MAPublisher Web Author - Flash capabilities
Posted 25 July 2009 - 02:47 PM
Posted 25 July 2009 - 05:08 PM
Keep in mind that the Mapublisher Web Author tool creates an.swf file that can't be edited or developed in Flash, because the source-code is proprietary. This means you're limited to the functionality of the Mapublisher Author tool. I highly recommend developing your maps directly in Flash.
Why would Avenza do that?
Posted 25 July 2009 - 06:10 PM
For some providing the source code of their application depends on the companies policies, return on investment, beliefs in opensource etc...
Posted 25 July 2009 - 06:22 PM
Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:56 AM
lots of good questions here, I'll try to address them.
Writing to the .fla format would be great, as it would provide easy edibility in Flash. This is a closed format, and Adobe has no solutions for third parties to write to this.
Overall, the goals for the Web Author:
- the map is designed in MAPublisher
- the type of metadata the map will require is prepared using MAPublisher
Some key future goals
- handle larger maps
- easier dynamic updating of data
- dynamic styling of the features based on the above
Currently, dynamic updating requires the user to write a server-side script that periodically updates values in the Web Author xml file. The upcoming version provides an additional method by pulling from web services. More methods are in the works.
Where does Flash fit in? You can modify the appearance of a swf in Flash (although you would probably just do this in AI and export to swf), you could design swfs that get layered over the map, you could have swfs that load in the existing callout bubbles. However, you can't create new forms of interactivity other than what we provide. We are looking at solutions for the future for Flash integration. We recognize that there are certain users who need complete control over the appearance and interactivity of their web maps, and we will likely have too hook into Flash in some way for this.
We are close to a beta of this next release, so if you are interested in a beta, contact Avenza support and let them know. Please let us know what it is you are trying to accomplish in Flash that you can't do with the current tool. Um, wait, actually, do that after you have seen the next release. Is it a design issue -perhaps you can do it in Illustrator? Is it an interactivity issue -perhaps we are missing an event in our API? If you feel some area of our solution is too closed, let us know that too.
It may be possible to license the source to our Flex component, but in most cases it is easier to contact support and see if we can add the feature you are missing. Quite likely, many other users would benefit.
Software Development Manager
Avenza Systems Inc.
Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:14 AM
Hardcore custom Flash map development in Flash can be a very time-consuming and expensive exercise so the MAP Web Author tool is a very viable alternative.
As to why we write to swf instead of fla, again, there does not seem to be any mechanism for third parties to write fla files and indeed even Illustrator itself does not export an fla so we write to swf. Writing to the .fla format would be great and is something we are shooting for down the road.
And have a look at this map which was made with the MAPublisher MAP Web Author tool:
Is this honestly not something anyone would proudly show on their website? Although developing it in Flash vs Illustrator might be preferred by some does this map not demonstrate well the look, feel and functionality that most authors would like to portray?
We welcome all comments and suggestions so please keep 'em coming.
Avenza Systems Inc.
When Map Quality Matters ®
Cartographic and spatial imaging solutions for Adobe Creative Suite
Mobile mapping solutions for using, selling and distributing maps to mobile devices
Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:14 AM
It is Great for a quick project output if you understand the limitations.
100% agree. It's a great tool for creating fast web maps and definitely has it uses. I would just be hesitant to use the output commercially without access to the nuts and bolts of the file.
Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:13 AM
Avenza Systems Inc.
124 Merton Street, Suite 400,
Toronto, Ontario, M4S 2Z2, Canada
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