Map Maker Analysis

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Before the map file can be created the program analyses the mapped columns and the text areas to ensure that they are compatible, and also checks the primary magnitude and date/time as this stage is that which determines how the data will be allocated to any folders that have been called for.

First all the text areas are check to see if they contain a mapped field place holder. Most of them probably will not other than the main balloon description, but later I intend to introduce more possibilites for both folders and text such as {MINDATE}/{MAXDATE} and {MINMAG}/{MAXMAG} which can be used for example in a document title – for example Earthquakes from {MINDATE} to {MAXDATE} in the range Mag {MINMAG} to Mag {MAXMAG}. There are endless possibilities!

Each text area is read and the mappings extracted, and then each of these mappings is compared to the mapped columns. If they do not exist in the mapped columns an error is raised.

If all text mappings were found the next stage is to check out the magnitudes and felt/info marker fields if they are present. The magnitude field must be mapped as this is used in both Google Earth and Google Maps files to determine the name that shows in the hover text or the Maps sidebar. Magnitude is the minimum requirement.

The felt and info fields do not have to be present, but if they are they will be checked to see if they contain data. Various ‘texts’ can be used to tell the system if something is felt but whichever is used the final result must that the field value equates to a boolean true or false.

The following are accepted as the equivalent of a boolean ‘true’ (case not important): "-1", "true", "yes", "y", "si", "oui", "da", "ja", any text including the word "felt", or for info any text including the word "info". Note that because the system checks for any text containing "felt" then "Felt NEW YORK" would resolve to ‘true’, but "Not felt" would also resolve to true since it contains the word "felt". In a similar manner, as with "felt", the information field is a contains examination thus "Has information" would parse to ‘true’, but also so would "No information". It is important that you understand this behaviour.

The following are accepted as the equivalent of a boolean ‘false’ (case not important): "0"(that is a zero in this weird text), "false", "no", "n", "non", "nyet","nein" and if none of these are found a blank field is accepted as ‘false’

With so many variations in so many languages I hove only covered a few. ("Yes" in many languages "No" in many languages) If there is a particular dataset that you use that has an alternative way of displaying this state please let me know and I will see what I can do. Not being a Microsoft sized organisation changes can be made and fairly rapidly!

The order these are checked in that first the field is queried to see if it is a numeric value. If it is, and the value is non zero it is ‘true’. Next the accepted ‘true’ equivalents are checked and then the accepted ‘false’ equivalents – remember that other than the words felt and info these must be the sole contents of the field – and finally if none of those are found the field is set to ‘true’ if it contains text or ‘false if it does not.

Each line of data is parsed and the number of instances of plain, felt, info and combined icon requirements is calculated. If the analysis detects that a type is not used then it will be dropped from the Google Earth style mappings even if it is named in the icon scheme. With 36 paired mappings, i.e. 72 entries, any that can reduce file size by being dropped help. The same goes for the magnitude levels of the icons. If mag 8 and mag 9 are not referenced in the listings then they will not be style mapped. None of the forgoing applies if in file icons are used or the output is to Google Maps.

If folders have been requested the system will use the analysis run to sort the lines of information into the appropriate ‘slots’ ( a very technical term 🙂 )

The current folder possibilities, and their mapping requirements, are:

Folder code Field requirements
‹Only one folder› No mapping required

Due soon – the sorting processes are complex so these take a little time to implement:

Folder code Field requirements
This actually is what happens if you order the file by date/time and then select magnitude bands so this may turn out to be superfluous.
{DEPTHS(10,20,30 etc)} {DEPTH}

Any required mapping must be found or an exception will be raised.

The {DATE) section can actually use the {DAY}, {MONTH} and {YEAR} fields as well. The folders will be based on the formatted output from the Date Sorter which is always (at present anyway) dd MMM yyyy which is the universal (English) format and removes ambiguity. The 6th July, 2012 which is 07/06/2012 to our American cousins and 06/07/2012 to us English, will be displayed as 06 Jul 2012.

Dates can be a problem in computing. As often as not anything before 1900 is no man’s land, and there are other pitfalls even if you get past that one.

The program will attempt to convert all dates to the OLE Automation, mainly because this is the date format most likely to succeed. It is stored as a numeric value, and thus is sortable and can be converted back again.

If however the program finds dates it cannot understand they will be ignored and this may cause problems as well.

This topic will be extended as more features are added. A description of the folder codes can be found in the main topic.

Other similar or related topics
Mapping Icons Set-up
The Google Maps and Google Earth File Maker

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