Create amazing Flash maps with Mercator

I've been using Google's simple map visualizer to picture some of the geographic data I'm gathering, but I've been looking for something more customizable and interactive. After a lot of searching, I finally found Mercator, an open-source flash library for creating maps. I've only been using it for a few hours, but already I'm very excited! It's not only very slick, with built-in animation and a clean look, it's also got a lot of depth, with data and graphics for an astonishing array of countries, states and cities.

The only down-side was getting started. The beginner's guide is aimed at someone with a deeper knowledge of Flash application building than me, and there was no 'hello world' example I could download, though there are several more advanced projects available. So, for anyone else out there who struggles with Flex basics here's a complete project for Flex Builder 3 that just creates and displays a Mercator map. You can see it running at the head of this post, or over at http://web.mailana.com/labs/mapview/

Manfred's done an excellent job on Mercator, it's a poster child for the quality of open-source projects, and I'm looking forward to creating some rich visualizations on top of it.

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