Friday, 17 June 2016

Announcing: vscode-map-preview 0.4.0

Today I pushed out a new version (0.4.0) of the vscode-map-preview extension. You might have already gotten a prompt from Visual Studio Code to auto-update to this version.

Here's some new features in this version.

Configuration Options

This version adds a bucket-load of configuration options around:
  • Controlling the style of vector features in your preview layer
  • Controlling the style of selected features in your preview layer
  • Controlling the display of the mouse coordinate tracker
  • Controlling the default base layer to use
Once saved to your user settings, these updated settings take effect on the next preview

Preview (with specific projection)

When previewing a file format, the source project can generally be inferred. For example, KML will always be EPSG:4326, for GeoJSON it should figure it out if you have a crs property on there.

But then you have formats like Well-Known Text (WKT), which we can render a preview of, but without proper contextual information such as projection, the data may not be placed where you expect it to be.

For example if we preview WKT as-is:

Because there is no projection context in the data itself, the coordinates are assumed to already be in EPSG:3857, and means the point lies just off the shores of Null Island, which in actuality, the above coordinates are actually supposed to be EPSG:4326 and is supposed to be the central business district of Melbourne, Australia.

To fix this, we need a way to declare that the data we're previewing is actually of a specific projection, which is what the new Map Preview (with projection) command gives us. It's just like the regular Map Preview command, but provides an input prompt for entering the proper EPSG code for this data.

Which will then be used as the projection of the data about to be previewed, ensuring the data is placed at the right location.

As an aside, you can put away that SQL Server Management Studio. VSCode with this extension is way more quicker and lightweight way for easy WKT visualization.

One caveat is that for this new command the only supported projections are:

  • EPSG:4326
  • EPSG:3857
I'll need to add custom projection support in order to be able to add support for more projections beyond the above two projections.

Other Changes

This version includes fixes to allow for subsequent map previews to work better and fixes various CSS issue with the map preview.

If you haven't already, check out and install the extension on the Visual Studio marketplace.

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