Building a Maps Framework

In this post I will show you the simple & nice technology used in our 'Metro Map' apps.

This idea started out of necessity; You've probably encountered the same problem: you just arrived in a big city, you needed to go some places and you wanted to take the subway. It should be an app for that right? Well there isn't. Or to be more accurate there isn't an app that is simple, works offline and does its job. As software developers our first thought was we going to build one! (build it and they will come :) ).

From the start we figured we need something to build the map (the map being the core of our apps). We've toyed with some tools but in the end we've ended up building our own mapping tool. It sounds complicated but it's in fact pretty straightforward. We developed a C# desktop application that helped us create the maps. The desktop application is similar in some ways with a painting tool: you have lines (Bezier), circles (stations) and labels. You lay all this on a precise layout and simple as that you have a metro map (actually is a tedious work researching the metro system info for a city but hey! after that the rest is easy! right?!).

At the top of this post you can see a screenshot of our desktop application. Using this desktop application we've finally covered a good number of cities (after a couple of weeks of work :) ):

Some more screenshots:

Options dialog:

Station dialog:

Line dialog:

Label dialog:

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