DeLorme Professional Newsletter, January 2009


DeLorme Professional Newsletter

January 2009
Affordable GIS Solutions for the Practical Professional

XMap Sales Grow by 20% in 2008

Amid one of the worst sales years in US business history, DeLorme XMap software sales grew, achieving a 20% growth rate for the year. “Sales were brisk, especially in the first and last quarters of 2008,” said DeLorme Director of Professional Sales, Geoffrey Ives. “We feel fortunate to offer an array of quality geospatial tools - GPS devices, GIS mapping software, and DeLorme map data - at prices that most organizations can afford.”

XMap growth was present across many business sectors but was especially strong among wind energy organizations seeking site assessment tools and large oil and gas companies using XMap to manage GIS data distribution through XMap synchronization tools.

Tab Tip - Printing Maps in XMap

It is somewhat ironic that for many years DeLorme has been instrumental in helping businesses and organizations migrate their data from paper maps to digital format while simultaneously integrating powerful printing functionality into XMap. Many seasoned GIS professionals, who build and maintain complex spatial databases, acknowledge that a printed map is often the best choice for sharing or distributing their GIS data.

XMap’s Print tab offers a wide variety of options for portraying your map data in its best possible light.

Step 1 - Compose Map
Before you print a map, adjust other XMap components.

  • In the Map Data tab, turn the applicable base map data or imagery layers on or off as needed
  • In the Draw tab, fine-tune the color and style of any annotation objects or text
  • In the Map Features tab of the Options dialog box, turn off unneeded features in the USA Topographic or USA Street Level base map to reduce clutter. Select the Use Custom Features option to exert even more control over the items that appear on the map. Click the None button to display a completely blank map and turn on only the features that are appropriate. For instance, you can start with a map that shows just contours, a lat/long grid, and county borders over which you can then overlay your data
  • In the GIS tab, add all the applicable layers to the Workspace, adjust layering, edit the legend heading and labels, and apply clear and intuitive symbolization

Once the composition of the map is complete, click the Print tab and set up the print parameters.

XMap Q & A

How can I get Canadian topographic maps for XMap?

Owing to DeLorme’s location in Maine, we have a deep affinity for our neighbors to the north and east. After all, those Canadians are gracious enough to share their air masses with us each winter. At the time of writing, the thermometer is hovering around 16 degrees below zero; that would be minus 27 for you Canadians. Not having any need or desire to venture outside in such conditions, what better way to mitigate the inevitable cabin fever than to conduct some research into the availability of map datasets for Canada to help answer a frequently asked question?

A quick Web search reveals the GeoGratis site, hosted by Natural Resources Canada, a department of the government of Canada. This data portal offers access to an expansive online archive of GIS data in both vector and raster format, including a complete collection of geographically referenced topographic maps in GeoTIFF format derived from the 1:50,000 series.

You can download these maps free of charge and they are fully compatible with all current versions of XMap, including XMap Professional. They cover all areas of the country from the U.S. border to north of the Arctic Circle, are incredibly detailed, and are of the highest cartographic quality. As with all raster datasets in XMap, they can be easily copied and transferred to the Earthmatre PN-20 or PN-40 GPS receivers.

Missing Map Data

If you purchased XMap 6 with the XMap USA Topographic Data and followed the instructions for installing the software and the data, it’s likely that you have encountered a problem seeing the topographic map data after zooming in closer than data zoom level 6.

The reason for this behavior is simply that XMap 6 was released after XMap USA Topographic Data, so the installation process for the data was not configured to automatically recognize version 6 of XMap.

Fortunately the solution to this issue is very straightforward:

  • In the Map Data tab, click the Data button and select Base Data
  • In the resulting Base Data Locations window, verify that the USA Topographic Data is actually missing from the list. By default, it will be listed as:
    C:\Program Files\DeLorme\XMap USA Topographic Data 2008
  • If it is present, you can simply clear and select the adjacent check box to refresh the data connection

We Want to Meet You!

Visit us at these upcoming events:

The Wind Energy Institute
Austin, TX
January 21-22, 2009

ESRI Petroleum User Group Conference
Houston, TX
February 23-25, 2009

Stop by the DeLorme booth and enter to win a drawing for a DeLorme product.

Where on Eartha?

With each successive month’s Where on Eartha challenge, the number of correct responses has been increasing. This may be because the challenges are getting easier or it may be that you, the DeLorme Professional Insider subscriber, are becoming geographically smarter. A quick glance at the latest puzzler below might suggest that the pool of entrants from which we draw the winner this month will be somewhat smaller than usual.

Before we get to that, however, a word of congratulation goes to Eric Svensen, GIS Coordinator for the City of Montrose, CO. Eric correctly identified Austria’s capital city of Vienna in last month’s Where on Eartha Challenge . This majestic city plays host to the famous New Year’s Concert each January 1st, an event that showcases the city’s renowned musical heritage and is watched by an audience of over a billion people throughout the world.

This month, the only semblance of a hint that will be offered is that the black areas of the image below are water. If you think you know the name of the country and its capital, denoted by the red pushpin, send your response to before February 7, 2009. If yours is the first correct response randomly drawn, you will win a copy of XMap 6 Professional with XMap USA Topographic Data and a USB GPS receiver. Good luck!

Limited Time Offer

Save over 20% on the Earthmate GPS PN-20 with XMap 6 (expires January 31, 2009)

The tried and tested predecessor to the PN-40 handheld GPS receiver, the PN-20, offers many of the same innovative features and functions, and supports the same map formats as its more powerful sibling. Designed to work in conjunction with XMap 6, the PN-20 is a field-optimized device for extending access to your map datasets to locations where a laptop computer is simply not an option. Topographic maps, aerial imagery, and GIS layers are all viewable on the super-bright screen of this groundbreaking GPS receiver. It even acts as a GPS antenna when connected to a laptop running XMap, providing location intelligence and navigation assistance where you need it most.

Click Here to receive your special offer.

XMap Now Includes 64-bit Support

With the increased availability of Windows 64-bit support, many computers have the ability to run more efficiently. Now XMap can exploit this capability by harnessing your system’s increased memory capacity, allowing you to perform several memory-thirsty tasks without any noticeable effect on performance.

Did You Know...

Did you know that you can increase the size of the map window in XMap 6 by disabling the Control Panel?

Since DeLorme’s software structure was redesigned almost ten years ago, the Control Panel to the right of the map window has been an integral component of the user interface. It offers tools for zooming, panning, and rotating the map; it displays the coordinates and elevation at the location of the cursor; and it provides a scale bar for estimating distances on the map.

Because these tools are not always required when using XMap, the Control Panel has often been considered a superfluous feature of the interface. Indeed, many of the functions performed by the Control Panel can be achieved using other mechanisms within the software. For instance, the process of panning and zooming can be controlled using the mouse or through a set of customizable keyboard shortcuts.

With the release of XMap 6, you can temporarily remove the Control Panel from the interface. Click the arrow next to the Options button on the toolbar to open the menu, and then click next to Show Control Panel to clear the check mark. This menu also offers the option of unchecking Show Tab Area Panel to remove all of the tabs and offer a full-screen map view.

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