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 Friday - March 13, 2009
What's New at MP2K Magazine - MapPoint 2009, MapPoint Survey, and Articles 
Welcome to another issue of the MP2Kmag Update. Both MapPoint 2009 North America and Europe are now shipping. See below for more information.

This issue includes five new articles published since our last newsletter, many with sample code. Note that forum highlights are now published under a separate MapForums Newsletter, the most recent of which are archived online.

MapPoint User Survey. The MapPoint Team at Microsoft is eager to hear your thoughts about what new features should go in future versions of MapPoint! Fill out the brief survey by midnight Tuesday, March 17th for a chance to win one of fifty $25 Amazon gift certificates. More details below.

MP2K Magazine is your source for independent news and information about MapPoint and Virtual Earth technologies and we also host the popular web forum for MapPoint users and developers (www.mapforums.com). 

This issue features three articles by Richard Marsden as well as articles by Matt Fritz and Marvin Hlavac.

This Issue's Contents at a Glance
 - Functional Programming with MapPoint and F#: Part 1, by Richard Marsden
 - Calling MapPoint from C# with Late Binding, by Richard Marsden
 - Roll Your Own Commercial Routing System with MapPoint, by Matt Fritz
 - Shape Name Utility, by Richard Marsden
 - GPS and Other New Features in MapPoint 2009, by Marvin Hlavac

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

Eric Frost, Editor
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MapPoint 2009 North America and Europe

MapPoint
2006
Need more licenses or haven't upgraded yet?

Both MapPoint 2009 North America and Europe are now shipping.

Each order will also include a free one year Plus Membership on MapForums, the MapPoint and Virtual Earth discussion forum - $76 value.

Free USPS Priority Shipping within the United States, $35 shipping to Canada, and $75 for other international orders.

See our recent MapForums newsletter for links to order including payment processing options for both Plimus and Paypal.

Update your MapPoint maps to the latest digital map databases!

Amazon Gift CertificatesMapPoint User Survey

Dear Microsoft MapPoint User:
 
The MapPoint Team is conducting a short survey to learn more about your organization’s use of Microsoft MapPoint to support your mapping, routing and data analysis needs.
 
In exchange for your valuable time and feedback, we will include your name in a drawing for a chance to win one of 50 Amazon.com gift certificates valued at $25 each.  To start the survey, just click on the “Begin Survey” link below or paste the following link into your browser’s address field: http://www.info solutionsgroup.com/Surveys/MapPoint_3/.  Please complete the survey by midnight EST, March 17, 2009.
 
Begin Survey
 
If there is another individual within your organization who is more qualified to answer this survey, please forward this email to them.
 
Sincerely,
The MapPoint Team

MapForums Newsletters


We have sent out a number of newsletters to registered MapForums users over the past several months. They are posted online along with the MP2Kmag Update in the newsletter archive.  

MP2K Magazine Twitter Channel

Interesting news items and updates for MapElves, MapForums, and MP2K Magazine are posted to our twitter channel at http://twitter.com/mp2kmag. Here's the original announcement on MapForums regarding the launch of our twitter channel.

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.

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Articles

Functional Programming with MapPoint and F#: Part 1

The first of two articles by Richard Marsden on MapPoint and F#. Recently released as a full product by Microsoft, F# can be used as a functional language or as an imperative or object-oriented language, and is useful for multi-threaded programming.


"F# is functional language for the .NET framework that is based on OCaml. Originally developed by Microsoft Research (Cambridge), it has recently been released as a full product by Microsoft. Functional programming has been favored by academia for a long time, but it has never expanded beyond niche applications in the commercial world. Although functional programming promises to be safer, the lack of supporting libraries and standard inter-language interfaces has been a major hurdle. F# might prove to be a major force in the adoption of functional programming.

F# programs can easily access the entire .NET framework, and are about as fast as comparable C# programs. F# is also multi-paradigm. It can be used in a functional manner, but it can also be used as an imperative or objective oriented language. This allows you to easily switch to the most appropriate paradigm for the problem at hand."

   More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story 

Calling MapPoint from C# with Late Binding

Richard Marsden shows how to call MapPoint from C# using late binding or dynamic invocation. Late binding has a number of advantages in certain scenarios including being about to support multiple type libraries. 


"There are a number of articles on MP2K Magazine about using MapPoint from a variety of different languages. Most if not all of these articles use early binding to reference the MapPoint COM objects, because this is usually the easiest way of working with COM and it tends to be safer due to compiler checking. Early binding is also slightly faster due to all the references being hard-coded. However there are times when late binding might be more appropriate. This article shows you how to call MapPoint from C# using late binding. Late binding is also known as "dynamic invocation".

What is late binding?

Early and late binding refer to how the code refers to the MapPoint COM objects. Early binding is performed at compile time and is essentially ‘hard-coded’. "

   More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story 
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Pushpin Tool
Working with pushpins in MapPoint? Get the MapPoint 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.


Roll Your Own Commercial Routing System with MapPoint

Matt Fritz shares his experience developing a routing application including discussion of MapPoint's strengths and limitations. The articles includes several screenshots illustrating the various components of the routing application. 


"Everyone is familiar with vehicle routing from point A to point B, perhaps applying additional criteria like ‘highway or scenic’, routing around known construction areas, and perhaps inserting a stop (waypoint) or two along the way. But suppose you needed to route 100 vehicles to 3000 locations where the list of locations changed daily, many locations had a ‘time window’ dictating an acceptable arrival time, the amount of time spent at each waypoint varied, and the total duration of each route needed to be no less than 8 hours but no more than 8 hours.

Commercial vehicle routing adds a bit more complexity to the routing problem. Solving this problem through software as been the elusive brass ring, in part because there is no ‘right’ answer – only a set of ‘best compromises’. Commercial routing systems usually offer a toolbox rather than a black box solution, (regardless of marketing claims to the contrary). Commercial routing is often a partnership of tools and human intervention. "

  More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story

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Programming MapPoint in .NET

Programming MapPoint
in .NET
Chandu Thota's New Book from O'Reilly Press
Free USPS Priority Shipping - $48

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.

Take your MapPoint programming to the next level!


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Shape Name Utility

The Shape Name Utility is a simple utility developed by Richard Marsden that allows a user to examine and/or change the names of MapPoint shapes. This article describes the code and how it works.


"The Shape Name Utility has been released as freeware and as open source under the Berkeley license. An installer, and a source code archive can both be downloaded from the Mapping-Tools.com website at: http://www.mapping-tools.com/shapename/index.shtml

The following source code description can be used as a form of tutorial for those who want to build a MapPoint add-in using Visual Basic 6. As well as Visual Basic 6, the project uses NSIS for building the installer, and Help & Manual for the documentation. NSIS is open source, but Help & Manual is a commercial system. Both are good products, but you do not need either of them in order to build the project and to install it on your development PC. After saying this, it is strongly recommended that you use an installer if you wish to distribute your add-in on multiple PCs."

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GPS and Other New Features in MapPoint 2009

Originally written for Laptop GPS World, this review of MapPoint 2009 focuses on users of GPS navigation. If you have questions about other aspects of this product, please address them to Map Forums.


"In this article I take a look at MapPoint 2009 and outline the major differences compared to MapPoint 2006.

MapPoint 2009 Map data

MapPoint 2009 now has approximately 2 years fresher map data than the previous MapPoint 2006 version. In the North American version of MapPoint 2009, beside the usual USA and Canada data, I now see a huge improvement in Mexico. While the address find feature is still not functional for Mexico, the country now does contain street-level map coverage for even many smaller towns. Are you planning a vacation in Mexico soon? Microsoft MapPoint 2009 is the only GPS product that I'm aware of, that actually does include navigable map data for popular tourist destinations including locations such as Acapulco, Ixtapa, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta."

  More Full article text Discuss Discuss this story


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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