Interactive and updatable map

Absolute Flash novice here. I've been assigned to make an interactive lot map for a subdivision using Flash, Coldfusion, MySQL. I'm hoping someone can break this down into bite sized pieces so I know where to get started.

Visitor appearance: One of the common overhead-view lot maps. Each lot can be moused over to show it's size and perhaps price in a info box. Each lot can appear as three colors depending on whether it's sold, reserved, or available.

Admin: A form where the lot number, status, size, and price can be entered.

I'm guessing that Flash will receive the data as XML. There could be up to 200 lots so I'm concerned about rendering speed. The lot number and lot size won't be changing so I wonder if they need to be in the actionscript or in a flat file.

Could someone give me a roadmap as to the best way to make this work and also a recommendation for a good book that would help me?
Benson_ncAsked:
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CyanBlueConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I think you are talking about something similar to this one that goes with the house builder and selling the lots...
http://stimpson.flashvacuum.net/mt/archives/2005/08/interactive_gol.html

The bottom line is it is doable but it might not be an easy task to somebody who is new to Flash and it is going to be somewhat lengthy and hair pulling project...  

Having said that, here is the basic version I can think of that you can try if you are up for it...  ;)

#1. You will need to manually create the lots within the Flash...  I am saying that you'd need to do that manually because not all the lots are square and it might be real bad experience in that case...  
So, you know where the lots are going to be, so draw them all manually and lay them to the exact spot on the stage and give them unique movieClip names...
#2. Once that's done, connect to the backend and receive the data that will tell you the status of the lot to color it in the right color), price and additional information you want to display...  You can use XML file, but you don't have to...  The XML file is an extra step unless you need to have it...  You can talk to the CF directly and have CF send you the data back...
#3. Once you get the data from the backend, update the lot movieClips with the received data...  Color them, add the action to the movieClips so that it will display the data properly...

As for the admin page, you can use either HTML or Flash to do so...  Just create a form where the admin can enter/update the lot information and have CF save it to the database...

It's not really an hard thing to do, but it sure is somewhat hefty project...

Let us know how it goes...  ;)

CyanBlue
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Benson_ncAuthor Commented:
CyanBlue,

Thanks. I looked at your example site - very nice!

Could you give me a code snippet of how one movieClip would be updated directly from CF? I like the idea of avoiding XML since I don't necessarily have to have it.
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CyanBlueCommented:
I have not done that site...  I just remembered seeing that site some time ago, so I was just showing it as an example...

I cannot give you the code snippet because it will differ depending on how you structure your movieClip et all...

See if you can do this...

Create a new FLA file...
Create a movieClip in that file and give it an instance name...
Create a textField that will show information when the lot is rolledOver...
Do the LoadVars to load the data from the flat text file that tells the attribute of that one lot...
Apply that attribute to the movieClip by using the setRGB() / movieClip.onRollOver to display the information...

If you can take care of that, you probably will be able to take care of the rest...  

CyanBlue
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