To introduce Global Mapper Pro®, a panel of experts from Blue Marble hosted a live webinar to answer questions and discuss the upcoming program release. While we tried to answer as many questions as possible during the allotted time, not all questions were answered during the session. Below are the questions from this webinar with answers and more information for you to review.
Can I get a recording of this webinar?
Yes, as an attendee you should have received an email with a link to the recorded session posted on our YouTube channel. If you did not register for this live webinar, sign up here to see recordings of this and past webinars and check out our YouTube channel for many more helpful videos.
Functionality, Improvements, and New Features
With the new release of Global Mapper®, Global Mapper Pro is introduced as a replacement for the Lidar Module. All of the functionality from the Lidar Module will be available in Global Mapper Pro, along with some great new tools and features extending beyond lidar and point cloud processing.
If I don’t need GM Pro, are there enough new tools in the base version to make it worthwhile upgrading to version 23?
For users who have not, to this point, needed the tools included with the Lidar Module, I encourage you to check out the advanced terrain analysis and scripting tools in Global Mapper Pro. If you decide not to upgrade to the Pro version, there will be plenty of highly requested and innovative updates in the base version of Global Mapper 23.
Will any of the tools in the base version be moved to Global Mapper Pro?
No, none of the well-known and used tools in the base version of Global Mapper will be moving to Pro. Global Mapper Pro will contain all the functionality from the Lidar Module with new and expanded tools relating to point cloud analysis, terrain analysis and editing, workflow optimization, and much more.
Why is the Lidar Module being replaced?
When the Lidar Module was first introduced, it focused solely on the classification and improvement of lidar and point cloud data. With the addition of the Pixels to Points tool a number of years ago, the tools available in the Lidar Module started to expand beyond lidar data editing. Transitioning from the Lidar Module to Global Mapper Pro allows our development team to expand the advanced tools available beyond lidar and point cloud processing to other areas of data processing and analysis, like automatic breakline extraction and Python script integration.
Global Mapper supports over 300 different file formats. Our team strives to make the program incredibly versatile and interoperable. To that end, if you encounter a particular format of data that is not currently supported, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Do you plan to support additional 3D model formats such as I3S or 3D tiles in Global Mapper 23 or Pro? What about support for 12d format?
Unfortunately, these formats are not slated to be supported in this coming Global Mapper release, but our development team is aware of the interest in support for I3S, 3D tiles, and 12d format. If you would like to contact our technical support team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further information or sample files in this format, that would be greatly appreciated.
What about mdb files?
Microsoft Access MDB files are currently supported in the 32-bit version of Global Mapper. Other MDB files supported are India Military MDB Database files, GeoMedia Access Warehouse Files, and ESRI Personal Geodatabase Format files.
Pixels to Points® and Lidar Processing
The Pixels to Points tool has been part of the Lidar Module for a number of years and will continue to be in Global Mapper Pro. This tool processes geotagged images into 3D and image outputs making it an accessible way for users to begin working with 3D and point cloud data.
Other point cloud processing tools like classification, feature extraction, vertical rectification, and others will be available in Global mapper Pro as well.
One of the drawbacks of the Pixels to Points tool has been the processing time. Will Global Mapper Pro put more focus into streamlining these calculation heavy operations?
The process used in the Pixels to Points tool and other photogrammetric programs is intensive and does require increased computer resources. This tool in Global Mapper is continuously worked on and improved to not only produce better results, but reduce the resources and time needed to generate them.
In recent releases of Global Mapper and the Lidar Module, Pixels to Points has received updates to the libraries that drive the process and settings, like clustering, that help increase processing speed. Most recently the tool was updated with settings that allow the program to save files along the process so you can resume canceled operations helping users to better manage time and resources.
Has the quality of the orthoimage from the Pixels to Points tool been improved?
There are various settings to use when deriving a single orthoimage from individual images with the Pixels to Points tool. Processing the source images at a high quality and at full resolution will help to yield the best output image. Using the option to sample the image from the generated mesh may help to fill in holes, or gaps in data if some of the source images being used do not meet the general requirements.
Is the shape detection (roof planes etc) enhanced in the new version?
With the version 22.1 release of Global Mapper and the Lidar Module additional options for building feature extraction from a classified point cloud were added. These included regularization and simplification of the extracted footprints, walls, and planes. These changes will remain in Global Mapper Pro, but with new segmentation based classification, point clouds should receive improved classification which will likely lead to better extracted features.
Will Global Mapper Pro have expanded use of multi-threading and GPU utilization for Point Cloud processing?
Currently, the presence of a dedicated GPU will help improve the 3D viewer function and some processing steps in the Pixels to Points tool. Additional GPU-based processing has not yet been added to Global Mapper, but our team is working to make more analysis processes and export multi-threaded to improve speed and user experience.
While Global Mapper Script isn’t going anywhere, Global Mapper Pro will include Python script integration allowing users to script Global Mapper workflows using Python. These scripts can be run within Global Mapper or outside of the program within a larger Python script or environment.
Where/when can we see more information or demonstration of Python scripting functionality?
Will one be able to write both Python and GM Script into one code and to run this simultaneously?
The Python scripting in Global Mapper Pro allows users to access all the functionality of Global Mapper via Python. This includes the running of a Global Mapper Script (*.gms). Within a Python script users will be able to call and run a Global Mapper script through the use of the run script command. This allows you to build off of your existing library of Global Mapper scripts as you start working in Python.
Map Layout Editor
I use Map Layout Editor quite a lot. Do you plan to improve the Map Layout Editor in the near future? For example, better map scales, etc…
The Map Layout Editor Currently offers users the ability to create maps for print or export to PDF and image formats. This tool is incredibly important and useful for many users. While the functionality of this tool is remaining mostly the same in the new version, Global Mapper v23 will include a new dialog to control what layers appear on pages of a multi-page map book.
As with all other Global Mapper functionality, if there are specific changes that you would like to see to the Map Layout Editor, let us know with an email to email@example.com.
Global Mapper and Geographic Calculator
Do you need to have a license of Geographic Calculator to perform transformations?
In Global Mapper data can be reprojected in the main map view through Configuration, or with the Batch Convert/Reproject tool. More information on the specific reprojections and transformations used can be found here.
For more advanced transformations and for vertical system transformations Geographic Calculator will need to be used. Geographic Calculator can be used to transform files separately from Global Mapper, or the two programs can be linked with the use of GeoCalc Mode. With both Geographic Calculator and Global Mapper installed and licensed, GeoCalc Mode in Global Mapper allows the advanced transformations and coordinate system management from Geographic Calculator to be used with the visual tools and analysis in Global Mapper.
Global Mapper Mobile
Global Mapper Mobile is an extension of the Global Mapper program that can be taken into the field on a mobile phone or tablet. Available for download from the iOS App store and Google Play, Global Mapper Mobile allows users to view, edit, and create data in the field utilizing the internal location services of the mobile device or a connected external GPS.
What will come of new functions in Global Mapper Mobile?
Global Mapper Mobile v2.2 was released this past July and includes updates to GPS display, feature creation, address searching, and Advanced GPS RTK support. This version of Global Mapper Mobile will be compatible with the new Global Mapper 23 and Global Mapper Pro release.
What programming language is Global Mapper written in?
Global Mapper is written in C++. For developers wanting to integrate the functionality of Global Mapper into their own programs, or build custom extensions to Global Mapper the Global Mapper Software Development Kit (SDK) allows just that. Additionally, with Global Mapper Pro, Python users will be able to utilize the Global Mapper functions with Python.
Upgrades, Maintenance and Support, and Pricing
A license for Global Mapper Pro will unlock advanced features in the Global Mapper program. Similar to the structure of licensing with Global Mapper and the Lidar Module, users who would like to access Pro features will need to have a Global Mapper v23 and Global Mapper Pro license.
Upgrading Global Mapper
The overall upgrade structure for Global Mapper and Pro will remain the same as in previous releases. With a purchase of a new license, users will receive a full year of Maintenance and Support. During that period they are entitled to upgrade to any new release of the program for which they hold a license. After that first year, a new Maintenance and Support purchase can be made at a reduced price extending the ability to upgrade Global Mapper to any release within the next calendar year.
I have Global Mapper v22.1 with the Lidar Module. How can I upgrade to Global Mapper Pro?
If you currently have Global Mapper v22.1 and the Lidar Module, and your Maintenance and Support plan has not expired at the time of the Global Mapper release in September, you will be able to upgrade to Global Mapper v23 with Global Mapper Pro for free.
If you have any questions about your specific licenses or Maintenance and Support status or upgrade, please contact our licensing team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Purchases of Global Mapper
Many different license types are offered depending on how you intend to license and distribute Global Mapper throughout your organization. Blue Marble offers network licenses and floating single licenses for increased flexibility, dongle licenses for flexible offline use, and single user licenses designed to be installed and used on a single machine.
For the basic single user license a seat of Global Mapper v23 will be $599, and Global Mapper with Pro will cost a total of $1349. The pricing of the program does vary with the other license types. If you have additional questions about pricing, check the Blue Marble website for updated information or reach out to our sales team at email@example.com for a personalized quote.
August 2021 was academic month here at Blue Marble and with that came webinars and contests geared toward students and faculty interested in researching, teaching, and learning with Global Mapper. Check out the recorded webinars and information from Academic Month here.
Is Global Mapper available for students?
Global Mapper licenses are available for free to institutes of higher education across the U.S. and Canada. Worldwide, discounted prices may be offered for teaching with Global Mapper. If you would like to find out more or request academic licensing, please contact us.
Blue Marble Geographics has made a commitment to help educate the next generation of GIS professionals and offers support and teaching materials in the form of the Global Mapper Academic Curriculum to help teach the fundamental principles of GIS. The academic materials offered are a series of twelve hands-on labs using Global Mapper that each include a step-by-step written workflow and an independent exercise allowing students to test their newly acquired skills. These materials are available to any accredited institute of higher education for free upon request. If you are interested, please contact us.
Along with the Global Mapper program comes a knowledge base filled with information about all the tools and settings available in the program. To learn more about specific workflows and bringing the individual tools together, look to the Blue Marble blog, a series of Industry Showcases, and of course, the Blue Marble YouTube channel for many videos demonstrating tools in Global Mapper.
Are there any resources about archaeology on natural resources mapping using Global Mapper?
With the increasing availability of 3D data and processing tools, Global Mapper users are executing archaeological analysis and exploration in the program. Below are a few past webinars in which experts demonstrate how they use Global Mapper.
- GeoTalks: Scanning the Past: A Look at the Ancient Mayan Pyramid at Uxmal
- GeoTalks 2020 – Historic landscapes in the New and Old Worlds are revealed with lidar
- Using Lidar for Archaeological Research
If you are interested in Global Mapper Pro, read more and sign up to receive updates pertaining to this newest installment in the Global Mapper family of applications.