Map Suite 5.0 has arrived — downloads are available immediately.
Over the last few months, we've been hard at work of the next major milestone release of the Map Suite family of GIS developer products, and today, we're proud to present Map Suite 5.0 to you. It's filled with the enhancements that you've requested, new features and bug fixes, all of which come together to make this a great time to upgrade. And you can do so immediately, with downloads available for both evaluation and licensed users. Before we talk about what's new, here's how to get Map Suite 5.0:
- To update your evaluation edition, simply download and install a new copy from our Evaluation Downloads page.
- If you've purchased your Map Suite product(s), login to the Customer Portal to download an updated licensed copy.
You can install Map Suite 5.0 alongside earlier versions; as per our usual release strategy, we've included both strong-named and weak-named assembles so that you have the flexibility to choose how you want to develop. For more information on this strategy and the ramifications of choosing strong-named or weak-named assemblies, please see this earlier blog entry.
What's new in Map Suite 5.0?
Map Suite 5.0 includes not only a wide variety of bug fixes and stability improvements, but also some standout new features. We'd like to discuss a few of the top features that you'll enjoy as part of your upgrade to version 5.0. You'll find them below, organized by product. Please keep in mind that features in Map Suite Services Edition can also be found in all of our other Map Suite development components and controls, which are built around the Services Edition core.
Map Suite Services Edition (Features Common to All Map Suite Editions)
- Added support for creating GRID files using interpolation.
We've added an API through which you can create GRID files, a raster-based file format that defines a geographic space as an array of equally-sized squares (cells) arranged in rows and columns. Using a point-based shapefile, Map Suite 5.0 can create a GRID based on values in the shapefile's data using Inverse Weighted Distance Interpolation. To show you exactly how this works, we've put together a helpful code sample that you can download from the ThinkGeo Wiki.
- Added support for creating map legends.
In Map Suite 5.0, we've introduced a new API that lets you create map legends. Now it's easy to dress up your maps with intuitive legends and keys, which are fully customizable from their size and position to their backgrounds, font styles and much more. Best of all, if you just need to get started quickly, you can have an attractive legend up and running in just a few lines of code.
- Added support for reading and saving PRJ files.
We now have an API that can parse and convert Proj WKT to Proj4 projection strings. This allows you to read the projection information from shapefiles that have accompanying .prj files for easy use with our Proj4Projection class. We have also added APIs to create Proj WTK from Srids so you can save projection information to .prj files.
- Added FDO extension for 64-bit environments.
The Feature Data Objects (FDO) extension enables users to work with a wide variety of data file formats in Map Suite. The FDO extension that we bundled with previous versions of Map Suite had some compatibility issues with 64-bit operating systems. Map Suite 5.0 now includes a new 64-bit FDO extension to make development easier.
- Added native support for TAB files.
Now Map Suite 5.0 can handle TAB files natively without the need to use the FDO extension. This will make working with TAB files easier, more stable and with less hassles than before.
- Added Bing Maps layer.
Map Suite 5.0 now includes a native Bing Maps layer. Similar to the GoogleMapsLayer that we added in an earlier release, you can now use the Bing Maps API to display map data and satellite imagery from Bing Maps within your Map Suite projects.
- Added WrapDatelineMode property with support for projections.
We have added a new property that allows your maps to pan east and west across the International Date Line. This property was first added recently as part of the development branch of Map Suite, and it has now been thoroughly tested and promoted to the final release of Map Suite 5.0. We also have a Code Sample in the ThinkGeo wiki that will demonstrate this behavior in both Decimal Degrees (Lat/Long) and the Spherical Mercator (Google/Bing Maps) projection. Download it here.
- Plus, check out the Map Suite Services Edition 5.0 Change Log for the full list of over 80 enhancements and bug fixes.
Map Suite Desktop Edition
- Added Bing Maps Overlay.
Map Suite Desktop Edition 5.0 now includes a native Bing Maps overlay. Similar to the GoogleMapsOverlay that we added in an earlier release, you can now use the Bing Maps API to display map data and satellite imagery from Bing Maps within your Map Suite projects. This special overlay is different from the Bing Maps layer (also new in Map Suite 5.0) as it has been designed specifically for optimum performance in the Desktop Edition.
- Added a GetBitmap method.
We have added a simple way to get a bitmap, of any custom size, that reflects the image on the map. By calling the GetBitmap API on the map and passing in a height and width for the resulting bitmap, you can now generate an image that has the same features as the control.
- Plus, check out the Map Suite Desktop Edition 5.0 Change Log for the full list of over 90 enhancements and bug fixes.
Map Suite WPF Desktop Edition
Map Suite Web Edition
- Upgraded to OpenLayers 2.10.
- Upgraded Google Maps API to version 3.
We are now using version 3 of the Google Maps API in Map Suite Web Edition. This version of the API has been reworked by Google to provide a smaller footprint and faster loading speeds, especially on mobile devices, and no longer requires an API key.
- Added support for iOS touch events, including scrolling and pinch zooming.
Maps you create with Map Suite Web Edition 5.0 now support touch events on Apple's iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad. You can scroll maps using simple touch gestures and pinch to zoom in or out.
- Plus, check out the Map Suite Web Edition 5.0 Change Log for the full list of over 90 enhancements and bug fixes.
Map Suite Silverlight Edition
- Added client side Bing Maps support.
Applications built with Map Suite Silverlight Edition 5.0 can now utilize Bing Maps data and imagery at the client side, working similarly to the already existing Google Maps capability.
- Natively integrated the Proj4 projection library.
We have ported the Proj4 projection library to Silverlight so that you can now apply projections to client side drawn victory feature layers. This allows you to render client side shapefiles using any projection the Proj4 library supports. As a result, it's now easier than ever to provide rich, client side, Internet-based maps using Silverlight.
- Resynchronized the Map Suite and Silverlight Edition core libraries.
Map Suite Silverlight Edition uses a special version of the Map Suite core library. We have resynchronized these libraries so that Silverlight Edition users can enjoy all of the features and enhancements in the latest, most up-to-date version of the Map Suite core (based on Services Edition 5.0).
- Plus, check out the Map Suite Silverlight Edition 5.0 Change Log for the full list of over 105 enhancements and bug fixes.
Map Suite WMS Server Edition
Map Suite Geocoder
- Added more caching to increase lookup performance.
Map Suite Geocoder 5.0 now caches information at additional levels to improve lookup performance and return matches more quickly.
- Added query support for alternate street names.
We've greatly enhanced the street dataset included with Map Suite Geocoder to provide a vast array of alternate street names, making it easier to locate results based on a wider variety of known aliases for streets. This makes the included dataset much more robust for street address lookups.
- Plus, check out the Map Suite Geocoder 5.0 Change Log for the full list of over 85 enhancements and bug fixes.
Map Suite Routing Extension
- Routing results can now be a single line shape or multiple line shapes.
Prior to Map Suite Routing 5.0, all routes were output as multiple line shapes. You may have noticed that this produced undesirable results when you used a semitransparent line style for your routes, as each segment of the route would appear to overlap slightly and emphasize segment joints. Now, in version 5.0, you can output your route as a single line for a cleaner and more efficient look.
- Added a GenerateRoutableShapefile method to create routable shapefiles.
Now you can generate a routable shapefile directly without the need to build an .rtg index, using the new built-in method GenerateRoutableShapeFile.
- Plus, check out the Map Suite Routing 5.0 Change Log for the full list of over 80 enhancements and bug fixes.
Don't forget to check out the ThinkGeo Wiki for complete API change logs and lots of other in-depth information about the Map Suite product(s) you're using.
Sample Map Suite 5.0's New Features
We've begun posting new code samples on the ThinkGeo Wiki that demonstrate several of the most requested new features in Map Suite 5.0 and show you how to get them working in your own projects. The following samples are currently available:
- Wrap Dateline Mode with Projection
In this WPF project, we show a new property of Overlay, WrapDatelineMode, which allows you to continuously pan west or east across the International Date Line. Now it is fully supported in Map Suite 5.0!
- Create GRID
In this example, we'll create a GRID using a point-based shapefile that represents soil pH values of some sample locations in a field. Using the Inverse Weighted Distance algorithm for interpolation, we create a GRID file with the pH value for the entire extent of the field.
- Show a Legend
This code sample will show you how to display a simple map legend using the new and improved LegendAdornmentLayer. The improved LegendAdornmentLayer is new to the Map Suite 5.0 release and provides an easy-to-use API for creating legend adornments.
- Native TAB File Support
One of the most exciting new features in Map Suite 5.0 is native TAB file support. In the past, the FDO extension was used for displaying TAB files in Map Suite. Now with the new TabFeatureLayer, we have a simpler and more stable method of working with TAB files.
- Projection by Analyzing .PRJ File
This project demonstrates how to use the new ConvertPrjToProj4 function to dynamically project shapefiles based on the contents of their .prj file, one of the most requested new features in Map Suite 5.0. You can now build applications that allow users to dynamically add shapefiles with various projections and reproject them dynamically at runtime.
Map Suite development is already continuing, with an eye toward the next major milestone release, Map Suite 5.5, this coming fall. We're also hard at work on some new professional-grade GIS products and initiatives that we hope to showcase in the near future. Keep your eye on this blog for the latest news as soon as it becomes available, follow us on Twitter or friend us on Facebook to get the latest Map Suite information in your timeline.
Don't forget to check out our Enhancement Tracker to vote for or tell us about the features you want to see in the next release of Map Suite. Did the feature you want not make it into Map Suite 5.0? Don't worry -- we may yet include it in a future release! Let us know how important a feature is to you by adding your voice to its discussion topic in the Map Suite Enhancement Discussion forum.
In the meantime, please enjoy working with Map Suite 5.0 and feel free to post your comments, questions and remarks on this topic, or send them to us directly at email@example.com.
Thanks for choosing Map Suite,
The ThinkGeo Team