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Creating Beautiful Maps Quickly with MapInfo Pro Advanced

Posted by Jacob Pescini on 03-Sep-2015 13:26:37

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Previously we wrote about MapInfo Pro Advanced and specifically focused on the performance of the .MRR file format and the 64bit platform. As always, we’ve been busy experimenting with importing and manipulating data using the various tools and we’ve been surprised at how easy and quick it is to create really good looking maps.

The ease comes essentially from the ability to instantly preview and apply colour, sun-shading and highlighting effects to the grid files we’ve been working with. As the rendering is instantaneous it is really easy to apply the little tweaks that can take maps from the so-so to the wow.

In this post we’re going to run through the process that we undertook to build the map that provides the backdrop to the image at the top of this post.

The set-up

The data we used comes from two sources; the Land Cover Database of NZ v4.1 (LCDB) and the 8m DEM of NZ.  

We had previously converted the 8m DEM files (all 140 of them at 18GB) from their original source into the new .MRR format (11GB) but we had yet to process the LCDB which we downloaded as a 1.5GB MapInfo .Tab file from the LRIS Data Portal, shown below in MapInfo Pro Advanced.

LCDB in MapInfo

Rasterising the LCDB

The LCBD is a multi-temporal, thematic classification of New Zealand's land cover. It contains 33 mainland classes where geographic features are described by a polygon boundary, a land cover code, and a land cover name.

The Rasterise function in MapInfo Pro Advanced converts region/polygon data into a numeric or classified raster. In this case we chose to convert the LCDB into a classified grid. The rasterise process took 45 minutes to convert the 1.5GB vector file into a 150MB .MRR file. Once the process was completed we simply had to assign appropriate colours to the separate classes.

Classified LCDB

Enhancing the LCDB with the DEM

While the LCDB looks OK as a standalone map, we needed to have additional context in the map to help show the landforms associated with the different land cover types. For this we loaded the 8m DEM and applied the following style changes:

  • Set the colour to greyscale
  • Applied a 50% transparency
  • Set the sun-angle to North-east
  • Set the sun-elevation to 45o

As noted earlier, these changes are applied to the entire (11GB) file instantaneously so it is very quick and easy to make alterations to these display settings.

8m DEM of New Zealand

Adding the final touches

Anyone who has had the job of creating maps will tell you that ‘a map is never finished, it’s just as good as it can be within the time allocated to make it’.

The great thing about the performance of MapInfo Pro Advanced is that it gives you a lot more time to make those final touches that will transform your maps from just OK to something you’re really proud of.

And together with the smart labelling functions in MapInfo Pro in v16 you’ll find yourself being productive rather than busy when it comes to making your maps.

Final Map

Want to try it for yourself?

If you live in New Zealand and want to trial the new MapInfo Pro v16, click the link below!

 Begin your MapInfo Pro Trial

Topics: MapInfo Pro, Raster GIS, MapInfo Pro Advanced

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Critchlow are Location Intelligence, Emergency Management and Business Continuity Management Specialists.

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