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Archive for the ‘MapText’ Category

MapText Label-EZ – Part 1

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 7, 2008

One of the most time consuming aspects of creating a map is creating the labels. Yet, to be honest, labels are probably one of the most important pieces of most maps. Now, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that the native labeling tools inside of GeoMedia 6.0 leave “something to be desired”. Before going any further, I did want to note that the labeling tools inside of 6.1 are better…but they still leave a lot to be desired. So outside of the native GeoMedia labeling tools (and a lot of manual user interaction), what else is out there to make the labeling job easier? MapText’s Label-EZ, Label-Edit, and as of very recently, Geolabel.

Label-EZ is MapText’s flagship product. You can think of it in a way as GeoMedia’s native labeling tools on some really strong (and I mean strong) steroids. A Label-EZ job is divided into two components

  1. Specification file – This is where you define the layers to be labeled, the attribute columns that will be used for the label contents, the scale of the map, where to place the text (output warehouse), the style properties of the labels for each feature class, along with many other settings.
  2. Configuration file – This is where you set the rules on how to label each feature class you’ve defined in the specification file. And let me tell you, there are quite a few rules you can modify to fine-tune the labeling for any feature class on the map. Here are a few screenshots of the LabelConfig utility (the utility used to create and modify the configuration file)

config1

 

config2

config3

config4

From taking a fast look at the screenshots, you can fairly easily tell that there are a ton of options. Now although there are a ton of options, MapText includes very helpful inline help so that you know what each option does either before or as it’s selected. Furthermore, the product is delivered with a 150 page manual that goes into even more detail. Additionally, MapText delivers a few “common” templates that can be selected for general labeling of different types of features. For instance, for area features, you have the option of four different templates:

  1. Parks
  2. Parcels
  3. Curving-Placement
  4. Parks-with-Leadering

Here’s a description of the parks template:

This template will exhaustively attempt to place the text inside, outside, or partially inside the park.

To be continued….

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Posted in GeoMedia 6.1, MapText | 14 Comments »

MapText Label-Web

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 3, 2008

When I first heard about Label-Web probably four years ago, I really thought it was a must-have application. Back then, if I recall correctly, the native GeoMedia WebMap labeling wasn’t available. So, outside of creating the labels for the site manually, there was absolutely no way to get a GMWM site labeled. And even if you created the labels manually, since a web site has a endless number of different views, you really couldn’t do a decent job of labeling the map on the screen in all instances. Not to mention, there’s a giant overhead in creating the different labels for the different scales, the labels constantly need to be updated, etc.

Back with the release of GeoMedia WebMap 5.2 (I believe), Intergraph introduce the annotation rule (I think that’s the correct name). Anyhow this object can be called when writing a custom GeoMedia WebMap site and will do an alright job of labeling the map. So…when Intergraph introduced the annotation rule I was excited. Finally a way to get my maps labeled without having to maintain a myriad of text feature classes. But alas, the annotation rule does NOT work with GeoMedia WebMap Publisher. Now, for the life of me, I have NO idea why it hasn’t been integrated in GMWM Publisher…but it’s not. So, once I decided to go with GeoMedia WebMap, I needed to once again figure out how to get my GeoMedia WebMap Publisher maps labeled without maintaining the text feature classes. As it turns out Label-Web works with GeoMedia WebMap Publisher. Better yet – it’s extremely easy to integrate it into any WebPub site. Better yet, the output it produces is fantastic. Although I’ve only played with it for maybe an hour, I got it working against the WPDemo site in the Overview map under the General section. Here’s a sample of very simple output that’s been generated with Label-Web:

labelweb1

labelweb2

labelweb3

The setup is quite easy. You just need to place the rule file in the System folder of the WebPub site. They deliver a very nice rule editor that allows you to control how the map is labeled, what features are labeled, etc. There’s very little learning curve and the results are really tremendous.

A couple of final notes:

  1. Although the labels are being generated dynamically, the labeling engine is extremely efficient. As a result there is VERY little time (way under a second) that’s added to the map generation process.
  2. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to compare the output from GeoMedia WebMap’s annotation rule to the output from Label-Web. As you’d expect the output is better…much better. The annotation rule does an alright job of labeling the map. And to be honest, if you aren’t going to be using WebPub at all, you might be able to get by just with the native GMWM labeling. However if you are going to be using WebPub, this piece of software really is a must have.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph, MapText | 5 Comments »