GEOG 863
GIS Mashups for Geospatial Professionals

3.6 Maps, Scenes and Views

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We’ve already been exposed to the Map, MapView and SceneView classes in experimenting with and discussing the Esri samples. Now, let’s learn some more about these fundamental classes.

In version 4.x of Esri’s API, the Map class is used to store a basemap and layers. The actual rendering of the Map on the page is done through the use of a View: either a MapView (2D) or a SceneView (3D). If you look back at the two samples we’ve been working with, you’ll note that a Map object is created and its basemap property set in both cases. The only difference is that in the 3D example, the Map’s ground property is set in addition to its basemap. Setting the ground property renders the map such that the underlying terrain can be seen. The property can be set to “world-elevation” to use Esri’s default world elevation service, but it is also possible to use other elevation layers. (Setting the ground property in a Map that is displayed in a MapView has no effect since the MapView class only renders Maps in 2D.)

The other commonly used property of the Map class is its layers property. We’ll look at adding layers to a map in depth later in the course.

Looking at the documentation of the MapView class, you’ll see that it contains a whole host of properties. The most commonly set MapView properties include:

  • map: set to an object of the Map class
  • container: set to a string matching the id of an element on the page (or to a reference to the element itself)
  • center: set to an object of the Point class
  • zoom: set to a number, typically ranging from 3 (small scale)-18 (large scale)
  • rotation: set to a number ranging from 0 to 360 degrees to rotate due North

Note that while center and zoom are commonly used to specify the part of the Map that’s currently visible, it’s also possible to do so using the extent and/or scale properties. Take care that you’re setting these properties logically. As explained in the documentation, if both the zoom and scale are set, then the scale setting will override the zoom setting. Similarly, an extent setting will override any center, zoom or scale setting.

3D SceneViews have the same set of properties as listed above, with the exception of rotation.

While it’s typical for a page to contain just a single View, you should keep in mind that you’re not limited to that sort of layout. It is sometimes useful to employ multiple views on the page, as in this sample that contains both a MapView and a SceneView.