June 27, 2005
MapInfo Professional v8.0 Takes a Nuts-and-Bolts Approach to Bringing Geospatial to the Enterprise
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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“The other important aspect of the XP certification is the whole recovery that Installer now mandates, meaning if you deleted by mistake several files from your MapInfo directory or those files have been corrupted for some reason, the product has an “auto” repair that the certification insures that the product can do,” noted Binyamin. Lastly, the user interface of the product has guidelines in terms of how dialogs need to be designed and the consistency of dialogs are also part of the logo certification process. That also includes the ability to work in visually impaired mode that Microsoft XP and the Windows 2000 operating system provides. This makes the product
compliant with the section 508 software requirement for government agencies for the visually impaired.

What Oracle provides is the ability to have multiple versions of the same file on the server itself. This is important to MapInfo customers for both process and analysis. “One of the exciting features that we implement in this release that has a fair amount of new user interface changes is our Oracle Workspace or the server side data versioning product,” Binyamin remarked, adding: “For example, parcel mapping agencies that manage the parcel maps and taxation are looking at different maps of the city, and at any given time they have an “official” map that represents the current state of the parcels they're managing. They would also like to have maps that are
being updated by multiple engineers and derive the data from the base map, then start adding additional parcels and maybe plans that developers are submitting or new changes they're proposing to some of the infrastructure changes they would like to make. Sometimes there is another layer of approval that needs to be obtained, and those suggestions must be reviewed before those changes become the official map for that agency. In the past, often engineers or drafters were required to send those data files independently to the reviewers or the reviewers had to come and get them. There was no effective way of doing that in a centralized environment.”

“By leveraging Oracle Workspace technology we can reduce the data redundancy that those types of multiple versions create and create that link and relationship between the original or the official data as well as the data that is being changed,” said Binyamin. “Telecommunications companies have existing infrastructures, whether it's cell towers or fibre network, and they also have planned or anticipated “what if” scenarios showing where they would like to expand. They want to run some scenarios to determine what kind of marketshare will they catch, how much will it cost, etc. They want to do that with respect to the live data that is now the official data they
have, so by using the Oracle Workspace technology they have that capability.”

“From a temporal perspective, Oracle Workspace technology allows you to keep the data for Q1, Q2, Q3 on a per quarter basis and you can analyze your business that way or you can do it in a larger period of time, for years,” Binyamin noted. “You can actually compare the same map in terms of different values and how that data has changed.”

Oracle provides a command line interface or API to interact and interface with their versioning technology. In MapInfo they have implemented an extensive user interface to make that user interface easy and meaningful for desktop users who are not database experts.

With the versioning technology, users can version enable tables. When you open a table and request to see all the selected workspaces, you will see on the right is a list of all the tables that are version enabled. If you see a plus sign next to them, you will see that they have more than one file, meaning more than one version of that table.

If you make edits to the table, then you have the ability to refresh or merge each child to the parent. You can refresh and update the records from the parent to the child, or child to the parent. Sometimes you want to refresh the data you've received from the parent and sometimes you want to merge the child to the parent once the approval process is gone through.

This capability provides conflict resolution when merging data. If you get data from the parent table, work on it and update it, then as it's a server table. If the data gets updated by another user, you have a dialog that tells you the data has been updated or changed.

In summary, below are listed the main features of the new v8.0 as described in the Power Point demonstration:

Vector and Raster Formats

-MapInfo Universal Translator updated to include DGN 8.0 and the latest DWG and DXF formats.

-Direct open of CSV files.

-Direct open of ARC Grid format.

-Import OGC GML version 2.1 format.

-Updated GPS tracking utility w/support for Garmin protocol including USB connection.

-Support for ASRP version 1.2 raster format.

-Save Window As supports new formats: GIF And LZW TIF.

Map creation & editing

-Ability to draw orthogonal polygons.

-Support for stream digitising. (Draw polylines and polygons without clicking).

      -Node limit per object increased to 134 million nodes.

-It is now possible to set the default editing style individually for different layers.

-A number of new thematic templates have been added.

-New options in the Distance Calculator

      -Calculate distances to nearest line or region border

-In the File Open dialog boxes, The default file type is changed to Workspace when the Workspace shortcut button is chosen.

-When opening .TXT, CSV, WKS and XLS files it is possible to automatically save a copy of the file while opening it.

-Layer Control dialog box has been made larger

      -Display longer layer names and more layers without scrolling.

      -Tool tip option for display of full path and file name.

-SQL Select dialog box is larger and each box can hold 1024 characters (previously it was 256).

-Support for the mouse wheel in Browser windows

-New Belgian Coordinate System

-Additional British National Grid Coordinate System

-Guernsey Grid Coordinate System

-Hellenic Geodetic Reference System

-Baltic Projections (Lithuanian and Latvian)

-New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000

-Chinese Coordinate Systems

-New ConnectObjects() function

-New Nearest and Farthest statements

-Register CSV files

-Customer sort order for Ind Value thematic legend

-Support for new swatch sizes in thematic legends

-Orthogonal polygon creation

-Multi-column legend alignment

-Transparent patterns on same layer

-Export windows to additional formats

-Uploading and converting MapInfo custom geometries into valid geometries for remote databases.

-Creating legends on a live table.

-MapBasic support for the increase in nodes

-Supported Operating Systems

      -Windows 98 SE

      -Windows 2000 SP4

      -Windows NT 4.0 SP6a

      -Windows XP Professional SP2 (certified)

      -Windows XP Home SP2 (certified

      -Installation support for Windows 2003 Server, Terminal Services and Citrix

-Remote Database Access (Spatial)

      -SQL Server 2000 (SpatialWare 4.8.1)

      -Informix 9.4 (SpatialWare 4.5.2)

      -Oracle Spatial 10G, 10G Locator and 9iR2

-Remote Database Access (tabular and X,Y data)

      -Oracle 9iR2, Oracle 10G

      -MS Access XP

      -MS SQL Server 2000

      -Informix 9.4

-With the launch of MapInfo Pro v8.0, MapInfo Training will be providing 5 free Web Based Training lessons to each user in the Americas.


North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) has selected Infotech Enterprises Limited, a leading geospatial services company, to implement GE Smallworld GIS technology within NDPL for GIS mapping of the entire distribution network and provide GIS based solutions for operations resource management. NDPL has selected Infotech Enterprises after an in-depth study of the leading GIS technologies available in the market.

RSI, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITT Industries, announced that effective April 6, 2005 it has entered into an agreement with Sensor Systems Inc. , of Sterling, Virginia, to become a distributor for Sensor Systems' RemoteView products in the UK, France and Italy. RemoteView is the premier software application for importing, viewing, reporting and analyzing both government and commercial remote sensing data in demanding operational environments.

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