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New Map GUI tool for MySQL GIS
Posted by: Martin Chapman
Date: February 16, 2007 03:41AM

There is a new GIS application at http://www.viewportimaging.com that has the ability to load, view and edit MySQL spatial data. The application has just been released this week as a beta and all MySQL users are invited to download and try the product for free. The application is currently only available as a beta release so there is no charge and no documentation, but the user interface is very intuitive (hopefully) and our tech support can be utilized for questions based on availabilty at support@texelinc.com. The final version 1.0 release will retail at $99.95 US dollars per single use license in the second quarter of 2007.


Quick Start for Viewport and MySQL.


LOADING SPATIAL DATA INTO MYSQL:

1. Choose File->Open from the drop-down menu, or click the "Add Viewport" toolbar button and select an ESRI Shape file or other vector data source to add to the map window.

2. Right-click on the Layer tree-node in the Workspace window and select "Save As" menu option to launch the "Viewport Save As" dialog.

3. In the "Save as type" drop-down box near the bottom of the dialog select "MySQL".

4. Click the "Save" button and a connection dialog window will appear. Type in your connection information and then click "Ok" to import the layer into the database.

NOTE - MySQL ships with a "Max Packet Size" of something like 1 MB in the "Advanced Networking" tab of the "MySQL Administrator" application. Many geometries are much larger than that and may not import correctly if they exceed the default limit. Viewport will warn you about this if the import fails but it is probably a good idea to up this to something like 1000 MB if you want to avoid this message.


VIEWING SPATIAL DATA FROM MYSQL:

5. Once the layer is added to MySQL you can add the new layer and any existing database layers to the map window by selecting the File->Open menu, and selecting "MySQL" in the drop-down at the bottom of the dialog window. Enter your connection information when the connection dialog appears and then you will prompted with a list of tables that you can choose one or more layers from. Click Ok and the layers will be added to the map window.


EDITING SPATIAL DATA IN MYSQL:

6. There is also limited editing support for creating, editing and deleting features and attributes. To edit an open layer, right-click on the layer node in the tree control and select "Start Editing". Clicking in the map will create a new feature. Single clicks will add new points to the feature and double clicking will complete the geometry. New feature attributes are added to the bottom of the data window. In edit mode you can simply click in the list and edit the data. To stop editing right-click on the layer tree-node again and select "Stop Editing". To delete a feature, click the "X" icon on the data row. Please note that all edits are currently immediate and permanent and you should back up your table if the data is critical. You will be reminded of this in the applcation when you start editing.

Also note that the layer will be created as a new table with the name specified in the Save As dialog minus the ".mysql" extension. If the table does not exist a new table will be created. If it does exist then it will over-write the existing table. We plan on adding options to overwrite, append and update whole tables at a time in the next few weeks and the updated beta version will be available at that time.


COMMENTS:

We are really impressed with the MySQL spatial extensions at Texel Inc. and it is our goal to expose all of the spatial capabilities of MySQL so that MySQL GIS users can have a cheap and robust solution for managing and viewing their spatial data. Beta users are encouraged to provide comments, critism and suggestions in order to help us fine tune our application.

OGC WMS client - Viewport also has robust support for connecting to OGC WMS servers for those of you who use MySQL to drive your WMS server.


Thank you,
The gang at Texel Inc.

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