There’s a lot of cool features in the 3.2 release of Geocortex Essentials we just announced, but I’d like to focus on one in particular.  We’ve made some architectural changes to our printing so that we can now support the generation of really, really big printed maps.

Geocortex Essentials has included printing from JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight since its first release for REST technology.  The print template designer allows authors to add multiple map services, a legend, an overview map, a north arrow, corporate logos or images, titles, copyright messages, client graphics, scale and projection information and all the other stuff you would want on a printed map.  Now, authors have the freedom to make their templates as big as they like, and allow users to run print jobs with them at high resolutions!

There’s a few printing solutions on the market, but I don’t know of any others that can create a 36x44 inch print at 600 DPI from a Flex or a Silverlight-based application.  The image resulting from the above specs is around 570 million pixels.  At 32 bits (4 bytes) per pixel, we’re looking at about 2.3 gigs of images (more if you count the tiles requested from every map service before they’re blended together into a single image).

Here’s an example of a 42x36 inch PDF generated at the 300 dpi.  It shows the effect of the bark beetle within the douglas fir habitat on the North Fraser river in BC.

WARNING:  It’s a ~40MB download (which is still big, but a lot smaller than several gigs thanks to JPG compression).  The preview image below links to the file – considering the file size you may want to “right-click, save as” instead of loading the PDF into your browser.  Also, make sure to "zoom in" once you've opened it up!