Simple Stuff 4 - A Franchise Territory on the IPAQ

By Hal Reid

Last time here at Simple Stuff, I did manage to get our Franchise territory into the PalmTM.But, while we were able to see the territory, we could not see any attributes and there was not very much we could do with the map.Everything worked fine in Business Map -- Travel Edition on the PC, and exporting the map to the Palm.I got the territory, my points and the map, just no attributes.After writing the column, I spent a lot of time with StreetFinder® - the mapping software that came with the NAVMAN® GPS receiver.I could zoom, pan and poke on a point, see and edit attributes.The problem was, that I could not find any way to get my points imported to Street Finder (I could place them by hand).While I could create the territory on the PC version, it just would not export out to the Palm.So, I could do points manually, but there was just no way to make the territory.The Street Finder user interface (on the Palm) is very complete and allows for most of map functionality that you would


(From the Street Finder manual)

However, in spite of the adventures with the Palm, the task this time was to get our Franchise territory into a CE powered device.For this exercise, I am going to direct this column to the IPAQ and ArcPad and save the Jornada and MapPoint 2002 next time.

By the way, because we are now in the CE world, it seemed a good idea to try out my keyboard for the IPAQ and write this column on it.So, except for the graphic inserts, and running spell check, this column is all done in Pocket Word.I have to admit, it worked very well.

Since I already had the GPS points and related geographies into Shapefiles (from ArcView and Business Map) from our Palm adventure, it was a simple matter to bring them into ArcPad and load them into the IPAQ.

And this is what they looked like on the IPAQ.

One of the interesting things I found about using ArcPad is that you can create features.Using that capability, and if we had a GPS receiver for the IPAQ, using ArcPad, I believe almost everything needed to create our territory could be done on the IPAQ.

There is a limitation.ArcPad does not seem to have the typical rubber band functionality you expect when creating polygons.While you can create features on the IPAQ with ArcPad, probably, no one can be steady enough with the stylus.So the results are less than clean.Below is an example of my wobbly territory (points exaggerated).

I ultimately had to use the mouse on the PC version of ArcPad to create the territory and it was better (still no rubber banding), and the mouse worked better than the stylus.So here is our territory a little neater, but still wobbly.

For comparison, this is the original Territory we created using ArcView and Business Map in the previous columns using the Palm.Same territory, but with straight sides.

To give our territory attributes, I only had to click on the Info Box in the ArcPad layer control on the IPAQ.One of the neat things about shape files is that the database is a DB4 look-a-like and easily editable.So, before adding the territory file to the layers, I added the Franchisee and some basic info.Now you can poke on the territory with the stylus and see who owns it and their phone number.

While this isn't exactly Simple Stuff, it isn't really very difficult to do, after you have figured it out.Like most problems, they are easier to solve the second time around.

This was Simple Stuff when moved the set of Shapefiles created for the previous Simple Stuff columns into ArcPad.Since the ability to create features functionality was there in ArcPad, I thought we should try and see how well it works.It does work; the only real issue was the lack of rubber banding.I'll bet that functionality is in ArcPad 6.I could have spent more time an made the maps prettier, but that would have taken away from another Simple Stuff column.

If you have a different and better approach, let me know.

Next time, I'll move our territory anchor points into MapPoint 2002 and we can see what we can do on the HP Jornada.



NAVMAN® and StreetFinder® are registered trademarks of Talon Technology Limited.IPAQTM and PalmTM are trademarks of Compaq Computer Corporation and Palm Incorporated, respectively.


Published Wednesday, February 27th, 2002

Written by Hal Reid



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