Product review: mapinfo professional version 10

DistributorPitney Bowes Business InsightOne Global View Troy, Thành Phố New York 12180MapInfo Professional version 10.5, launched in June 2010, is the lathử nghiệm release of the desktop location intelligence software from Pitney Bowes Business Insight. This đánh giá will focus on enhancements to lớn the software since the previous version. MapInfo Professional v10.5 continues to lớn integrate user suggestions into the software khổng lồ make it as user-friendly as possible. The functionality that has been added to MapInfo Professional v10.5 includes better access khổng lồ mapping data, quicker & easier access when working with maps & tables, better ways lớn share maps, and enhancements lớn the user interface.Better Access lớn Mapping DataMapInfo Professional v10.5 includes new tools & functionality lớn easily locate & access data via the Internet. The Catalog Browser allows users khổng lồ tìm kiếm the metadata of spatial and nonspatial databases available on the Internet. The Catalog Browser returns catalog records that meet the criteria the user specifies. The Catalog Browser can search any OGC Catalog Service for the Web (CSW)-compliant catalog. One example of a CSW catalog is eXmèo from the Geospatial Data Service Centre (GDSC) at the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory NLR. Figure 1 displays the Catalog Browser dialog box.The Catalog Browser is accessed through the File > Open Web Services > Search CSW Catalogs menu. Alternatively, there are two new buttons on the Web Services toolbar that users can press to lớn quickly tìm kiếm the CSW Data Catalogs và the PBBI Data Catalog. The CSW-compliant PBBI Data Catalog, which accesses PBBI's new data-as-a-service offering, allows users to quickly identify, locate, sample, select, prepare, deliver & use the data. The PBBI Data Catalog consists of hundreds of global geo-datasets created by PBBI & its extensive third-buổi tiệc nhỏ data partner network. Datasets include streets, boundaries, postcodes, demographics and industry-specific content lượt thích insurance risk data & telecommunications data. Users can add, remove sầu và edit data catalogs from their searches to lớn control the number of catalogs available for locating metadata. The Catalog Browser allows the user to choose a data catalog, specify the geographic tìm kiếm area, or tìm kiếm with a từ khoá. The results will be displayed in the right panel of the Catalog Browser. There are advanced search options that include a spatial operator, field, date and record types lớn further refine the metadata search. Users can tìm kiếm multiple catalogs with the Catalog Browser by adding a tab to the right panel of the Catalog Browser & selecting a data catalog khổng lồ tìm kiếm in that tab.

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Figure 1: Catalog Browser dialog box. (Cliông chồng for larger view.)
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MapInfo Professional v10.5 provides users with functionality lớn connect to tile hệ thống data with the software. A tile hệ thống is an online VPS that contains a collection of raster tiles that organizes bản đồ data into a row/column grid format where each tile represents predefined bản đồ layers for a specific area on the earth. Tile servers also contain multiple levels of tiles which provide different resolutions of the data at different bản đồ scales. Comtháng examples of tile servers on the Internet include Microsoft Bing imagery & Google Earth. MapInfo Professional v10.5 takes care of fetching the appropriate tiles from the tile VPS to lớn display a tile VPS layer in a map window. Users can create their own tile servers with MapInfo Developer or MapXtreme.NET, but they must connect to these tile servers with the Create Table command in the MapBasic window.MapInfo Professional v10.5 provides a free và easy access to lớn global Microsoft Bing imagery data. The Standard Toolbar contains two new buttons that will automatically connect lớn the Microsoft Bing Aerial or Microsoft Bing Hybrid tile VPS lớn add the layers to lớn the bản đồ. There are also two new thực đơn options under the File thực đơn khổng lồ add the Bing layers to lớn the map. Unlike other tile servers, where a MapBasic command is used lớn connect, the Bing data are connected automatically with the new buttons. You vì not need khổng lồ open the Bing table prior khổng lồ adding it to lớn the map. The Bing layers will automatically display additional details at different map scales. Figure 2 shows a maps window with the Microsoft Bing Aerial and Microsoft Bing Hybrid layers.

Figure 2: MapInfo Professional maps window with Microsoft Bing Aerial and Microsoft Bing Hybrid layers. (Click for larger view.)
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The mở cửa Universal Data Capability has been updated in MapInfo Professional v10.5. This capability is based on Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) technology from Safe Software and provides direct access to a variety of data formats within MapInfo Professional. MapInfo Professional v10.5 supports Google's KML format, which allows users to open Google KML and KMZ files directly inlớn a map window. The capability supports direct opening of KML files from the user's local drive sầu or from a URL pointing to lớn a KML file on the Internet. Working with Tables and MapsThe new Table List function provides a window that displays the names of all tables that are open, whether mappable or not. Figure 3 shows an example of the new Table List window. The Table List provides users with a quichồng & easy way khổng lồ access tables, tìm kiếm for tables, và perform actions on tables with fewer mouse clicks. There are buttons on the Table List window that will group tables by type, sort tables in ascending or descending order, và display recently opened tables first. The Table List provides a tìm kiếm function where the user can begin typing the name of a table and the table list is filtered with each keystroke khổng lồ show tables that include the characters typed in the tìm kiếm box. Users can right-clichồng on a table name in the Table List to lớn view a popup thực đơn where they can select records, browse the table, open a table in a new maps window, export the table, refresh a table, view the table structure, create points, update a column in the table, và view a catalog record.

Figure 3: Table List window showing different table types. (Clichồng for larger view.)
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MapInfo Professional v10.5 includes a new symbology option to create stacked styles for point, polyline và polygon features. A stacked style is a list of styles drawn on top of each other khổng lồ create a more complex or interesting looking bản đồ feature. Users will have to lớn kiểm tra the Use Stacked Styles checkbox in the Layer Properties lớn access the Stacked Styles dialog box. The Stacked Styles dialog box allows users to add, remove, order and modify styles khổng lồ create a customized symbol utilizing multiple styles. Figure 4 shows the Layer Properties and the Stacked Line Styles dialog boxes with an example of a stacked line symbol with three styles stacked together.

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Figure 4: The Layer Properties and the Stacked Line Styles dialog boxes. (Click for larger view.)
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Another improvement in MapInfo Professional v10.5 is the ability lớn create multiple Style Overrides and Label Overrides for layers when zooming on the maps. Style và Label Overrides are useful khổng lồ control the display of a layer's features and labels as the user zooms in and out. Style and Label Overrides are applied by right-clicking on the layer name in the Layer Control & selecting Add a Display Override or Add a Label Override from the popup menu. MapInfo Professional will automatically create scale ranges for the layer but the user can change the default scale by changing the Display Override Properties. The scale range of the Style Override will appear under the layer name in the Layer Control window. Users can change the layer symbols lớn appear differently as the user changes the scale of the maps. Figure 5 shows a Layer Control window with three Style Overrides for the Interstates Layer. The layer's current Style Override is shown in blachồng lettering, while layers that are out of the scale range are displayed in gray lettering.

Figure 5: Layer Control window with three Style Overrides for the Interstates layer. (Click for larger view.)
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Sharing MapsMapInfo Professional has expanded the functionality of outputting maps lớn Adobe PDF files over the last couple of software releases. The MapInfo Professional Standard Toolbar includes a new button to output maps directly to lớn the MapInfo PDF Printer Version 10.5 driver. This enhancement will save users time, as the button opens the Printer dialog box with the MapInfo PDF Printer Version 10.5 already selected along with a PDF button on the Printer dialog box lớn specify the PDF preferences. Figure 6 shows the MapInfo PDF Printer Version 10.5 dialog box along with the PDF Options dialog box.

Figure 6: MapInfo PDF Printer Version 10.5 và the PDF Preferences dialog boxes. (Click for larger view.)
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This software release includes expanded functionality to lớn store additional information in a PDF tệp tin. The PDF Preferences include options to lớn create a Layered PDF, Add Attribute Data khổng lồ a PDF, Georegister PDF, & Automatically Open the PDF after it is created. Translucent layers are now supported in the layered và georegistered PDFs. Georegistered PDFs allow viewers of the PDF lớn see coordinates on the maps as they move sầu the cursor around. They can also find a location by entering coordinates. Adobe Reader v9 or higher is needed to view bản đồ coordinate information. The MapInfo PDF Printer Version 10.5 also supports adding the attribute data of the records on the bản đồ inkhổng lồ the PDF file. Figure 7 displays a georegistered PDF with attributes within the basic Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Figure 7: MapInfo Professional v10.5 can produce a georegistered PDF with attributes. (Clichồng for larger view.)
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MapInfo Professional customers who have sầu MapInfo Stratus accounts can publish their maps & spatial information online lớn MapInfo Stratus. MapInfo Stratus allows MapInfo Professional users to lớn tóm tắt their maps and data with colleagues and/or customers who vị not have GIS software or expertise. MapInfo Stratus is delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) which operates on Pitney Bowes Business Insight's cloud computing infrastructure. MapInfo Stratus customers can install the Stratus Upload tool, once they obtain a MapInfo Stratus tài khoản, under the Tool Manager in MapInfo Professional lớn upload their maps khổng lồ MapInfo Stratus. Spatial data are securely uploaded khổng lồ the cloud where they can be accessed by a range of users through a Web browser. MapInfo Stratus supports all major Web browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari và Google Chrome. User Interface và Toolbar EnhancementsThe cursors in MapInfo Professional v10.5 have been updated to lớn a new & improved look, much as the toolbar icons were updated in the previous version of MapInfo Professional. The behavior of the cursors has not changed, only the style in which they are displayed on the screen. MapInfo Professional includes a docking feature that allows windows, such as the Layer Control và Table List, and some tools, such as the Named Views and Catalog Browser, khổng lồ be docked khổng lồ the application window. Users can leave the windows as floating or they can dochồng windows by clicking on the title bar và dragging it lớn the location where they want to doông chồng it. Users can dock windows khổng lồ the top, bottom, left or right sides of the bản đồ. As the user drags the window, arrows will appear as visual cues to lớn position the window to lớn a location specified by the arrow. Floating windows can be placed in a separate screen than the application for users who have sầu split-screen computer monitors. The docking feature allows the user to lớn control the amount of real estate on the screen & better organize the windows and tools that are visible in the software.The Synchronize (Sync) Windows tool gives users access to a toolbar that controls the display of selected map windows. Users can synchronize multiple maps windows, which allows them to lớn make a change in one window, such as changing the bản đồ scale or panning the maps, & both windows will be updated at the same time. Synchronized windows are very useful lớn compare different layers of information at the same location in separate maps windows. The Sync Windows toolbar includes tools lớn add symbols, polylines & polygons lớn all the Cosmetic layers in the synched windows at the same time or to lớn clear the contents of all the Cosmetic layers at once.The Named Views tool saves a map's view, position & zoom settings, which enables the user to lớn return to them as needed. This is useful if there is an area of interest that a user needs khổng lồ refer to frequently. Views that are created with the Name View tool are global và independently saved from the workspaces and tables that they are associated with, meaning they are available for use in all MapInfo Professional workspaces. The Sync Windows và Named View tools are accessed through the Tool Manager in the Tools menu.ConclusionMapInfo Professional v10.5 continues khổng lồ improve the tốc độ và efficiency of the functions in the desktop computer mapping software. The software includes several new buttons and toolbars that reduce the number of mouse clicks needed to lớn perkhung a function, which improves the over user's productivity. Users will find they have greater control in displaying information on their maps with stacked symbols & style overrides. Users can control the screen display with the window docking và floating functions to maximize the amount of real estate on their screen display. The search function in the MapInfo Professional Catalog Browser will help users locate data much quicker by searching from one central location, rather than having to tìm kiếm the Internet on their own. MapInfo customers should find the ability to lớn easily integrate Bing imagery into their maps as a great resource for visualizing imagery with their map data without having to purchase an additional license or having to maintain the imagery data in-house. Lastly, the PDF options have been expanded in this release, allowing MapInfo Professional users lớn chia sẻ interactive maps, rather than just static maps, with their colleagues.You can learn more about the upgrade và get a 30-day evaluation.