Introduction to Chart FX Map Files
Chart FX map files, or files with the .cmf extension, were especially created for data visualization and business intelligence applications. Unlike maps that are used for cartography or positioning purposes, Chart FX Maps show important characteristics that make them particularly suitable for data-centric applications, they are:
- They are based on the shapefile (.shp) industry standard, which allows us to create and deliver custom map files timely, affordably and efficiently. However, creating a .cmf file is not as simply as downloading and renaming a .shp file.
- They are extremely small, typically ranging below 50KB*. Unlike other shapefile based maps, .cmf files are compressed for specific target devices, including mobile devices.
- Chart FX .cmf files retain their vector nature. This means, you can instantiate their container in any size and they will render in full quality.
- Chart FX map files provide polygons with a matching dictionary that can be easily integrated with your data.
- The Chart FX API allows you to create conditional attributes to color these map areas or let you position elements such as pins and polygons in specific [lat,long] positions in your map for additional data visualization scenarios.
- All layers are embedded in a single .cmf file. This simplifies the process of loading and displaying map files and let developers focus on more important data aspects in their applications.
- They remove unnecessary detail while still providing good contextual information. Chart FX Maps are displayed along with their territorial neighbors, cities, inland waters and roads which allow for richer mapping applications. This contextual information has been optimized so it does not interfere with the main intent of visualizing data. These layers can also be turned off with an API call which makes the process of customizing your maps even easier.
- Chart FX map files support UTF encoded labels, which means you can display attributes using any language.