Steven JW Kennedy

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SP&GM: Step One – Generate Lat/Long codes

Posted by Steven Kennedy on April 11, 2011


Previous post in series: Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – Part 2

Next post in series: SP&GM: Step Two – Create your SharePoint List

Using one of the Internet available sites generate a Lat/Long pair for each address that you have. In my case I had an Excel file with the addresses which I Cut & Pasted on to a site that generated the Lat/Long pairs. I used Batch Conversions of Address to Latitude/Longitude (Forward Geocoding) by Stephen P. Morse, but there are plenty around. I then took the resultant Lat/Long pairs and inserted them in to my Excel spreadsheet

I ended up with an Excel spreadsheet that looked something like this;

image

but with another 170 or so entries.

By going through this process, of generating the Lat/Long pairs, you can verify that the location information you’re using is accurate and that you get a good Lat/Long address. I found that in some cases the address I was using wasn’t entirely accurate. If the Address conversion cannot resolve the address it usually returns a 0,0. You can then investigate why. I found that in my case most of these were as a result of me using something like an ‘E’ in the address instead of ‘East’ etc.

Once you have the Excel spreadsheet save it for use in the next step.

 

Please note! that the example JavaScript that I provide in the post; SP&GM: Sample JavaScript, requires the Excel columns to be in the order shown in the picture above. In hindsight I didn’t really need the ‘Location’ column, that was a hold over from when I was using the Google Maps Geocode functionality.

 

Previous post in series: Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – Part 2

Next post in series: SP&GM: Step Two – Create your SharePoint List

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Posted in Google, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – Part 2

Posted by Steven Kennedy on April 11, 2011


First off I’d like to acknowledge Kyle Schaeffer’s posting Plotting Your SharePoint 2010 List Data on a Google Map which I used as the starting point for my little project. I was also just going to make this a single post, as I implied in my initial post on this topic Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – Part 1, but as I started to write this post it got longer and longer, so I’ve broken it up in to multiple posts that I’ve listed below. You can either jump to the specific post of interest, or you can go through from Step One. Each post has a link to both the previous post and the next post in the series. The SP & GM used in the post titles indicate ‘SharePoint & Google Maps’, making it a little bit easier to identify the posts as part of the same series.

Scenario

What I wanted to do was take a set of address information and plot it on a Google Map, with the markers being clickable and showing various salient information about the location. In my case I mocked up some location information to emulate a company with sites across the USA, along with the number of employees at each site. You could also use something similar to indicate what type and or the size of the sites network connections. Does it have direct Internet access etc. For my example I’m keeping it simple, Location and number of employees. Also, instead of using Google’s geocoder function, to resolve an address to a Lat/Long, I’m going to provide the Lat/Long as part of the SharePoint List data. This means some additional up front work, and ongoing as new locations are added but this is off-set by the issues created in trying to use the geocoder functionality for something like 200 locations and the various limitations imposed by using the free capability that Google provides.

Requirements to use these posts to do the something similar;

  • SharePoint 2010, and appropriate access to be able to create;
    • a SharePoint 2010 List
    • a web part web page
    • use SharePoint Designer 2010 to edit the web part web page (some companies may have restricted this capability. In which case you’re out of luck and you wont be able to follow these instructions.)
  • A set of data, including location information, that you wish to plot using Google Maps

Note! This example makes use of the Google Maps V2 API (which has been deprecated already, but still works) along with jQuery.

Additional posts in this series

If you follow the steps outlined above you should be able to end up with a Google Maps displayed on a SharePoint page that looks something like;

image_thumb[10][1]

Posted in Google, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – Part 1

Posted by Steven Kennedy on April 11, 2011


At the beginning of March I attended a Google Technology User Group meeting where the presentation was about the use of Google Maps and Fusion Tables. I have a short post Fusion Tables and Google Maps about the meeting and a quick example that I cobbled together.

The use of Fusion Tables got me thinking about something that I’d played with a year or so ago. Using a SharePoint List to provide data to a Google Map. I did some work at the time to see if I could make this happen, borrowing greatly from the Internet as I’m not a JavaScript developer. I had some limited success but then as they say ‘stuff happened’ and I wasn’t able to pursue it. The meeting on Fusion Tables got be thinking about it again so off I went to the Internet to see what’s out their. This time for SharePoint 2010.

I came across a good posting called Plotting Your SharePoint 2010 List Data on a Google Map by Kyle Schaeffer. This posting gives pretty good instructions on who to use the Google Maps v2 API and jQuery to generate markers on a Google Map based on SharePoint List data.

However, I did run in to a number of issues in trying to follow Kyle’s instructions, based mainly I believe on the fact that he’s writing for experienced developers, which I’m not.

So, a few of the things that I ran in to;

  • SharePoint List Data – In Kyle’s example the address data is held in a multi-line field. In mine it wasn’t. Kyle explains how to reference the data from his example but not for a general case. I had to work that out. He also talks about how to change the class name but again doesn’t say how. I still haven’t figured this bit out.
  • Google Map in relation to the SharePoint List data. I found out the hard way, a couple of hours of it not working, that you need to ensure that you’re SharePoint List appears on the page ABOVE the Google Map
  • GeoCoder – this is the function of taking an address and getting the corresponding Latitude/Longitude that can be used by Google Maps. What isn’t mentioned in Kyle’s post is that there are limits to the number of Geocodes you can do per day, and the speed at which it’ll respond. There’s also no error checking. I found this out the hard way when I tried to plot just under 200 points. Not all of them where being displayed. It turned out to be a combination of inaccurate addresses and the speed at which I was calling the geocode function. I did try putting in a time delay but that didn’t seem to help.

So what did I take away from Kyle’s post. Well the two most important elements to making it work, that of making the SharePoint List available and most importantly how to cycle through each entry in the list in order to obtain the relevant data to put a marker on the map.

In Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – Part 2 I’ll start to detail how I took Kyle’s instructions as a basis for producing a Google Map with clickable custom markers based on data from a SharePoint List.

The picture below depicts what I ended up with in Plotting SharePoint List Data on a Google Map – A series of company sites with custom icons used to indicate the number of employees on site. The icons are clickable and display the address information, number of employees at the site as well as a link to step zoom to the location. The location depicted below is an old address of mine when I lived in Los Angeles many years ago.

image

Posted in Google, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Google Maps Marker Icons

Posted by Steven Kennedy on March 14, 2011


The pictures of the icons below are those from http://maps.google.com/intl/en_us/mapfiles/ms/micons and depict the various icons that Google has for use on it’s Google Maps. Each of the icons has a link back to it’s source so you should be able to grab which ever ones you want to use.

As you can see for each icon there’s a ‘shadow’ version, except for the ‘pushpin’ versions. For the shadow version of the ‘pushpin’ scroll down to the P’s, purple pushpin. It has the shadow version, as you only need the one version for all of the different colors of ‘pushpins’.

How to use these I’ll leave up to you to figure out, as I’m still figuring that out. Perhaps I’ll do a post in the future on how to use ‘custom’ markers.

 

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Fusion Tables and Google Maps

Posted by Steven Kennedy on March 1, 2011


I attended a Google Technology User Group meeting tonight, Tuesday 1st March 2011. The talk was about Google’s Fusion Tables and Google Maps API. I’ll probably write more about this later. I’m just doing this post because I got home and immediately created a Excel file with some location information, places I’ve lived, and uploaded it to Google Fusion Tables. I then shared it to the public and took the embedded code that generates the Google Map and inserted it on a blog post on my MobileMe Blog here. I have to do it this way because WordPress doesn’t support IFRAMEs or JavaScript, but MobileMe site do.

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