Wednesday, 14 December 2011

My 2010 MapGuide/FDO Wishlist: Revisited

Around this same time last year, I made a wishlist for MapGuide and FDO. As this year has passed along, that wishlist somehow slowly transformed into my personal to-do list :P So how did things turn out 365 days later?


1. A desktop-based variant of the Geospatial Platform API

Yep, and mg-desktop is it's name. Last year, I had a faint idea of how this would flesh out. Now it's fully realized.

2. A HTML5/Flash/Silverlight vector viewer with offline support

My desire for this type of viewer at the time was predicated on the lack of a viewer like in MapGuide 6.5 that can operate with limited to no MapGuide Server connectivity. mg-desktop has solved this particular need for me, so my desire for such a viewer is no longer there.

Still if we want to have a HTML5 viewer, this may be a good starting point. The examples work on local SHP files (Sheboygan Parcels actually renders quite snappy), but this can probably be extended to a common feature model (allowing support for other spatial data formats) and then start trickling in support for MapGuide's rendering/stylization rules.

As for Flash or Sliverlight, I'm not even gonna go there. HTML5 is capable enough IMO. A plugin-free world is a beautiful one.

3. A scalable Fusion Legend widget

Yep, Fusion no longer sucks

4. A way to preserve tile sets

Still not there, but anyone affected by this problem knows about it and has probably come to accept it as a minor inconvenience.

5. Feature Write capabilities for the mapagent

GeoREST is still the way to go here. Given this is part of AIMS 2012 as a technology preview, perhaps this  will be integrated into MapGuide proper in the future?

6. A DWG FDO Provider

Still nothing here sadly.


1. A way to use the FDO API in languages other than C++/.net in a multi-platform manner

In my current line of thinking, mg-desktop is the way to go. It already uses/wraps FDO and is already developed in a way that facilitates easy generation of SWIG bindings. I just have to overcome my fear of gcc and automake and their cryptic error messages :P

2. Champion SQLite as the goto flat-file format for FDO

An emphatic yes on this one. The SQLite FDO provider is getting all the new FDO goodies nowadays. It was the first provider to get the new FDO Join APIs, thus allowing the Feature Join optimization shortcut to become possible.

3. A FDO provider for MapGuide

Nothing's changed here.

4. Consistent Schema Naming Conventions

This leaky abstraction is a small annoyance for anyone who wants to write provider independent code. If you have to write provider-specific code paths (FDO Toolbox had to employ quite a few), it just highlights some of the failings of FDO as an abstraction layer for spatial data access. Sadly, nothing's changed here.

5. Parametric Capabilities

Still nothing's changed here. Of course if ODBC and OGR don't expose capabilities of their own that are translatable to FDO's capabilities, then this leaky abstraction is one we'll just have to live with.

6. Android/iPhone support

Given Autodesk's recent focus on having mobile versions of everything known to man, this may look like a possibility. But you know Autodesk, I'm just staring at an opaque crystal ball here :-)

No comments: