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L-10: Defining and Using Custom Cartographic Symbols in MapGuide

This year the MapGuide project is introducing a new symbolization engine that allows users to define custom libraries of dynamic, expression driven symbols. The new symbolization engine includes the ability to define both simple and compound symbols. A simple symbol consists of a collection of path, image, and text elements that define the graphics, and information on how the symbol is used in the context of points, lines, and areas. A compound symbol contains a collection of simple symbols, either inlined or using references to existing symbols. This workshop shows participants how to define symbols in XML format and use them to stylize feature data in MapGuide.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Defining Simple Symbols – Overview of the Simple Symbol Definition element and how to use them as part of a layer to style feature data.
  • Defining Compound Symbols – Overview of the Compound Symbol Definition element used for combining multiple simple symbols and how to use them as part of a layer to style feature data.
  • Defining Expression Driven Symbols – Shows how to add parameters to a symbol definition and use expressions in the layer definition to dynamically alter the symbol on a per feature basis.

During the workshop participants will create a symbol library and use those symbols to stylize a map through a series of step by step exercises.

Upon completion of the workshop participants will have a concrete understanding of how to take advantage of the new cartographic capabilities of MapGuide and all the techniques they need to get starting building their own symbol libraries.

User Level



Robert Bray has been a developer of web mapping technologies since 1997 primarily working for Autodesk, Inc. on the MapGuide product. He has been developing software professionally since 1991 and is familiar with many web mapping and geo-spatial technologies both open and closed source. Robert is currently the Geospatial Architect and MapGuide Open Source Evangelist at Autodesk, a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, and leads the MapGuide Open Source project.