Can I Create CUSTOM "show place" map icons in Streets & Trips?
Hi everyone, I am a self-employed towing service operator running around southern California. I have a full-blown XP-PC in my truck with a 17" LCD monitor mounted to an arm that extends up from the floor. Among the many tasks this computer performs, MS S&T 2008 (currently) is always up and running.

I have a need for a way to use the "Show Places" feature to drop the desired icons on the screen in a given area, but I want to make custom icons that are both much LARGER and semi-transparent so the map can be seen beneath them. Basically, I want the "show places" function to drop a semi-transparent dot onto each location that reveals a circle representing a 1,000 foot radius from the center of the place displayed. Also, these dots would need to have the ability to overlap each other where two or more "places" are less than 1,000 feet apart.

Does anyone know which file contains the data set that creates the "places" icons, and how I can pull those icons into Photoshop or another program to create replacements that the "show places" function would then place on the maps as usual?

At the moment, I am MANUALLY using the DRAW tool to draw a circle around each place, but there are literally thousands of them in each area of interest, and the manual method is quite tedious and time consuming!

I have attached a sample of what I want the "show places" function to illustrate:

Hi BikerJoe,

Welcome to the forum!

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out exactly what you are trying to do but anyhow...here are my comments and a suggestion for a possible workaround.

The map only supports the following image formats - bmp, ico and cur. I don't think it is possible to create a transparent gif type image for the map.

I would suggest creating a custom ring and use the "import custom symbol" feature on the drawing toolbar (the dropdown next to the pushpin).

The map ignores pure green so use that as a background.

Now if you select the ring you should see it show up on the toolbar instead of the default pushpin. Click it once and you can drop the ring on the map 1 time. If you double-click the ring on the toolbar you can drop several rings onto the map.

Known limitation with this technique: the rings will stay the same size regardless of your zoom level.

If the 1000 foot radius is a primary concern then using the Radius Tool might work but it is tedious and each must be drawn one-by-one. But they scale when you zoom.

Hope that helps. Someone else may have a better solution.
Well thank you very much! Yes, that might help ... what I am trying to do is this:

When you "show places" and check on one category, such as HOSPITALS, it puts the ICON on the map (shown in the LEFT example.)

I would like it to put the LARGER ICON on the map (shown in the RIGHT example) and use the same icon for every hospital (or gas station, or library, or pizza restaurant, etc.) This ICON should be scaled according to zoom level. The specific icon I need at the moment should indicate a region that represents a 1,000-foot radius from the center of the selected "place" shown.
Larry, it sounds like bikerjoe wants to replace the icon resources in MSM##USA.dll, where ## is the version number of S&T, i.e. 15 for 2008, 16 for 2009. You can pull out the icons and replace them using any icon editor that'll write back to a DLL. Most of the icons are 16x16, however -- it's unclear what'll happen if you try to replace them with larger icons. Will they be properly centered or offset?

This is something that gamers do this all the time to modpack their games, e.g. to turn Civilization into a battle with Ewoks, or whatever. Game designers cater for this by keeping the icons in individual graphics files in a directory.

bikerjoe, I'm curious how something like this is helpful to a tow service operator. Are you trying to show range?
Attached Images
Thanks for the info. I'll try to find a program that will edit the icons and experiment a bit.

The purpose? I would like this feature for TWO reasons.

First, there are pinpoints I use in my business that I would like to make FAR more visible as I am bouncing down these bumpy California highways, without having to zoom in to see them. They are points that the "show places" feature will not display, such as particularly dangerous curves on county roads where the majority of crashes occur, spots where the riders "hang out" at a wide spot along the road, and places where I can squeeze through to make a U-turn, saving me time and fuel. For these points, I'd like to make a larger icon of my own unique design.

The 1,000 foot radius scalable icon is for a different purpose. I am a life member of the NRA, and a gun owner. I am trying to create a map of California that clearly displays the ridiculous results of a California law that forbids anyone from legally transporting a handgun any place within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school. The Carlsbad sample map is only one small region of San Diego's North County, but it clearly shows that the law makes it impossible to transport a handgun and still comply with the law. I am working to have the law changed so that honest citizens who are absolutely NO threat to schools, students, faculty or the administration can legally transport a handgun in their vehicles or while walking, bicycling or whatever, as they move about the state.

The California 1,000 foot rule was politically motivated and crafted by the anti-gun crowd. It was created for the purpose of restricting the legal mobility of honest gun owners, and if it is allowed to stand or to be expanded, the law will become a back-door restriction on everyone's 2nd amendment rights, which were recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. Under this law, a man transporting a handgun from his office to his home is breaking the law wherever he passes through one of these elusive and often UNmarked or not clearly marked 1,000-foot "gun-free zones."

The police do not actively seek out handgun owners, but should someone be pulled over for a burned out taillight and there happens to be a handgun in the vehicle, even UNloaded and IN a locked case as required by law, the driver can suddenly find himself facing very serious charges.
Hmm, looks like the icons in MSM##USA.DLL are deadweight that was never removed. Editing them has no effect, and the program has lots of pushpins that can't be found in MSN##USA.DLL.

The actual pushpins used by the program are located somewhere else -- beats me where they are. Larry can probably find out.
That's the issue. First, where ARE the pushpins, and second, how can I edit/replace them?
Marvin Hlavac

I suspect even if you change POI icons, or create custom pushpins, you may still not be happy with the result, because at various zoom levels the circles will represent always different radius - but you want them to represent 1,000 feet.

Why not simply use the Radius tool. It is available on the Drawing tool bar. Simply click on the Radius button, and draw a radius of your desired size. You may then make it look any way you desire. The border of the circle can be made thicker or thinner by clicking on the Line Style button while the circle (radius) is selected. You can change the color of the circle border, too, just click the Line Color button. Click Fill Color, if you wish, and then right-click the circle and click Order => Send behind roads.

If you don't like the line inside the radius, you may use the Oval tool on Streets & Trips Drawing toolbar instead of the radius tool. Possibilities are endless.
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac

I suspect even if you change POI icons, or create custom pushpins, you may still not be happy with the result, because at various zoom levels the circles will represent always different radius - but you want them to represent 1,000 feet.
Right. Regardless of the zoom level, they need to represent a 1,000 foot radius from the center of each location.

Why not simply use the Radius tool. Simply click on the Radius button, and draw a radius of your desired size ... Possibilities are endless.
In the Los Angeles Area alone, there are over 4,800 schools. I want to create this map for the entire state of California. It would require a lot of time to set a 333 yard radius circle onto each one of them ... manually ... one at a time.
Marvin Hlavac
That's true and I wonder if this could be done programmatically in Microsoft MapPoint.
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