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Shape Manipulation for Microsoft MapPoint®

Guided Tour of MPSuperShape: Shape Simplification

MPSuperShape can also be used to simplify existing shapes. This can be used to remove redundant vertices (corners) from shapes (eg. collinear or coincident vertices). It can also be used to remove surplus detail, so reducing file sizes and improving MapPoint's efficiency when handling multiple complex shapes.

Sample map with a complex shape

Here we have a complex shape over the Washington DC area. This shape is actually the union of two territory shapes from a previous example. It is a relatively complex shape with a 'jagged' edge. We can use the Simplify operation in MapPoint to remove many of the vertices (corners) from the shape, whilst retaining as much of the overall shape area as possible.

Shape has been simplified

Here is the result of MPSuperShape's Simplify operation with a distance tolerance of 2 miles. All details smaller than 2 miles have been removed. As you can see, the shape is a lot simpler but retains the overall "big picture" shape of the original shape. The number of vertices has been reduced from 138 to 25. For larger examples (eg. many shapes or shapes with many thousands of vertices), reductions like this can result in both significant reductions in file size and improvements in MapPoint efficiency.

Increasing simplifcation obviously results in a reduction in detail. MPSuperShape lets you set the level of required simplification, and provides an estimate of the resulting number of vertices before the Simplify is applied.

Next, we look at MPSuperShape's Import / Export functionality.

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