companies to deliver innovative solutions and breakthrough customer experiences. The Virtual Earth platform powers a variety of consumer, enterprise and government applications. 

Take your websites and applications to the next level by creating an immersive online mapping and search experience. Consumers can easily search, discover and visualize company location data and relevant local information. If your app is stuck with flat, boring maps, click here and we'll help you migrate.
Locate. Integrate. Innovate. Are you ready? 

Virtual Earth GadgetUsing Virtual Earth in a Vista Gadget

Richard Marsden shows how to configure a Vista Gadget to pull from Virtual Earth. "Vista gadgets are simply HTML files, and are hence very easy to write."

"A feature of the new Vista operating system that has been seeing a lot of recent attention, is that of Gadgets. Vista Gadgets are small programs that sit on the desktop. Samples that come with Vista include RSS feeds, a clock, and simple games. This article is the first of two articles. In this first part, I will show you how to write your own Vista Gadgets that use Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform. The second part will build on this to produce a gadget that continuously tracks the position of the International Space Station over the Earth’s surface.

The following screenshot shows two Gadgets installed on a Vista desktop running the Aero visual interface. The lower gadget is the standard Vista clock. The upper gadget is the Virtual Earth gadget that we will create in this article. The gadgets are in the Windows sidebar. If your sidebar is disabled, it can be enabled by clicking "Windows Sidebar" in Start->All Programs->Accessories."

  More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story Discuss Download code
Paul Larson
An API to Control MapPoint 2006 GPS Features - Part I of II

Paul Larson shares an API he developed to add programmatic GPS functionality to MapPoint code projects and includes a demo to illustrate how the API works.

"With the release of MapPoint 2006 North America (MP2K6NA) earlier this year, many users have been elated with the new map content and the addition of GPS features and Driving Guidance to the product. Likewise, many developers have thus found issue with the lack of improvement to the MapPoint API, specifically in relation to these new features. Being of the latter group, I decided to roll-my-own API to add programmatic GPS functionality to my MapPoint code projects.

Part I of this project will simply encapsulate the standard UI for GPS tracking, centering, rotation, Driving Guidance and GPS-trailing functionality, along with some UI state detection."

  More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story Discuss Download code

Pushpin Tool
Working with pushpins in MapPoint? Get the MapPoint 2004 Pushpin Tool for just $75. The latest features include the ability to export lat/lon coordinates of pushpins to Excel and advanced find Pushpin functionality. Read more and purchase the tool here or go directly to paypal.

Affordable volume licensing now available for organizations wishing to distribute the Pushpin Tool to 5, 10, 20, or 50 or more users.

Using MapPoint and Excel for Supply Chain Management

John Sewell submitted this 3000 line application developed using MapPoint and Excel which performs a number of functions related to Supply Chain Management.

"Attached is an Excel Add-in called RouteneXL. It operates by directly linking with Mappoint and contains lots of code using both Excel & MapPoint functionality.

As part of our business - supply chain consultancy - we have done a number of distribution network strategies; with typical components being how many distribution centers to have, where to locate them and every question associated with them. To support this - and reduce the cost of off-the-shelf network modelling software - my colleague, Jon Nicholas, and I have put together a tool kit to support network planning.

I have attached the add-in. We would really be interested in any comments and improvements."

  More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story Discuss Download code
Creating Geocoding Exceptions for MapPoint Web Service Applications

Stephen Pushee wrote this article on resolving geocoding exceptions when using the MapPoint Web Service. "For example, a user might supply St. Thomas as a city name when searching for St. Thomas the island, not knowing that Charlotte Amalie is the main city on St. Thomas."

"In many MapPoint Web Service applications, a user supplies a postal code or city name, which is then sent to MapPoint Web Service to be geocoded (assigned latitude and longitude coordinates). At times, you may need to override the geocode provided by MapPoint Web Service or provide a geocode for an entity that the geocoder does not recognize...

You can work around this issue by using a GeoException. A GeoException is an object consisting of a name (usually a postal code or city) and its corresponding latitude and longitude. By compiling a list of GeoException objects and making that list available in your application, you can ensure that your application returns the results that you expect."

  More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story Discuss Download code

Programming MapPoint in .NET

Programming MapPoint in .NET
Chandu Thota's New Book from O'Reilly Press
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The first and only book in print on programming MapPoint technologies. The book includes sections on MapPoint 2004, the MapPoint Web Service, MapPoint Location Server, and Virtual Earth. The books is 354 pages chock full of programming examples and map screenshots. For example, the book spends 40 pages discussing in depth the various Data Map styles in MapPoint 2004, dissects the DisplayDataMap method in detail, and has a number of examples of importing data from various sources. There are over 100 pages on the MapPoint Web Service including sections on the Find, Route, and Render API's. Inquire about international shipping and multiple copy discounts.

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Look forward to upcoming issues in which we focus on recent MapPoint and Virtual Earth news and share forum highlights.

Previous issues of the MP2Kmag Update are available in the newsletter archive.

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