[maplab-users] Re: [Maplab-dev] working with map lab

Zak James zak-ms at hoppsan.org
Tue Nov 2 12:43:26 EST 2004


Chameleon is a toolkit for building web mapping applications. In a 
rough sense, it does what gmapfactory does except that you have to 
build the application in a text editor (it's mostly like writing an 
html document). What you get is a lot more capability and a more 
polished application. Chameleon applications are built from 'widgets' 
which can do many of the things that people on this list write custom 
code to provide in their gmapfactory applications.

The Mapedit component of Maplab uses php mapscript to manipulate 
mapfiles and it really doesn't deal with shapefiles directly either. 
Rather, it hides the creation of mapfile layers to some extent. 
Chameleon also uses mapscript and can manipulate elements from 
mapfiles. You're right that there is no mapedit-like application at 
this time but we hope to be able to provide one (based on Chameleon) in 
the future. We are unlikely to extend Maplab 2.x any further because 
Chameleon offers a cleaner way to achieve the same thing. A 
Chameleon-based replacement for Mapedit would certainly have the 
ability to add shapefile layers.

To answer your question about shapefile editing, there are widgets 
which do this for specific functions (like creating ROI polygons) using 
the capabilities of mapscript. Depending on what you are trying to 
achieve, you may have to write a custom widget. Whether you use 
Chameleon or extend maplab, you are going to be writing PHP mapscript 
code to customize something like that.

We realize that there is a need for a mapfile editing capability and 
Mapedit still fulfills this role. However, an application based on 
Chameleon would be much easier for users to customize and extend and it 
is the most likely direction for future Maplab development.


Zak James
Applications and Software Development
DM Solutions Group Inc.

On Nov 1, 2004, at 8:21 PM, Dara H. Bun wrote:

> Thanks for your recommendation.
> By the way, I am not pretty clear of what the different between 
> chameleon
> and maplab, but as far as I see after install and test it a bit 
> chameleon
> does not seem to be able to work directly on shape file either from 
> mapinfo
> or arcview, but only work with *.map file which is create in maplab.
> Anyway, you are right I would like to extend the functionality, but to 
> work
> on shape file directly does this can be done via chameleon?
> Thank you a lot,
> Dara
> _______________________________________________
> Maplab-dev mailing list
> Maplab-dev at lists.maptools.org
> http://lists.maptools.org/mailman/listinfo/maplab-dev
>> Zak James wrote:
>> Dara,
>> Unfortunately there is not any developer documentation beyond the 
>> comments in the source code. Are you trying to extend an application 
>> generated by gmapfactory or add functionality to Mapedit or one of 
>> the other components?
>> If it is the former, you are probably better off moving to Chameleon 
>> (http://maptools.org/chameleon) which is more capable and is designed 
>> to be extended. It has much more extensive documentation and 
>> additional developer documentation is being created for an upcoming 
>> release.

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