MSR MapCruncher for Virtual Earth -- Version History

  • Features in v3.2.4 (December 21, 2007)
    • Fixed embarrassingly obvious bug in implementation of the one miserable little feature in 3.2.3.

  • Features in v3.2.3 (December 20, 2007)
    • By popular request, the MinZoom attribute as been added back to the <SourceMapRenderOptions> tag. There’s no way to set it in the UI; you have to edit the XML in the .yum file. Use it with caution: For most render jobs, rendering layers 1..n should cost a fraction of the cost of rendering layer n+1, and having those layers available ensures that your rendered output is flexible enough to be reused in many applications.

  • Features in v3.2.2 (December 17, 2007)
    • .yum files, in the <RenderOptions> section, may now specify <OutputTileType Type="ipic">. (There’s currently no knob in the UI to set this option.) When rendering “ipic” tiles, MapCruncher renders tiles using either PNG or JPG: PNG when needed for transparency, and JPG for other tiles for compression. By default, MapCruncher emits only PNG tiles. For a sample aerial photograph, using ipic format saved 88% of the tile space (and hence made viewing the mashup that much faster), while preserving transparent layer boundaries.

  • Features in v3.2.1 (December 5, 2007)
    • merged bug fixes and performance improvements from VE commercial release into MSR research release

      In particular, this version of MapCruncher can render arbitrarily large mashups without running into memory pressure issues. The worst case we’re aware of is PDFs that embed large bitmaps, which MapCruncher can’t load incrementally. In most such cases, it’s better to register the bitmap itself (rather than the bitmap wrapped in a PDF).

  • Features in v3.1.3 (June 13, 2007):
    • fixed a tile-alignment problem in new (3.1.x) raster engine
    • fixed another bug that can cause the renderer to emit blank tiles.
    • optimized rendering: speeds rendering of big images and big mashups.
    • automatic legends had broken; fixed.
    • .BMP support was mysteriously absent; fixed.

  • Features in v3.1.1 (May 31, 2007):
    • Can now handle enormous raster images (such as .TIFF, .PNG, and .GIF files). We changed our raster renderer to use new libraries in .Net 3.0, which can process raster images without loading the entire image into memory.

    • Fixed a memory leak bug introduced in 3.0.10.

  • Features in v3.0.11 (May 25, 2007):

Minor bug fix release

  • Features in v3.0.10 (May 24, 2007):

Render directly to Amazon’s S3 web service. In the render panel, select the “S3” radio button. Create a credentials file (stored separately from your mashup .yum file) with your Amazon S3 credentials. Now when you render, your mashup becomes instantly available to the whole world!

Register maps with lat/lon grids. If your source map has lat/lon markings, we’ve added features to speed registration. The lat/lon fields on the reference (Virtual Earth) map are editable, so you can jump directly to a specified lat/lon by typing it in. The lat/lon of pushpins appear  in a new column in the correspondences tab. Finally, you can use a menu option to toggle lat/lon displays between decimal degrees and degrees-minutes-seconds.

Navigate faster. The new overview source map menu item pops up an always-on-top windowlet that always shows the unlocked source map, nd doesn't track the zooming and panning operations in main window. The new menu options SnapView and SnapZoom let you record a view (or just a zoom level) and snap back to it later with a hotkey.

Fixed a misplaced tiles bug. Some large render jobs would sometimes place tiles incorrectly in the output, so that zooming past a given zoom level would cause an obvious hop to incorrect data. Bug fixed.

Minor bugfixes and tweaks:

o       JavaScript now supports replacing legend GIFs with HTML.

o       Fixed "latitude is null" javascript errors in 3d mode.

o       Fixed a bug that produced overflow errors drawing pushpins for unlikely zoom levels.

o       Added TIFF to file types in Open Source Map dialog.

o       Fixed a crash caused by rendering mashups with unregistered source maps.

o       Made renderer robust against singular registrations (although layer preview still isn't...).

o       Save-as filename defaults to name of first source map (rather than blank).

o       Reference view defaults to last reference view if no other sensible view is available.

o       Added a popup dialog when an interactive rendering session completes successfully.

o       Save unnamed backup files in "My Documents", which is typically writable, instead of application directory.

o       Disk cache manager was blocking UI for long periods; fixed.

o       Fixed a performance problem where switching between locked and unlocked views would cause source map view to stall for long periods (waiting for old, offscreen tiles to complete rendering).

  • Features in v3.01/3.02 (November 20, 2006):
    • Fixed a bug preventing PDFs with transparent areas from looking transparent.
    • Fixed a bug in computing default zoom render level for very small source images.
  • Features in v3.0 (November 17, 2006):
    • Far more robust -- major internal restructuring of the code makes things much more reliable
    • Integrated with v4.0 MapControl API -- including support for the new 3D Virtual Earth!
    • Transparency! Select background colors to be removed, or foreground colors to be kept, to allow maps to be better overlaid without losing underlying data
    • "Auto legends" -- trace out the legend that appears on your map, and MC generates a web page so the legend pops up automatically when that source map is in the user's view
    • Standard (sample) web page has integrated "Find" box, to let users search the yellow pages for items on the crunched map
    • MC now emits bounds to the crunched.xml file describing where the mashup is defined. Prevents the web browser from requesting many non-existant tiles.
    • Supports zoom levels up to 32
    • Allows per-source-map specification of max zoom level to render, allowing better composition of maps with insets
    • Easier on your disk: MapCruncher actually cleans the disk cache every so often
    • Easier on your RAM: MapCruncher can now handle big mashups with many sourcemaps without thrashing virtual memory. It loads them into memory in turns in a sensible order
    • Supports zoom levels up to 32 (approximately .03mm/pixel).
    • Command-line rendering now supported, when invoked with a command line a .yum file parameter and the "-render" flag,
    • The UI now allows you to reorder and remove sourcemaps and layers.
    • Layer preview: click on a layer name, and the left panel shows a preview of the rendered layer. This is very helpful for putting the sourcemaps in the layer in the right order, and for tweaking the bounds of the sourcemaps.
    • The minimum number of points required to lock is now only two. For many types of source maps, this can dramatically reduce the effort required to set up correspondences.

Bug fixes:

    • The previous version performed image warping in the wrong space, so maps with large extent (particularly in extreme latitudes) rendered incorrectly. Alaska looks much better now.
    • In the previous version, the cache or the rendered output could contain stale tiles based on out-of-date correspondences, giving confusing results that could only be fixed by manually flushing the cache and the rendered output. Fixed.
  • Features in v2.0 (May 16, 2006):
    • Multiple source maps can be combined into a single layer.
    • Multiple layers can be created in a single mashup.
    • The bounding region is now easily editable -- you can trim away parts of the PDF that you do not want rendered in the final tile set.
    • Combining the above features makes it easy to handle maps with detailed insets: just add your source map a second time, trim the 2nd copy so that only the inset is visible, and register the inset separately. The inset will be automatically overlaid in the right place. Examples: the LA Transit Map has a detailed inset of downtown Los Angeles that's in the right place.
    • Layer descriptions are generated in XML, making it easy to reference them from your HTML without writing custom JavaScript.
    • The associated MSR MapControl has been upgraded to handle an arbitrary number of alpha-transparent overlays, allowing layers to be combined arbitrarily in the client.
    • Various UI fixes that make the work flow more obvious to beginners.
    • Various localization fixes to allow MapCruncher to work more seamlessly outside the USA.
    • A new tutorial is available describing all the new features.
    • During rendering, a sample HTML page is automatically generated that makes your mashup immediately viewable on the web. It has checkboxes to individually switch layers on and off, like this example.
  • Exciting features introduced in v1.10 (April 21, 2006):
    • Much better PDF support! Far more PDFs render without problems. Rendering is also between 10x and 100x faster.
    • More file formats! MapGrinder now also supports additional EMF and WMF vector formats. We also support several raster formats: TIFF, PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP, etc.
    • Transparency! Source images (PDFs, WMFs, etc) that have transparency now produce tiles as 32-bit PNGs with the alpha channel properly set. This allows mashups to be overlaid on top of each other, or on top of base imagery from VE.
    • Error displays for pushpins! After you lock, each pushpin's error is computed, allowing you to quickly find and correct bad registration points. Error is displayed in meters -- or kilometers, or centimeters, if you're lucky!
    • Faster, more memory-efficient rendering! Render large mashups of 20k tiles in an hour or two.
    • Rendering down to zoomlevel 24! Cast off the shackles of your Zoomlevel 19 oppressors -- now you can render all the way to Zoomlevel 24, allowing you to really see your blueprints and building floorplans. A patch to VE's MapControl allows zooming in that far in your web-based map, too!
    • Built-In Mashup Previewer! After rendering, click "Launch Mashup Browser" and see as many mashup layers on top of each other as you like, before exporting everything to the web.
    • Recursive Grinding! Register your building floorplan to the aerial photo of your building. Then register your office floorplan to the building floorplan! Under the "View" menu, click "Show rendered layer..." if you want to use a previous mashup as a basis for pushpins on a new mashup.