Shape2Earth Beta 3 input provided an enormous amount of help in the finalization of Shape2Earth. Shape2Earth Version 1.0 is now available for download at http://shape2earth.com]
I have recently been able to start work on Shape2Earth Beta 3. Work so far has focused on a couple of fixes and enhancements or adjustments to current functionality.
I am cleaning up the 3D section and adding the ability to use Z values. Clamping features to the Earth will happen automatically if there are no height values (greater than zero) for all of the points in the feature.
Shape2Earth has better handling for zero geometries, which are very common in data that is typically derived from CADD. Previously, if there were any features with zero geometry, the resulting kml document would be blank of any data.
I would like for Shape2Earth to be able to handle the sorting of features based on an attribute to be a bit more user friendly. It currently requires the user to set three different values in three different areas to work. This will be consolidated into a single area.
I will probably build a separate form that can be used to better control the symbology of the features. Users will have an easier time selecting point symbols, and will have greater control over setting the colors for lines and polygons.
I have added a centroid function that creates a ‘center-point’ for polygons. This can be used for labeling.
I am adding better instructions on how to make sure that the shapefile is projected properly.
Users will also be able to only export a subset of the features in the feature class (such as only those in the current view, or those that have been selected).
Users will be able to export the view as a PNG overlay image.
I am also doing some experimenting with collada models. In some cases, lifelike models can be used to represent the features from the shapefile. This can be used in conjunction with the new features found in KML 2.1 to display features at different distances as different symbols (a generic circle at a great distance would be displayed as a model when the user gets close enough to see the model appropriately).