Just a quick note… Haris Kurtagic at SL-King just mentioned that he has put up a very alpha release of a KML FDO provider along with a new release of FDO2FDO which supports it.
With this tool, you can read KML files from MapGuide, and read/write KML using FDO2FDO or Autodesk Map 3D. This provider is still early in development, so get your feedback in now while you can still have an impact on how it works when it’s released.
As an aside, this is the first (soon to be) open source project I know of which uses Google’s libkml.
According to the author, “FDO Toolbox is a windows application to process, create and manage geospatial data”. Similar in purpose to SL-King’s FDO2FDO application (which hasn’t quite made it out into open source yet), FDO Toolbox takes a different tack in design and in development process.
I first heard about FDO Toolbox when I got a Google Alert about Jackie Ng’s initial blog post back on July 9th. Since that time, Jackie has posted seven new point releases. That’s seven releases in
eleven nineteen days, people!.
Obviously, this insane development pace can’t continue forever, but up until now Jackie has been working furiously with a good number of fixes and new features in each release. Many of the enhancements and modifications have come from external suggestions, so if you try it out and find that it’s missing something or think it could be doing something better, don’t hesitate to make a suggestion.
For a large part of MapGuide Open Source’s history, you could only author maps using either Autodesk’s MapGuide Studio, which is a great and relatively inexpensive tool but not open source, or Web Studio which was never finished to the point that it could be used to build a MapGuide application from scratch.
In September of last year, Kenneth Skovhede changed this with the introduction of Map Studio Open Source. This application, built using C# and supported under .Net and Mono, was immediately more functional that Web Studio.
Fast forward seven months. Having built considerable support and functionality in a short amount of time, Map Studio Open Source was clearly a viable project and was providing benefit to the MapGuide Open Source community. After some discussions between Kenneth and the MapGuide project steering committee, an RFC was created to bring Map Studio Open Source officially into the MapGuide fold. This included a change of name to MapGuide Maestro and a move from Google Code to MapGuide’s OSGeo-hosted wiki, bug tracking, source control, and download services.
If you’re interested in seeing what it looks like, there are some screen shots on the MapGuide wiki… but beware; this project is under rapid development (release early and often) and some of the images are already out of date :)
My advice? Don’t even look at the screenshots, just download Maestro and start using it. Even if you have the full Autodesk MapGuide Studio application, there are some things that Maestro does far better, like retaining inter-resource references when moving things in your repository, or defining raster configuration files for unmanaged image resources. And if you run into problems, make sure to report them so that they can be fixed quickly (and they probably will be).