Friday, May 10, 2013

Custom Slippy Maps of Orange County Florida

Let's face it, most county and state map services have serious problems.  They are notoriously slow, offer little in the way of filtering and are nearly impossible to customize.  If you're lucky, you can  toggle layers on and off but not without a 1-5 second delay.  Annoying!  No-one wants to see an hour glass after they pan a map, right?  For anyone trying to derive useful, business results, these services are not sufficient.  This is where creating custom, beautiful maps from features comes in handy.  You can carry them in your back pocket or share them with the world, the choice is yours.  And because they can be customized on-the-fly (in software via a web service) the possibilities are endless!

I was provided with a collection of several shapefiles that contained many different features, including lakes, parks, conservation areas, parcels, etc... From this set of data, I need to automatically create customizable, interactive maps.  Specifically, real-estate maps of Orange County Florida.  Once finalized, the base features and styles will be loaded in a popular map service where the client will become empowered.  Clients will access the map service using a web browser.  The presentation will be driven by a popular slippy map control that will allow the user to query and style the data as desired.  The best part is, that all changes to feature geometry and attribution will be automatically reflected in the map (Thank you Python + Mapnik).  Here are some initial shots and descriptions.

At high scales, the most prominent features are visible, including; major highways (and other trans), conservation and hydro features, allowing a user to center on an area of interest.


As you zoom in, more prominent features become visible.  Minor roads can be clearly identified and lakes are labeled.  Notice how you can almost see the individual parcels.


After zooming in some more, you begin to identify individual parcels and boundaries.


Ultimately, assessed values can be identified by a color gradient


Below you can observe the layering affects with the prominent features (parcels, hydro, transportation and conservation)


Close examination of the parcels reveals their assessed values.


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