October 3, 2023

Top New Features in Global Mapper Standard v25.0

Written by: Amanda Lind


Version 25 of Global Mapper is here! This new release of the most powerful GIS software trusted by professionals worldwide comes with more efficiently arranged menus, additional terrain and watershed tools, and more! Global Mapper® is a cutting-edge GIS software that provides novice and experienced geospatial professionals with a comprehensive array of spatial data processing tools and access to unparalleled data formats.

Here are the top new features of Global Mapper v25 standard:

Display Updates

One of the most visual changes in v25 is the addition of new Analysis dropdown menus. Don’t worry; all of your favorite tools are still available! As Global Mapper’s Analysis toolset has expanded, it’s become clear that the extensive Analysis menu needed to be delineated to improve tool organization and ease of access. The Analysis menu has been split into four based on the type of data used during processing: Lidar, Raster, Terrain, and Vector. Terrain focuses on raster layers that require elevation data, such as Contour or Watershed generation. Raster catches the tools that can be applied to other raster layers, including images, topographic maps, and land use/land cover layers. 

An additional update is the improved display behavior on high-resolution screens. Global Mapper is now better able to take full advantage of high DPI displays. Menus and dialogs will more accurately adjust when moved between monitors of differing resolutions and scales.

screenshot of new Terrain analysis tool
Delineating the Analysis menu improves ease of use, and makes room for additional tools in the future!

Automatically Search for the Optimal Location for Flattened Site Plan 

Create a Flattened Site Plan is a popular tool for preplanning the best location, elevation, and required earthworks for the creation of a flat surface in a terrain layer. A new option in the tool, Create an Optimal Flattened Site Plan, can take advantage of any flexibility in the exact placement and orientation of the flattened site. Global Mapper assesses the terrain in a specified location to find the optimal placement and orientation for the site that requires the least amount of earthwork. Once the optimal site has been calculated, the tool will provide measurements of the soil volume to be added or removed to create a level surface and a break-even elevation. The flattened site plan and other volume tools optimize the cut-and-fill values and even out the landscape into a flat surface using only the soil on site, minimizing soil or fill transportation costs.

Flattened site plan in Global Mapper
Modeling the position of a flattened site can provide the opportunity to optimize the use of existing soil, creating a site that doesn’t require additional fill or removal.

Analyze 3D Vector Features Impact in Watershed Generation 

Global Mapper’s Watershed tool performs a watershed analysis to model the flow of water across a terrain layer, measuring flow accumulation and direction and delineating watershed boundaries. Version 25 pushes this tool even further by adding support for vector features to be used as obstructions or modifications to more accurately model how potential objects impact flow. As shown in the image below, features such as buildings or terraces can be used as obstructions to redirect flow around structures or model dams. 3D attributes can be taken into account as well, providing the ability to apply depth to features and model canals, culverts, or ditches. To see how the vector features were applied to the terrain layer for the analysis, check the box to Save DEM to Global Mapper Grid File. The previous method for including vector features required the inclusion of features in the creation of the terrain layer as breaklines or applying them via Terrain Paint. While these are still valid workflows, the ability to use vector features during calculation means that these features can be quickly added to existing terrain layers, saving time in processing and editing.

watershed before watershed with terraces
Swipe to see linear barriers used to redirect the flow of water, rerouting streams, and changing the delineation of watershed areas.

Autostyling of Vector Features 

Global Mapper has a unique layer styling strategy. When a vector layer is loaded, it is automatically assigned a feature type. These feature types include feature styles that determine symbology settings for 2D and 3D data display. Many feature styles are built into Global Mapper and can be found in the Configuration menu under Styles. These types come with predefined styles that can be edited, or a new style can be created with an image for a unique display of data.

Unless otherwise specified, the default style is Unknown Area/Point/Line Feature. Until recently, all Unknown layers were assigned the same style, whether they were imported or generated from tools such as Spatial Operations. To help distinguish individual layers, the Unknown style now defaults to assigning a random color from a prespecified palette. This color will change every time the file is reloaded into Global Mapper. However, when an autostyle is applied to a layer in a saved workspace, the color will remain consistent when the saved workspace is closed and reopened. In the Configuration menu, a new Select Palette button allows you to define the list of colors that Global Mapper will choose from for random assignment. You can choose from the list of built-in palettes or circumvent the functionality by limiting this to one color.

Vector layers differentiated by color
Assigning colors by default to vector features helps to visually distinguish overlapping or similar layers.

To check out the exciting new functionality in Global Mapper standard and Pro v25, download a free 14-day trial today!  If you have any questions, please contact us!

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