February 15, 2022

Top New Features in Global Mapper 23.1

Written by: Mackenzie Mills


Boasting a new 3D viewshed and 3D line visualization capability, expanded Spatial Operations, streamlined data transfer to Global Mapper Mobile, new data streaming methods, and more, Global Mapper 23.1 is here! Continuing to be an affordable and comprehensive GIS analysis solution, you can explore Global Mapper 23.1 by downloading a free trial today.

Global Mapper 23.1 offers new and improved functionality throughout the application. The following are some of the highlights of this release.

3D Data Visualization

When it comes to 3D data and visualization, Global Mapper contains cutting-edge tools, including an interactive 3D Viewer. Improvements to 3D data viewing in Global Mapper 23.1 include the creation of 3D viewshed features and the ability to display lines as 3D cylindrical pipe features.

Like with all aspects of the program, the Blue Marble team values user feedback. While viewshed analysis is not a new tool in the program, many users requested to see a visualization of a viewshed radius as hemispheres in a 3D view of their map. Thus, a new checkbox option to Generate View Sphere Buffer has been added to the Viewshed tool in Global Mapper 23.1 to create a 3D mesh feature covering the defined view radius.

3D viewshed buffers show the area of the viewshed as a hemisphere mesh allowing better visualization of these areas in 3D.

Continuing on the theme of enhanced 3D visualization, the Global Mapper development team also implemented a method to add thickness to a line resulting in a simulated pipe or cylindrical representation of the line in the 3D Viewer. This new style option is set up in the Line Styles for a layer or feature and allows the line width to be specified in ground units (meters or millimeters) and displayed in 3D at that thickness. This enhanced 3D visualization of lines can be used to model pipelines or simply enhance any line feature that is being displayed with 3D data.

A line shown as a pipe in 3D improves the visibility and realistic visualization of the feature.

Expanded Spatial Transforms

Global Mapper’s Spatial Operations tool was first introduced a couple of years ago and offers numerous options for analyzing and creating features based on the spatial relationships between overlapping vector features. With each successive release, this powerful analytical tool has seen significant improvements, and this trend continues with the release of version 23.1.  As the number of operations and predicates supported in this tool expands, the categories of functions have been split into separate tabs within the Spatial Operations dialog. With this user interface change, a Transforms tab has been added to enable the creation of additional data from a single layer of vector features.

Spatial Transforms operate on a single layer of features. The Grouping selection allows the transform to be performed on the entire layer, each individual feature, or features grouped by attribute values.

Previously, only a few spatial transforms were available in the Spatial Operations tool, and they were only accessible through Spatial Operations Scripting. Bringing these few transforms to a more prominent place in the tool, and adding many more spatial transforms, the Transforms tab of the spatial operations tool now supports data creation tasks such as Minimum Bounding Rectangle, Circle, Center, Centroid, Buffer, Convex Hull, Concave Hull, and Dissolve. Of course, all these new Spatial Operation functions and updates are included in Global Mapper’s Spatial Operations Scripting.

Wireless Data Transfer to Global Mapper Mobile

While Global Mapper operates as a standalone program, Global Mapper Mobile, available on iOS and Android, is a useful partner for taking data into the field and for reference or GPS-enabled data collection. Existing tools in Global Mapper, like Feature Templates and the Global Mapper Mobile Package format, are designed specifically for use with Global Mapper Mobile, but version 23.1 introduces functionality for wireless data transfer streamlining the interaction between the desktop and mobile programs. In previous versions of Global Mapper, transferring data to a mobile device for use in Global Mapper Mobile was done via email, a shared drive, or cabled transfer to a connected device. With a new tool dedicated to mobile data transfer in Global Mapper 23.1, Global Mapper Mobile Package files can be created and wirelessly transferred to nearby mobile devices.

Allowing wireless connection to a mobile device, data transfer from a workspace to Global Mapper Mobile is made easier in Global Mapper 23.1.

Accessed from the Information Toolbar in Global Mapper software, the new functionality is opened with the Mobile Data Management tool. This new interface consists of two tabs: one for connecting to and managing data on a mobile device, and the other for creating Global Mapper Mobile Package files from the layers in the workspace and existing Feature Templates. The wireless connection to a mobile device requires a minor update to the Global Mapper Mobile app, but updated versions of the app are now available for download on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

Streamed Lidar Data

Global Mapper provides convenient access to a wealth of online data offering on-demand streaming of imagery, topographic maps, terrain data, navigational charts, and much more. With the release of version 23.1, a new method for streaming 3D point cloud data has been added. Lidar data sources in Entwine Point Tiles (EPT) format can now be added to the list of online sources, and the data streamed directly into a workspace. Additionally, a new built-in source has been added to connect to and stream data from the USGS Public Lidar Dataset.

The addition of a custom Entwine (EPT) lidar source requires the URL of the JSON source definition. Once added, a connection to the source is made, and 3D data will be streamed into Global Mapper. Streaming data from this online source format, whether a custom online source or the built-in USGS Public Lidar Dataset, requires an AWS account that can be set up when connecting to an Entwine (EPT) source for the first time.

Lidar data streamed from an Entwine (EPT) online source can be shown in the 2D and 3D views in Global Mapper.

With many new features and improvements to existing tools in Global Mapper, version 23.1 further expands the functionality of this powerful, all-in-one GIS program. To explore the updated and new tools in Global Mapper 23.1, download a 14-day free trial today and contact us if you have any questions!


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