image eSpatial built a demonstration of their iSmart application leveraging Microsoft Virtual Earth to allow GIS Developers the ability to render, modify and save GIS information into a server-based database. The demonstration has a super simple user interface based completely on JavaScript and simple HTML.

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There are two sets of controls one for displaying information and the other for editing.

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The obvious requirements for maneuvering maps are included with such as Dragpan which will move you layers around, then move the map underneath so it remains aligned with your date. The layer control allows you to see available layers that you can then overlay – a simple check box turns the layers on and off. Withing the layers, you can turn each respective layer on/off, make the shapes editable and/or allow for the display of the labels. The arrows allow users to select a specific feature unselect that feature. And, clicking the ‘I’ icon displays the textual metadata tied to a specific feature.

Now, for the fun stuff…the editing controls. Their controls allow for me to edit my data right here on the web page. SUPER EASY and almost no overhead! Here are the full instructions I pasted from their help file to aid in using the editing controls. Try it. You’ll like it.

The Feature Information window enables you to view and edit attribute information.

The version of this in the prototype is currently simplified.

The Edit button to edit the attribute information is not yet provided in the prototype.

1 clip_image001Digitize, clip_image002Confirm

Click on clip_image001[1] [Digitize] to show the digitizing tools:

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A SUBSET OF THESE ARE PROVIDED IN THE PROTOTYPE

This is used to draw new geometries or features on a map.

The multi-digitize options allow you to create multi-geometry features including multi-line features, multi-polygon features and donut polygons.

To digitize a single polyline or polygon feature:

1. Click on clip_image001[2].

2. Left click on the map at the start point and continue adding points as necessary.

3. To close a polyline click the clip_image004Close Polyline button to close the polyline. This creates a new point on top of the starting point of the feature.

4. Confirm the feature by a Right click, or click onclip_image002[1] confirm the drawing.

To digitize a single label, point or symbol feature:

1. Click on clip_image001[3].

2. Left click to place the feature at the specified point. 

3. If the “Auto-Confirm on digitize of Label, Point & Symbol ” setting is turned on in User Settings, the Confirm panel will appear on left clicking to place the feature.  If this setting is not turned on in User Settings, then right click to confirm or click on clip_image002[2]confirm the drawing.

To digitize multiple polygons or polylines:

1. This will create a series of disjoint polygons or polylines.

2. Click on clip_image005.

3. Click on the map at the start point and continue adding points as necessary. Note: arcs are not supported for these multi-geometry features.

4. To close a polyline click the clip_image004[1]Close Polyline button. This creates a new point on top of the starting point of the feature.

5. Right click to move onto the next feature.

6. When digitizing polygons, if the next feature is inside the previous feature, the second feature will be saved as a hole and the two geometries will create a donut polygon.

7. Double right click, or click onclip_image002[3] confirm the drawing.

Confirm and save the edits

1. Clicking to confirm the drawing will open the Feature Information window. Here you can edit some of the feature information and then click on the Confirm button once you are satisfied with the entries.

THIS IS NOT YET PROVIDED IN THE PROTYPE.

2. Click on the Save icon to save your changes to the database, or Clear if you don't want to save.

3. This completes the current editing session.

2 clip_image006Snap Window

While digitizing or editing features on a map, turning the snapping option on allows you to snap the vertices of a new or existing feature to an existing feature’s vertices on the map.  There are different snap options available.

Click on clip_image006[1][Snap Window] to display the Snap options panel.

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2.1 Snapping Mode

2.1.1 Continuous

Selecting the Continuous button means that the snap settings set will remain the same for the duration of your browser session.

2.1.2 Single Use

Selecting the Single Use button means that the snap settings apply to the current edit session.  Once the Save All Edits button or Clear All Edits button is clicked snapping is switched off.

2.1.3 Off

Selecting Off means that snapping is off. Snapping is turned off by default.

2.2 Snap To Existing Features

2.2.1 clip_image008Snap Start and End points

The snapping function will attempt to snap to the nearest point from the Start and End points in the geometries of the features within the tolerance of the mouse cursor. This method will ONLY consider start and end points in the features. 

2.2.2 clip_image009Snap All Vertices

The snapping function will attempt to snap to the nearest point from ANY of the points in the geometries of the features within the tolerance of the mouse cursor. This method will consider start and end points in the features as well as all the other vertices. 

2.2.3 clip_image010Snap Mid Points

The snapping function will attempt to snap to the nearest mid-point in the geometries of the features within the tolerance of the mouse cursor. This method will not consider the actual vertices, but rather a new point mid-way between two vertices. 

2.2.4 clip_image011Snap Projected points

The snapping function will attempt to snap to the nearest projected point in the geometries of the features within the tolerance of the mouse cursor. This method will not consider the actual vertices, but rather a new point projected onto the Geometry from the current point.

2.2.5 clip_image012Center Points

The snapping function will attempt to snap to the center point (of a polygon or point) in the geometries of the features within the tolerance of the mouse cursor.

2.3 Snap From Features Being Drawn

2.3.1 clip_image013Snap Start and End Vertices

This option will attempt to snap the start and end vertices of the feature being created or edited.

2.3.2 clip_image014Snap All Vertices

This option will attempt to snap all vertices of the feature being created or edited.

2.4 Tolerance

Tolerance is set as a screen percentage unless you are specifying a value, which indicates a manual snapping distance. With a Tolerance of 0 there will be no snapping.

If the tolerance value is removed from the call the default value will become 2% of the map width, and snapping will occur to the nearest other point within this radius.

In order to specify a manual snapping distance, a value in real world units is required to be set into the tolerance field. It is important to know exactly what the projection system units are.

2.5 Auto-Trace

Omitted from this note as this is advanced functionality

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2.6 Snappable Layers

This option allows you to get the snap locations for all layers or a chosen layer.  Choose All to retrieve the snap locations for all layers or choose a layer from the drop down list to retrieve the snap locations for a specific layer.

2.7 Retrieve Snapping Locations

Once you have set the snapping options required click the Retrieve Snapping Locations button.

2.8 Using Snapping

While digitizing or editing a feature with snapping turned on, and the cursor is within the specified tolerance of an existing feature, the potential snap locations are displayed by an unfilled black circle.  In order to see the snap locations, stop the mouse in the area where you would like to snap - after a 1/4 second delay you will see the snap locations within tolerance. If the snap locations currently on screen do not display the snap location required continue to move the cursor until the appropriate location is available and then click the left mouse button.

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As you move the mouse the snapping locations display will be updated.

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The current snap mode for Snap to Existing Features is displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the map - See Figure below

3 clip_image017Insert a Vertex

Note: you must first select a feature on the map, using the select tool to use this functionality.

Click the Insert Vertex button and the selected feature will be displayed with projected vertices appearing midway between each actual vertex. These projected vertices are highlighted with a grey circle. Click (or click and drag) one of the projected vertices. Release the mouse button and the vertex is then created. As this happens, two new vertices are projected on either side of the new vertex. Click on clip_image018Save to commit your changes.

4 clip_image019Delete a Vertex

Note: you must first select a feature on the map, using the select tool to use this functionality.

Click the Delete Vertex button and the selected feature(s) will be displayed with its vertices highlighted with red circles. You must use CTRL+Left Click on any of the red circles to delete the vertex. The vertex is removed and the polyline/polygon is updated. Click on clip_image018[1]Save to commit your changes.

5 clip_image020Power Vertex

Note: you must first select a feature on the map, using the select tool to use this functionality.

Click the Power Vertex button and the selected feature(s) will be displayed with its vertices highlighted with red circles as well as projected vertices appearing midway between each actual vertex. It is possible to insert, delete, multi-delete or move vertices in the same manner as each separate mode described above. It is also possible to edit an arc in this mode by clicking on the red circle on the arc and dragging it to the new location for the arc.  To remove an arc double click on the red circle of the arc and the arc will be replaced with a line joining the two end vertices. Click on clip_image018[2]Save to commit your changes.

6 clip_image021Delete (Features)

In order to delete a feature you must first select the feature using the Select tool. If you have selected multiple features you may also delete multiple features. Now simply click on the Delete Feature button and click on the clip_image018[3]Save button.

7 clip_image022Move (Features)

In order to move a feature you must first select the feature using the Select tool. If you have selected multiple features you may also move multiple features.

Click on this icon, and now click on the feature you wish to move - it will be highlighted. Now simply left click and drag the feature to its new location. Once you are satisfied with its positioning release the mouse button and click on the clip_image018[4]Save button.

8 clip_image023Undo (Last Edit)

Selecting the Undo Last Edit button clears the last edit from the map. If digitizing a feature involves multiple edits, then it will undo the last of these edits. This can be repeated to undo several edits.

9 clip_image024Redo (Last Undone Edit)

Selecting the Redo Last Undone Edit button adds back the last cleared edit from the map. This can be repeated to redo several edits.

10 clip_image025Clear (All Edits)

Selecting the Clear All Edits button clears all edits from the map.

11 clip_image018[5]Save (All Edits)

Selecting the Save All Edits button saves all edits made on the map. If the edits are unconfirmed the following pop up will be displayed.

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If this occurs, you can click Cancel and then right click on screen or select the Confirm Drawing button in the digitizing window to confirm your changes.

This will open the Feature Information window.

Once you have updated all the attributes click on the confirm button on the confirm form. At this point clicking on the Save All Edits button will save all edits.

There’s a lot to this, so you can download the entire help file from my SkyDrive site.

CP