Wednesday, September 22, 2010

5.0 Feature of the Day: Spatial Query Upgrades

One of the clearest benefits of interacting with data geographically is the ability to ask questions of the data in terms of where it happens.  Visual Fusion has, for a long time, supported the ability to draw these areas of interest on the map with a rich set of drawing tools.  In 5.0 (October 2010), we focus on making these tools much more accessible.  The big hitters are...

1) Spatial querying ability comes wired up, right out of the box.
2) Auto-query based on a selected area.
3) The Smite button.

If you are a Visual Fusion partner developer, or a client, you should read on.  If not, then more power to you, but, well, thanks for hanging in there.

In previous versions, a developer and/or database administrator ("Mooooove!") would have to configure the spatial query tools in order for them to be available to the end user. In 5.0 we've gone ahead and made some simple assumptions and enabled spatial querying right out of the box, in a nice little combined toolbox button. But, if you want to do something other than the default setup that Visual Fusion provides, that is certainly available as always.

A set of ad-hoc draw tools for defining your areas of interest can make it easy to forget about all the awesome shapes that are already sitting on the map...just waiting to be used as spatial query inputs.  So, if you've selected an area feature, you now have the ability to turn it into a spatial query ('if I have to trace the Aleutian Islands one more time!').

Clear All
One of the cool things about the Visual Fusion spatial query is that you can draw as many concurrent areas of interest as you want, for a super specific where's my stuff question.  But with great drawing power comes great housekeeping responsibility -at some point you have to clear all of those.  5.0 has a nifty Clear Spatial Query button that nukes all of your areas of interest in one click.  I like it for three reasons...

-Efficiently removes all areas of interest in one go (especially nice if you've auto-drawn and have a ton of areas of interest).
-Provides visual feedback that you are currently in a spatial query state.
-Lets you remove an area of interest that may be off-screen and/or forgotten.

Happy querying!

No comments:

Post a Comment