The multi-view map display in Global Mapper allows several docked map windows to be displayed within the interface for better data visualization and manipulation. These views, which support both top-down 2D rendering as well as oblique 3D viewing, can be independently zoomed and panned and can be resized to make the most efficient use of the available screen space.
Using the Global Mapper SDK, software developers can add functionality to the software by creating extensions. Examples of the use of extensions include extended format support, enhanced visualization options, or new toolbar buttons. An extension can also be used to provide an interface between Global Mapper and a third-party application. For more information on extensions, contact a Blue Marble sales representative (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Global Mapper is optimized to work with 3D data. It supports many 3D formats including elevation or terrain models as well as 3D mesh formats such as Collada, Wavefront, 3DS Max and more.When working with terrain layers, several preconfigured shaders are available as well as the ability to create custom shaders. The software includes a powerful 3D Viewer which can be docked and linked to the 2D map so panning, zooming, and adding vector features will automatically replicate in both windows. This powerful functionality also includes the ability to select and measure features in the 3D viewer.
Global Mapper's 3D functionality includes support for recording HD 3D fly-through videos, which provide powerful way to visualize 3D projects for presentation and analysis purposes. The fly through tool and also be used to playback a video file synced to any line feature with per-vertex times. The 3D window also allows draping of vector data over imagery, GPS tracking, Skyboxes for rendering a sky simulation in 3D and display and manipulation of 3D meshes such as sketch-up. There are tools for selecting and editing 3D features and working with the 3D window, 2D window and the path profile in a docked set up enables complex analysis and 3D data manipulation.
One of the unique and defining characteristics of Global Mapper is its extensive and varied data format support. Offering direct access to over 300 raster, vector, and elevation data types, Global Mapper supports virtually all types of geospatial data right out of the box, no add-ons required. With new and modified formats being added on an ongoing basis, you can be sure that the software will never be out of date with your data.
Vector, raster, and elevation data can be exported in virtually every common file format as well as many proprietary types. During export, data can be tiled into smaller or more manageable files or the export area can be cropped to a defined area or to the extent of the current screen view.
Global Mapper supports reading and writing data from most common spatial databases.
Global Mapper is the perfect application for visualizing, editing, and analyzing LiDAR or point cloud data of any format. Out of the box, the software supports point clouds of virtually any size and offers tools to utilize this data efficiently and effectively. Recent developments in the application have dramatically improved the rendering and processing speeds, which is especially important when working with the high-density point clouds that are becoming increasingly common. Global Mapper provides access to the core metadata of the point cloud file offering a snapshot of the critical information that is essential for any data processing workflow.
For more advanced point cloud processing tools, the Global Mapper LiDAR Module offers an extensive array of functionality including automatic point classification, feature extraction, hydro-flattening, photogrammetric point cloud generation, and much more. For more information visit the LiDAR Module page.
With many data GIS administrators choosing to distribute data through web-based services instead of offering file downloads or disk media, there is now a vast quantity of readily available spatial data just a mouse click away. Global Mapper's online data function includes direct links to many of these data services including one-meter aerial imagery for the U.S., worldwide elevation data, topographic maps, Landsat satellite imagery, land cover data, the full Maine GIS catalog, aviation charts, OpenStreetMap vector data via WMS, and much more. Furthermore, if a local agency or organization develops a Web Mapping Service, a custom link to this data can be easily added to the online data source list. These web-based datasets can be either streamed in real time or exported to a local file for offline use.
Through agreements with commercial data vendors, Global Mapper also offers fee-based access to premium spatial datasets. Using the Online Data function, you can download high-resolution imagery from DigitalGlobe, elevation data from Intermap, or US Land Parcel Data from Corelogic.
Global Mapper has built in support for importing and exporting data in Google's KML/KMZ format. The software has an extremely powerful export menu guiding the user with a flexible selection interface for everything from translucency to feature descriptions to encoding of zip files. Users can display labels or not, highlight cursors, manipulate export of 3D feature types, and much more including tiling options. Global Mapper also publishes to Google web map tiles and KML/KMZ web map export for creating your own online Google maps interface.
A standard function of Global Mapper is its ability to import virtually any image file and to create a geographically aligned and scaled raster layer. The image rectification process supports the manual input of image pixel and corresponding ground control coordinates, or the simple tagging of recognizable points on the image as well as the corresponding locations on a base map layer. Advanced options allow the selection of the rectification method, resampling scheme, and ground control projection parameters.
The resulting raster layer can be analyzed and processed just like any other imported layer and can be exported in any one of the supported raster formats.
Global Mapper includes a powerful geocoding function that allows real-world coordinates to be assigned to an imported database of addresses. The geocoding process can use either a preconfigured online service or a user-imported road network to accurately determine the point that represents the location of each address. If necessary, this data, including the coordinate values, can be exported in tabular form or plotted on the map to provide a visual perspective.
The Graph and Chart Manager allows the user to create graphs and charts from loaded data. The following type of operations are supported:
As well as offering unrivaled access to preexisting spatial datasets, Global Mapper provides a vast array of digitizing tools for creating and/or editing features on the map. As well as the standard point, line and area creating functions, there are also tools for creating specialized geometric features such as range rings, grids, and buffer areas. Advanced coordinate geometry input can be employed to create objects on the map by simply typing the geometric dimensions of each segment.
Editing functions include rotating, scaling, and moving features on the map. Modifications can be applied to entire features or to individual vertices that determine the shape and size of a feature. Global Mapper has full attribute and geometry editing capabilities rivaling any other GIS software on the market today. Combined with scripting and batching tools, it has the capability to automate many GIS processing tasks.
Global Mapper offers limitless possibilities for assigning specific visual characteristics to vector features on the map. Preinstalled or custom symbols can be attributed to points; multiple line styles and weights can be applied to linear features; and solid or patterned fill shading can be assigned to area features. The appearance of features in Global Mapper is usually controlled by the style that has been established for each feature type, but the style can also reflect an attribute of the data allowing for the creation of thematic maps.
Many functions in Global Mapper can be performed by initiating a script. Formatted as a simple ASCII file, a script is commonly used to automate repeating or recurring tasks, eliminating the need to manually process the data. The Global Mapper scripting language supports importing, converting, reprojecting, analyzing, calculating attributes, splitting layers, interactively prompting users for files and folders and exporting all supported data formats.
Global Mapper includes several powerful terrain analysis tools that are used to process or model elevation data. These functions are included as part of the standard installation and require no additional extensions or plug-in components.
Global Mapper includes numerous functions for processing imported data.
With a compatible GPS receiver attached to the computer, Global Mapper will display the location in real time superimposed on the current map or data layer. Movement can be tracked or recorded, and waypoints can be created as time-stamped vector features. Track files can subsequently be played back using Global Mapper's 3D fly-through visualization tool.
When it comes time to share maps or data, Global Mapper offers many output choices.
The Raster Calculator found under the Analysis menu is used to set up mathematical operations on multi-band imagery to extract different types of information. Users can use pre-defined formulas, like NDVI and NDWI, or create their own free-hand formulas using common mathematical operations, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and powers, as well as simple operators like absolute value, minimum value, and maximum value of 2 values.