October 03, 2007

ZIP Code Database Created from the 2000 Census Data

A few months ago, I wrote a blog entry describing how you could use ASP.NET AJAX along with the Virtual Earth Map Control to create a web based map application that locates ZIP Code boundaries by drawing a shaded region on the maps surface.  You can view the interactive demo for this here.    The number one comment I received from that post was: That's cool, but where did you get the ZIP Code dataset from? Well ...  I got this data from the U.S Census Bureau's Cartographic web site.  The site contains links that allow you to download the data files for each of the 50 states along with Puerto Rico and District of Columbia.  The data is from the 2000 census, so it is already almost eight years old.  Nevertheless it makes for a pretty good test dataset (if you need a more up to date dataset there are plently of...

Topics: Other , Virtual Earth

August 15, 2007

Virtual Earth Map Control within a ModalPopup

As mentioned in my previous post, I am currently researching different ways my current projects web application can better leverage the Virtual Earth Map Control. Currently, we have a single page buried deep in our sitemap that users can use to view an aerial photo of a particular property.  Users love the mapping feature and have requested that it be made available on more of our screens.  Our applications most heavily used screen allows users to search for real estate that is currently for sale.  The page is setup as a standard search page with a handful of input elements at the top of the page that the user enters parameters into.  When they click search, we run fetch the records that meet their criteria and populate a GridView with the results.  We thought it might be interesting if we could display the Virtual Earth Map as a popup right on this search screen.  To see what this would take I created a sample page that displays the names, address and geo information from...

August 14, 2007

Master/Detail with ASP.NET AJAX and the MS Virtual Earth Control

I was recently working on a research project with the purpose of exploring how ASP.NET AJAX could be combined with Microsoft's Virtual Earth Map Control to implement the common master - details UI pattern.  Our application allows users to browse zip-codes using the Virtual Earth Map Control and we thought it would be useful to display details for the zip-code as it was being hovered over. While investigating this I created a prototype web application that does the following: Renders purple polygons on the VEMap surface representing the following 3 zip-codes: 32224, 32246, and 32256. When the user hovers over the polygons, 2 things happen: The border of the polygon changes to a thicker width.  This is a visual cue meant to inform the user of their action The information displayed in the table to the right of the map updates.  This table displays some high-level demographic and weather statistics. Live Demo | Download Here is a brief explanation of how I accomplished this.  The example...

May 20, 2007

Part II: Simple example of shading zip-code boundaries using Virtual Earth

In the original article, I showed an example of plotting zip-code boundaries using Microsoft Virtual Earth and Ajax.Net.  I received some feedback from John (SoulSolutions) suggesting that the transmission of latitude and longitude points could be optimized by using googles compression algorithm (described here) which exploits that fact that lat/lons can benefit from compression when there is little difference between adjacent lat/longs within a given sequence.  I thought this was an interesting suggestion so I updated the example to include this compression algorithm.  Here is the rundown of the changes that I made: The ZipCodeService now returns an encoded string of lat/lons instead of the original format that had the individual lat/lons comma separated and the pair pipe separated The ZipCode.js file now contains a routine that decodes the result from the ZipCodeService and builds a VELatLong array from the decoded points I pulled over the javascript/C# source provided by John for encoding/decoding the points.  Download Code I used fiddler to check-out the difference in...


Consulting Services

Yep - I also offer consulting services. And heck, I'll do just about anything. If you enjoy my blog just drop me an email describing the work you need done.

Recent Comments

  • TimothyP wrote: I work with tons of developers who haven't even got a clue what Twitter of Facebook is. In fact, it'...
  • Janko wrote: Yes it's strange that people think it's ok to blog at work but consider unethical to use facebook. P...
  • Kam Lagan wrote: Hi Matt, The numbers do seem a little "off" to what you perceived the community would be like. But...
  • Siderite wrote: You're kidding me! So the people that don't blog think it is ok to blog at work (maybe because they ...
  • Guy Harwood wrote: Good to see the results. one typo.... 'What best describes your current job title?' appears twice,...
  • sirrocco wrote: One problem with : DEV I DEV II DEV III was that I didn't know what it meant :( .(is it common ...
  • Jack wrote: How many person fill the survery? Blog is very common, so I don't think 71.5% is high. Maybe our bos...
  • Andy wrote: Done. The developer1, developer2 question - not sure how meaningful the results are going to be for ...