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XML interaction btwn FMP & MapQuest?


cjnvision
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John Mark Osborne at http://www.databasepros.com has a file Maps.fp5, with the following calculation, which is just the search string at MapQuest, with Filemaker field data included:

"http://mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?countrycode=250&country=US&address=" &

"&address=" & Substitute(address, " ", "+") &

"&city=" & Substitute(city, " ", "+") &

"&state=" & state &

"&zipcode=" & zip &

"&submit.x=33&submit.y=15&addtohistory="

Produces this (my address):

http://mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?countrycode=250&country=US&address=&address=1728+Meade+Ave&city=San+Diego&state=CA&zipcode=92116&submit.x=33&submit.y=15&addtohistory=

OpenURL[above] gets you a map to my house (and also switches the browser page, see below). Bring food and a movie :-)

Seriously, the above may change someday, but has worked for several months. I found more info about it here:

http://www.mapquest.com/solutions/product.adp?page=linkfree

They also had this:

Linking Restrictions:

The MapQuest page you are linking to may not be displayed in a frame set.

The MapQuest page you are linking to may not be displayed in a new browser window.

Now, whether using FileMaker to open a browser window is a violation of line 2, I couldn't say. Perhaps not, since it seems their intention is to force you to switch the browser window to their site; and unless you change the target, that's what would happen.

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Yeah, I've done this. It works well. Similarly I've done google searches on phone numbers to produce a likely name and address to go with it.

Recently I picked up Microsoft's Streets and Trips for $30. What a steal! It has every map of every street in the US and quite a few in Canada as far as I can tell. Even many global maps, but with less detail. (They may have versions for other countries too.)

The really cool thing is that you can export a simple text file of addresses from FM and import it into Streets and Trips. It will put all of them on a map, and mark them with flag icons (or about 100 other choices). It will even calculate the best route between the points and give you directions. For someone trying to make deliveries or sales calls, this is amazing.

Just some thoughts.

Dan

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i should clarify: what i need to do is return an importable document so that FMP can suck it in and populate fields with data from MapQuest or a similar service. this is part of a large expense and costing system where mileage calculations are critical.

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It sounds like you need a web service which you can send HTTP queries to, and which will respond with XML that FileMaker can import. From a FileMaker perspective, you just need to script the File > Import Records > XML Source. When called from ScriptMaker, you can specify the HTTP string from a field, which can include the parameters you need to provide (location a, location ;). You can also specify a XSL stylesheet to use to tranform the resulting XML from the web service. FileMaker can only import FMP_XML and DSO_XML grammars, so you'll need to write an XSL sheet that transforms the XML from the web service vendor to one of FileMaker's grammars. Once you've configured this XML import, the rest is just like setting up a normal import. You can line up which fields map to which fields, update matching records, etc.

Of course, this all means that you've found a vendor that provides this web service. More than likely, you'll have to pay. I think that MapQuest now offers "Business Services" which do just this, and I think MicroSoft recently also started selling access to their own mapping web service. I think Microsoft's service is based on SOAP... but that is basically just XML which you can work with.

If you make progress on this it would be nice to hear who you used and how much work it involved. Good luck!

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