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Starting out in FLEX

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#1
Paige St. John

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We're trying to make the leap from ArcMap to interactive web mapping for our newspaper. We have Illustrator and Flex in house, but no skills on using these to deploy custom maps.

What do we need to start? Tutorials? Books? Gurus?
And essential software?

Thanks
Paige St. John
Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune

#2
dsl

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Flex can be used a couple of different ways, either through purchasing FlexBuilder/pro or downloading the free Flex SDK and using the FlashDevelop Open source project. The disadvantage of FlashDevelop is there is no layout view so you have to control the layout of the components strictly through mxml. MXML is essentially xml and pertains to the layout of the components in Flex. ActionScript (2,3) is used for the programming. It is an object oriented language, but is not as powerful as say c# (IMHO). Adobe has already put together a few good tutorials: 1, 2, and 3. Perhaps the easiest way to creat an interactive map would be to use the Flash/Flex/AIR component for the Google Maps API.

I'm not sure about creating your own WMS for Flex, but these options might help: here and here.

I created an example of loading a shapefile in Adobe Air (the desktop flavor of Flex) and placing it on a google map. Loading a shapefile from the desktop with AIR versus loading a file from the web with Flex is different, however the parsing should be the same. Be sure to check out licensing if you use the varijkom.

Hope that helps,
David

#3
Matthew Hampton

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Great thread! It looks like it will take at least a week to learn Flex. :huh:

I found another resource that might help on ESRI's ArcGIS Server resources page.

One of the slickest Flex implementations I have seen thus far comes from Greeley, CO and their Property Info Map, but the gates are just opening.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#4
ceicher

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Hi,

Tutorials for the ESRI Flex API (within the link above, but can be hard to find):

http://resources.esr...de_overview.htm

I also second the above recommendation of the Adobe Flex video tutorial series. Massive amount of information there, and well done.

http://www.adobe.com.../videotraining/

Good luck,

-Cory

#5
Paige St. John

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Thanks ... we'll see where I'm at in a week with Flex Builder
Where I'm stumping my toe immediately is moving a shapefile through Illustrator and preserving the appropriate attributes to tag individual polygons with unique data, or locate X/Y coordinates.
Alas, Google Earth and ArcGis are not options, though they can teach me a lot about MXML coding once I'm past this first hump.
Cheers

Paige St. John / Sarasota

#6
dsl

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Birdeye Geovis has the code to parse a shapefile with Actionscript, as well as other nice features. This will retain all the attributes without having to go through illustrator.

These are the other classes that parse a shapefile, while I haven't used Birdeye those classes seem more logical than these.

#7
MapMedia

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Thanks ... we'll see where I'm at in a week with Flex Builder
Where I'm stumping my toe immediately is moving a shapefile through Illustrator and preserving the appropriate attributes to tag individual polygons with unique data, or locate X/Y coordinates.
Alas, Google Earth and ArcGis are not options, though they can teach me a lot about MXML coding once I'm past this first hump.
Cheers

Paige St. John / Sarasota


Where are you now with your project?

ESRI should provide an easier way to export a map to an interactive web format (turn layers on/off, attribute popups).

#8
Garvan

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If you are already using Illustrator, then MAPublisher could be helpful, the Web Author feature will export Illustrator documents to interactive flash maps.Essentially, we provide a way to export a map from Illustrator to SWF that has pan, zoom, layer control, and (most importantly) attributes. You can then use our built-in interactivity, or roll your own using scripting.

Since you are interested in scripting, you would want to look at the Javascript API (which you could call from Actionscript/Flex), and the CSS examples.

Details on the feature: http://www.avenza.co...er/mapwebauthor
The example maps pretty much cover all the concepts.
Garvan Keeley
Software Development Manager
Avenza Systems Inc.

#9
l.jegou

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Hello, you can also check the OpenScales project, based on a Flash/Flex port of OpenLayers :

http://www.openscales.org

OpenScales cannot read GIS files directly, but can connect to spatial web services (WMS/WFS). Or you can convert the shapesfiles to XML and use them directly. (For such a test i converted the shp to json using ogr2ogr then json to XML).




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