February 22, 2022

Top New Features in Global Mapper Pro 23.1

Written by: Mackenzie Mills


Global Mapper Pro 23.1 is here with a slew of exciting new tools and feature enhancements! Containing all the updates and new features in the Standard version of Global Mapper, the Pro edition adds advanced functionality for drone data processing, terrain and lidar editing, and workflow optimization tools. Key new features in version 23.1 include the creation of 3D mesh buffers, contour generation from point cloud data, updates to the segmentation tool, and more!

3D Mesh Buffer Features

The creation of 3D mesh spherical, cylindrical, and pipe buffers are now available in Global Mapper Pro under the digitizer option for Volumetric Feature Creation. Similar to the 2D vector buffer creation, this tool is based on selected vector features. Cylindrical buffers can be generated from any selected point, line, and polygon features, while sphere and pipe volumetric buffers apply to either points or lines only.

Pipe buffers around lines and sphere buffers around points how these road areas and fire hydrant coverage areas interact.

The creation of mesh buffers allows the 3D area around a specific vector object to be clearly identified and explored. As mesh features, the 2D main view in Global Mapper Pro shows the structure of the mesh from an aerial perspective, but the real magic happens in the 3D Viewer when the features can be viewed from any oblique angle.

Contour Generation from Lidar

While not a new function in the Global Mapper program, contour generation has been enhanced in version 23.1 of the Pro edition to support the creation of contour lines directly from lidar or point cloud data. With this new functionality, the intermediate step of manually generating a gridded terrain layer from a point cloud can be bypassed to streamline workflows.

When opening the Contour Generation tool in Global Mapper Pro 23.1, point cloud layers are now recognized and can be used as the source data for creating contour lines. When generating contours from a point cloud, the advanced filtering options, which are available in many other point cloud analysis tools, allow the contours to be derived from a selected subset of the points. In the background, Global Mapper Pro automatically creates an elevation model based on the applied point filtering and resolution noted in the Contour Generation Options, and uses this surface to create a layer of contour lines.

With a point classification filter applied, contour lines are generated from the point cloud.

Updated Segmentation by Spectral Graph Partitioning

The Segmentation tool in Global Mapper Pro is used to identify similar neighboring returns within a point cloud to find distinct features. This streamlines manual classification workflows with an automated process to identify clusters of similar points. While this is not a new functionality in Global Mapper Pro 23.1, it has been improved with options to consider the RGB colors of point returns as part of the identification process, as well as new options to filter or merge identified segments.

Using the Segmentation tool to identify ground, two large segments are merged into one segment that can then be excluded as the tool is used again to identify smaller features.

The new Segment ID(s) Settings option in the Segmentation tool setup can be used to rename individual segments, merge selected segments into one, or exclude specific segments from a subsequent analysis. The option to exclude segments from the next executed iteration of the segmentation tool makes it easier for users to identify large segments, such as the ground or building roofs, and exclude these from subsequent analyses aiming to identify smaller objects.

Global Mapper Pro 23.1 continues to push forward with the development of advanced 3D data creation and analysis tools. Whether you are working with lidar data, complex terrain surfaces, vector features, or looking to streamline workflows with Python, Global Mapper Pro can help. To explore all the features in Global Mapper Pro 23.1 yourself, download a 14-day free trial today and contact us if you have any questions!

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