Cartographica 1.2 Development Status Report - Feb 7

As of the release of 1.1.3 last week, we're running full speed to version 1.2, and now I can tell you a bit of what's going on with it. The target release timeframe for 1.2 is mid-April of 2010. We have been planning 1.2 for quite some time and are working towards that plan even as we speak.

Key areas of concentration are:

File Formats
We know there's always need to bring in files from many different places, and we've been spending the last few weeks beefing up our file format handling (and the testing thereof). Recently, we've been contributing a number of fixes to GDAL, the open-source library that we use for handling many formats, and we've been working on our own to solve other issues related to the files. We're not complete with our work for 1.2, but we are very far along at this point. Based on our customer surveys, we have the top 3 new file formats implemented and through testing and we're hoping to add some more later in the cycle. Of particular interest are the following:
  • Personal GeoDatabase—it took a lot of work, but this is now working well!
  • Autocad DXF format—The Autocad exchange file format is working fo both input and output
  • GeoRSS is working for both input and output
  • We've added writing capabilities to a number of formats that were previously import only
  • And a number of other formats that were added due to the diligent work of the GDAL contributors
Customization
We know that some of the rigid style mechanisms that we've had in past versions of Cartographica have made it difficult to create maps that look the way you want them to look. We're working on that as a key part of version 1.2. But, this is a lot more than just a pretty face. It also involves much better automated data classification (we're even playing around with some neat new algorithms for this), and what we believe will be a signifiant easy-of-use improvement in the way that data is handled.
Analysis and Scripting Integration
We know that a lot of Cartographica users are doing cutting-edge research and we are working on new ways to bring existing and new analysis tools into play with Cartographica. Stay tuned for more details on this in future posts

That's all I have time to talk about right now, but there will be more as the development progresses. We are also going to have some exiting additional announcements to share with you over the next couple of months!

Stay tuned!