What is MapLink?

MapLink integrates desktop database applications seamlessly with MapInfo ProfessionalArcGIS and QGIS. Where the phrase "the associated application" is used below, it refers to the non-GIS interfaces in a product like CAMS, CMSi, HBSMR, or any other application in which MapLink has been used.

Functionality for users is provided in the following areas:

Function Notes MapInfo ArcGIS Desktop ArcGIS Pro
(in prep)
Load GIS Allows a user to open the GIS from the application, loading a pre-configured project. Y Y Y Y
View record on map “ViewAdd” method, centers on and selects map features for the record; allows automated feature creation and/or starting editing, with awareness of the user’s permissions. Y Y Y Y
View multiple on map View a list of records that have been filtered in the associated application, centering and zooming to show them, and selecting the features.  Y Y Y Y
Create and edit geometry

Create and edit geometry for active application record (after either ViewAdd or Set Active Record). Respects configured rules for cardinality and geometry types. Completion of editing returns information to the application that allows it to store and update the geometry and metadata correctly.

Multi-user editing is supported, with locking of records to prevent accidental clashes.

Set active record Prepares the map for an editing session on a selected feature without a round trip through the associated application. Y Y Y Y
Create new database record Subject to configuration, allows user to initiate creation of a record in the map, after which control will be passed to the associated application to enter attribution. Y Y TBC Y
Update database record Allows the user to force an update of the spatial metadata in the associated application for the selected record(s). Y Y Y Y
Display active layer and record Displays on click and/or hover information about the currently active layer and record. Y Y Y Y
Selection tools Depending on the GIS platform, various tools to aid in making and clearing feature selections. Y Y TBC Y
Show/hide unselected Allows the user to toggle between modes of displaying selections, showing or hiding unselected features. Y Y Y Y
Show database record Shows the record details in the associated application for a single clicked/selected map feature. Y Y Y Y
Show database records Opens a list view of selected map features in the associated application. Y Y Y Y
Export features Allows users to export the GIS features and configured attributes for a filtered list of records. Y Y Y Y
Map templating Allows generation of customised cartographic output, and management of the templates Y N (exists, but not via MapLink) N (as for ArcGIS) N (as for ArcGIS)
Gazetteer Allows user to navigate the map by searching configured datasets. Y Y ? TBC for first release N
LibraryLink integration Tool that allows user to see digital resources (images, documents etc) linked to map features, and (if licensed) add/manage those resources. Y Y Not in first release Y
Close/Return Depending on the GIS and configuration, returns the user to the associated application, and may close/minimize/hide the map. Y Y Y Y


Additional functionality for applications developers is provided in the following areas:

Function Notes MapInfo ArcGIS Desktop ArcGIS Pro
(in prep)
Move to Allows operations in the associated application to set the map extent to a particular centre point and scale. Y Y Y Y
CSV import Creates geometries from a CSV data source. ? ? ? ?
Save map image Saves a map image to disk, generally for use in reporting. Y Y Y Y
Feature exists API method to check whether any spatial features exist for a given application record. Y Y ? Y
Feature count API method to count spatial features for a given application record. Y Y ? Y
Close GIS Ensure the GIS application is closed when the associated application closes. Y Y Y Y


Note that much of the above functionality relies on correct configuration of "linked" map layers, that is map layers (or groups of layers) that are associated through configuration with different types of records in the associated application (CAMS, HBSMR, CMSi etc). The assumption is these map layers are no more and no less than the spatial manifestations of the application records, and that their management/editing is the responsibility of that application and MapLink.

MapLink also permits a special case for "unmanaged" layers. These are layers that are not under the management/editing of "our" application... they may instead be imported/downloaded or managed by another team/application. But so long as there is some common identifier in such layers that is known to our application (e.g. a national reference number for a designated site), much of the above functionality is still supported.

Modified 01/01/2021 by Crispin Flower
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