Thursday, 7 August 2008

...and now for something completely different (ok, not really)

One of the main features I am currently researching and hoping to get into a future release of FDO Toolbox is the ability to visually preview FDO data sources.

The prime motivation for such a feature is that since we are working with geospatial data, there should be some way to see what the data actually looks like. This can pave the way for even more interesting features.

So one day (yesterday). I was playing around with good ol' SharpMap to see if I could get it to render data via FDO, after a day and bit of hacking around, the result is available here for your consumption.

To build the sample, build the SharpMapFdo.sln with Visual Studio 2005/2008 or msbuild and copy all the files in Thirdparty/Fdo to the output directory. Then run the TestApp.exe

Some notes about the FDO SharpMap data provider:

1. Only vector data source support has been implemented. Expect the unexpected if you init a VectorLayer with a raster FDO provider.

2. Due to the limitations of the SharpMap library, vector data sources must satisfy the following criteria:
  • The class to be rendered must be a feature class.
  • The feature class must have only one identity property and it must be either Int16, Int32 or Int64
3. This is only a proof of concept. Expect the thing to break and sometimes, break spectacularly.

4. I am aware of v2.0 being in development, but I chose the 0.9 branch because its code and interfaces are stable and simpler to comprehend. It was easier to implement a FDO data provider for the 0.9 branch than the 2.0 branch, whose APIs may still be in flux.

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