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Smart M.App Newsletter October 2017

by Technical Evangelist on ‎10-19-2017 08:02 AM - edited on ‎10-26-2017 07:24 AM by Technical Evangelist (1,434 Views)

Smart M.App Updates for October 2017

At Hexagon Geospatial, we are constantly looking for ways to improve your M.App Studio experience, allowing you to easily create Smart M.apps to offer solutions based on sound geospatial data. From mobile layout to the integration of Heat Maps and sliders for Row Charts, these updates will allow you to utilize the Smart M.App platform to the fullest.  


What’s New

Mobile layout

With this update, M.App Studio accessed with a mobile Web browser is automatically run in mobile layout. Simplified M.App Studio mobile layout provides basic functionalities of developed Smart M.Apps, and the list of apps can be filtered using the same filters as with the standard version. Your apps also adapt to the device you are currently using.



In mobile layout, the ratio between map view and widget view can be adjusted.

Due to the smaller screen size of mobile devices, and for better map readability, only one selected widget is displayed at a time. To display the next available chart, just swipe the widget.



Heat Map

We are happy to introduce a new map data visualization method – the Heat Map. Heat Maps, also referred to as Hot Spot Maps, are one of the best visualization tools for dense point data because they show a change across a study area as a rasterized dataset. With Heat Map visualization, you can:


  • Easily find and identify areas with a high concentration of activity in studied phenomenon.
  • View the resultant density surface using a gradient that allows the areas of highest density to be easily identified.


Due to several Heat Map properties available in BI wizard, you can adjust and customize the presentation of the phenomenon to make your data presentation in Smart M.Apps more attractive and legible. 


The Heat Map feature in Smart M.App is an overlay, so you can apply it over other spatial data, giving you compelling and visually attractive data analysis capabilities.


You will find descriptions of all Heat Map properties in M.App Studio Help in the Documentation Portal.


Clustered labels with BI

Clustered labels is another new feature aimed at improving the overall Smart M.App performance and map readability. Prior to this release, labels (if enabled) were always rendered, which occasionally resulted in slow rendering time and low map readability.


Clustered labels help you solve that problem. Now, adjacent labels are combined for presentation and, depending on the zoom level, only some labels are displayed for a given area. Information on how many labels are hidden is presented on each label balloon. With arrow buttons, also available on label balloons, you can switch between labels in the group. 


The labels are regrouped with each zoom change so that the map delivers meaningful information at every level. This significantly improves performance and readability when working with many features.


Clustering OFF 




Clustering ON 




Label clustering works automatically with the new rendering engine (v.2.0). However, if you are using rendering engine in version 1.0, you will need to enable label clustering manually in the map visualization properties panel.




Label toggle

As a Smart M.App designer, you can decide whether end users can toggle labels on and off in the final application. To enable label toggling in Smart M.Apps, just turn on the Allow toggle option in the map visualization properties panel.



WMS Get Feature Info

WMS Get Feature Info functionality has been implemented in this release. This functionality lets you see the set of attributes that are associated with a geographic location and are originating from a WMS map layer defined in your Smart M.App.


To open the property dialog box for a location on the map:

  1. Click the Feature Info tool 13.png.
  2. When the cursor changes to a cross hair, click the selected location on the map. A list of queryable layers is displayed.
  3. Select the layer for which you want to obtain information, and the feature info dialog with a set of available attributes will appear.



Spatial Workshop and recipe panel allow selection of folder as an input

What can you do when a Smart M.App based on a Spatial Recipe requires multiple input files? Adding each file one by one can be inconvenient, so we added the ability to point to an entire folder and use all of its relevant files as input. You can also specify whether sub-directories should be searched for the input file data.



Download Geoprocessing Outputs

With the latest update, we added the ability to download geoprocessing outputs just after recipe execution. Within the recipe panel, next to the Execute button, there is a new Download button.

Until the first execution, it is disabled, but after successful execution, it provides a dropdown list with all created output files. By clicking on each of them, you can download them directly to a local machine.




Enhancement in Smart M.App created from Spatial Workshop
As you probably know, you can create Smart M.App with a few clicks directly in Spatial Workshop. When testing the model, you can save a simple Smart M.App with the recipe bounded to it, and you can still choose one of two types of application layout.

In this release, the layout with the recipe panel and map is extended with the addition of the top title bar and new dark-colored UI.




Tiled canvas renderer (v2.0) of the choropleth

Due to this new technology, processing huge data collections and rendering big amounts of geometries is fast, easy, and more efficient.


The SVG renderer is still available, but it requires an explicit manual setting in the map visualization advanced options.


Updated version of the Leaflet library

New applications created with M.App Editor now use an updated version of the Leaflet library. All new BI features apply to the new library only. Legacy Smart M.Apps and their behavior remain unchanged. Migration to this updated library version is made automatically when the Legacy app is edited and saved.



Pagination for the Data Table Widget

It is easy to browse tabular data sets with the new navigation bar which displays page numbers. The page navigation bar is located at the bottom of the widget. Click the First/Last, Next/Previous buttons to display further data table screens.


You can also jump a few pages backward/forward by using the buttons with the numbers of adjacent pages or by using the Go to page field. Information about which part of the set is being displayed and what is the total count is also available.


Slider in Row Chart widget

Have you ever wanted to present a large number of items in a simple Row Chart without making the chart too large? Simply enable the scroll bar in Row Chart properties. This enhancement is now available and accommodates numerous items on a single row chart. When this chart option is enabled, the y-axis rescaling is ignored, and a fixed value specified in the Chart height property is used.


With the related Chart height property, you can increase inner chart height by a percentage of the default chart height.


Support for large file uploads in M.App Chest

A new version of M.App Chest has been deployed which now supports uploading individual files greater than 5GB in size. This support relies on a slightly different type of upload request, which is now described in the Foundation Upload API documentation.

The gist is that you can now specify a presignRequired: false property in your upload request, which will cause the s3Properties object in the response to contain different security credential properties. Those properties allow you to use the AWS SDK to perform the actual file uploads to S3, which provides a more standard way to interact with S3 and also supports chunked uploads out of the box to achieve the 5GB+ support.

The details and a javascript code example are in the Upload API documents.


Lastly, we’ve made fixes and minor refinements:

Improved handling of CSV column names

Handling of column names in CSV and GeoJSON Data Source has been significantly improved. The restriction saying that column names in the CSV/GeoJSON should not contain spaces and/or special characters is no longer valid. All special characters and spaces are converted into “_” character.

The next improvement related to CSV/GeoJSON data sources is its automatic validation. Every inaccuracy in data (e.g. mismatched number of columns) is immediately presented to the user in the Select Dataset dialog.



Custom attributes shown as columns

To provide you with an even better user experience, the custom attributes that you add in the Data Preview dialog are now shown as columns in a table. In one place, you see all the available attributes, including virtual ones that are treated as if they were columns in your data table. This update will make it possible for you to quickly verify your data details, including custom attributes.


The process for deleting a defined custom attribute remains the same:

  • Remove the custom attribute definition below the table, or
  • Click the ‘x’ button above the table column heading (applies only to custom attributes).


Fixed scales for Row and Bar widgets

Now, you can manually adjust the scale on the x-y axis of row and/or bar charts. This means that the chart rescaling, along with the value bar change, can be disabled. Such a setting allows you to demonstrate full range on a chart, which will make it easier and faster to compare data visually on numerous charts.


To set a fixed scale:

  1. Turn on the Force Axis Scale option available on the chart properties panel.
  2. Set a maximum value on the x-y axis in the Upper scale value
  • Note: In the Row Chart, if the value is smaller than actual maximum value on the chart, it will not rescale.


Weighted average available in UI in BI wizard

The list of Measure types possible to define in BI wizard has been extended with Weighted Average.

Simple average is the value of the attribute computed from all elements in the particular group. You can also choose to specify an additional attribute as the weight for average.

To set the weighted average in the Measures dialog:

  1. Select Average type and the Weighted
  2. From the drop-down list, choose the attribute on which the weight will be based.


Formulas used in each case are:

  • Simple average:



  • Weighted average:


Old form-based BI Wizard is discontinued

With this release, only one BI wizard is available. The previous version is no longer present in the product, and there will not be a dialog box with the option of choosing a wizard version. Only WYSIWG interactive BI Wizard will be feasible and successively improved. All your Smart M.Apps created with the old wizard are still available and functional in M.App Studio.


Revised Widget Styling

Small cosmetic enhancements to default widget styling have been made to provide a more modern design.


Enable update of catalogue items from Foundation API (shp file update, GeoJSON update)

Smart M.App Foundation provides the core API for building applications and services in the Smart M.App environment. The Foundation API is a set of HTTP services that allows you to complete actions such as:

  • Retrieve and manage your data.
  • Publish retrieved data to various display services.
  • Run geoprocessing models.

In this release, we added new methods to update catalogue items such as shape and GeoJSON files (view details).


Community and Technical Support 

If you haven't already, we invite you to participate in the Hexagon Geospatial Community, where you can benefit from eTraining, knowledge-base articles, and discussion boards. 

Use your HGDN Subscription to post questions regarding M.App Studio functionality or specific Smart M.App customization and participate in discussions initiated by other Community Members. Access the code examples and snippets published on the Community by Hexagon Geospatial Developers and Community Members to speed up your work.


Also, feel free to access the Hexagon Geospatial Support Portal to report issues in Smart M.App component functionality.