January 26, 2021

9 Steps to Linking Workspaces in Global Mapper

Written by: Haley Brown, Technical Content Writer


What better way to start the new year than by cleaning up your data? Data management can be complicated and whether working alone or with coworkers, organization is key to a smooth workflow.

In the field of GIS, all of the data we manage is inherently location-based so what better way to manage this data than in its geographic context. Global Mapper offers a simple and effective tool for accessing files or data by simply clicking on a link assigned to a specific location on the map. This can be used to display a photograph, a document, a spreadsheet, a pdf, or literally any file that can be opened on your computer. An innovative use of this tool is to create a series of Global Mapper workspaces – Global Mapper’s proprietary map management files – and provide a link to each at the appropriate location on an index map. By clicking on one of these links, all of the appropriate data layers for that project site will be displayed.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to organize your data in a more visually appealing and easy-to-use way. We’ll use an example of a hypothetical transportation agency with several ongoing projects in the state of Maine. The following steps show how to embed links to the associated workspaces into point features in Global Mapper to facilitate data access:

1)      Create a map with labeled point features indicating the location of each project site. In this example, there are 14 worksites located across Maine.

Site Map Overview

Global Mapper site map overview

2) Prepare each of the corresponding workspace files containing all of the relevant data layers for each site.

3)      Select the first point feature with the Digitizer Tool – Here, we chose Site 1.

4)      Right-click with the point selected and choose EDIT – Edit Point Feature.

5)      In the resulting Modify Feature Info box under Feature Attributes, choose Add File Link(s)…

6)      Browse to the previously saved workspace for Site 1 and click the Open button.

Adding a link in Global Mapper

Map of Maine and Global Mapper dialogue box

7)      Click OK to close the Modify Feature Info window. The workspace for Site 1 is now linked to that feature on the index map.

8) Repeat this process for each of the project sites.

9) Save the workspace containing all of the points and their corresponding embedded links.


Opening a linked workspace

1)      Activate the Feature Info Tool and select the required point feature on the index map.

2)      In the resulting Link Attribute Handling dialog box, click the drop-down menu and select either “Open Selected Value as File in Windows (FILE_LINK_1)” or “Open Selected Value as File in Global Mapper (FILE_LINK_1)

Link Attribute Handling

Global Mapper dialogue box

3) If opened in Windows, a new instance of Global Mapper will be launched displaying the layers in the linked workspace. If opened in Global Mapper, the linked workspace will replace the index map in the current instance of the software.

If all of the layers associated with each of the job site workspaces are in a shared location, such as in a designated directory on your organization’s network, the index map can be used by multiple Global Mapper users as an efficient and effective way to load the necessary data for a specific project site. Any edits made to the linked workspace can be saved ensuring that the links in the index map provide access to the latest versions of each of the workspaces.

Work Zone Setup

Global Mapper satellite overview of worksite

If this blog piqued your interest and you’d like to learn more about Global Mapper, download a 14-day free trial and request a demo today!  For more information, contact us.

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