Map Data Introduction

The administration of Maprosoft mostly involves organizing data. This page identifies key concepts relating to data management.

Features, Feature Types and Feature Groups

A Feature can be thought of as a single geographic entity that can be uniquely represented on a map. In Maprosoft, each feature is described by either:

  • a record in a shape file group; OR
  • a placemark in a KML file.

Maprosoft defines a simple XML schema allowing various types of data to be associated with each feature. This metadata includes classification of features into Feature Types and Feature Groups.

When using shape files, the Maprosoft XML data is provided in a file suffixed by .meta.xml. For example, for shape files defining parks - parks.shp, parks.dbf, etc - the Maprosoft XML data would be in a file called parks.meta.xml.

The concepts of Feature Types and Feature Groups are useful for display purposes since they allow for the arrangement of data into and logical hierarchy as illustrated by the following example:

Points of Interest:
  • Libraries
  • Swimming Pools
  • Development Applications
Zones:
  • Parks
  • Garbage Collection
Getting Around:
  • Cycle ways - dedicated
  • Cycle ways - shared
  • Train Stations
  • Railways

In this hierarchy there are three Feature Groups;- Points of Interest, Zones and Getting Around. Each of the indented labels represents a Feature Type.

There is no predefined hierarchy - it is defined within the Maprosoft metadata as provided by the website designers and developers.

Feature Keys

Feature keys are used to help identify features. Each feature imported into Maprosoft can be uniquely referenced by the combination of its feature type and a key. Being able to uniquely reference a feature is useful when creating customised maps or text pages that relate to a specific feature or performs some action on a specific feature such as deriving directions to it.

Ideally, the feature key is defined in a geospatial information system (GIS). This allows features in Maprosoft to be referenced in the same way as they are in external systems. Alternatively, sometimes each feature has a unique name and so the name of the feature can be used as its key. When neither of the above applies, Maprosoft is able to allocate keys that are unique for each type of feature.

Shape File Units and Datum

The shape files must be formatted in geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude) on the World Geodetic System of 1984 (WGS84) datum.