Creating Beautiful Maps Quickly with MapInfo Pro Advanced
by Steve Critchlow, Group Managing Director, on 03-Sep-2015 13:26:37
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!