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Example: Exporting a Shaded Area Map

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This example shows you how to use MPExporter to export a shaded area data map. The example uses a US County Population map, us_county_pop.ptm which can be found in the MPExporter examples file:

 

http://www.mpexporter.com/downloads/examples_mpexporter.zip

 

Note that this file requires MapPoint North America 2013. The map looks like this:

 

us_county_pop_mp

 

Note that in order to create a shaded area map, MPExporter requires the area shape definitions (counties in this example). MPExporter currently only ships with the area definitions for the USA. We would really like to add other areas and countries, but the main issue is that of finding a suitable source. Please let us know if you would like this functionality and can provide the shapes in a suitable format and with suitable distribution/copyright permission.

 

Shaded areas are also only available with the Professional License. MPExporter will use 'dot' pushpins for areas if you are running the Basic License, or if you are trying to plot geographic areas that MPExporter does not have the shapes for.

 

To export this data, display the main MPExporter panel by selecting MPExporter... on the MapPoint Tools menu:

 

mainpanel_kml

 

Here we are using KML for the output. Be aware that the web map options (Bing Maps and Google Maps) can have problems with very large files. This is a county map of the entire US, so we expect the file to be very large. Select the Output File. This is usually easier by pressing the "..." button to display the standard Windows File dialog box.

 

You can override the area / pushpin behavior described above using the Output all area datasets as points. We shall keep this check box clear.

 

Press Export to start the export process. This will take a few seconds. The resulting KML file is 17MB in size, and looks like this in Google Earth:

 

us_county_pop_kml

 

The thick white lines are merely a function of Google Earth's rendering. Here is a zoomed-in view of the north east:

 

us_county_pop_kml_zoom

 

The same data as points (pushpins), looks like this in KML:

 

us_county_pop_kml_pins

 

These pushpins are white circles that have been colored to match the original shaded area dataset. Each pushpin also includes all of the available data fields as 'description' text (aka 'balloons'). Neither Google Maps nor Bing Maps support this 'colored pushpin' feature, so they will both show white circles for all pushpins. However, the data fields will still be present in the pop-up description 'balloons'.

 

The SVG option differs in that it will draw these points as actual shaded circles. SVG does not support the concept of "pushpin balloons", so the data fields are not listed.