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Frequently Asked Questions

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How does MPSuperShape use Shape Names?


MapPoint does not provide a unique identifier for shapes. It does provide a name property that can be used by programs, but there is no guarantee that it is unique. This name can not be directly accessed by a user, but it may be used by other third party programs.


MPSuperShape uses the name property to identify specific shapes. If a shape's name is blank or non-unique, then MPSuperShape will give the shape a new unique name which overwrites any pre-existing name. It is of the form "MPSS_n", where n is a number.


There is no guarantee which name (if any) will be preserved by a multi-shape function such as union or intersection.



Which shape types does MPSuperShape support?


MPSuperShape supports freeform shapes, ellipses (ovals and circles), and rectangles. The Import and Export options can also handle pushpins.


Note that MPSuperShape does not support text boxes. This is because text box sizes are specified in screen coordinates and not real world coordinates. Ie. their real world size changes according to the zoom level. This would result in inconsistent results from operations such as union or intersection. These operations would also result in the loss of the shape's text.



Why does MPSuperShape's GML facility not appear to work with other applications?


MPSuperShape can only import and export GML files that use MPSuperShape's own GML schema. MPSuperShape's GML schema uses the namespace prefix of mpss. The XML schema is available for download here:


GML ('Geography Markup Language') is an open standard based on XML and is intended for geographical information. The GML standard is controlled by the Open Geospatial Consortium, and is intended as a standard on which specific application implementations are built upon - eg. a bit like XML is a standard, but most applications use their own implementation. This makes GML very flexible and powerful, but it also makes it very difficult for different GIS/map applications to use a general GML implementation. In fact, there is no such thing.


Although they have their limitations, we expect KML and ESRI Shapefiles will be the main geographic interchange formats for the next few years.



Can I request a new coordinate system to be added to the list of Predefined Coordinate Systems?


Yes you can, using the contact form on the Mapping-Tools website. Please give as much detail as possible about the required coordinate system.



Why does MPSuperShape not appear to import all of my KML shapes?


MPSuperShape will import most KML shapes, however MapPoint cannot draw some features and concepts which are supported by KML. These are outlined on the Importing KML page.


The KML (and XML) specification both require unique "id" identifiers. MPSuperShape will skip placemark features which have duplicate id values.