February 14, 2024

Top New Features in Global Mapper Pro v25.1

Written by: Amanda Lind


Global Mapper Pro version 25.1 includes exciting new tools and increased functionality. Among other Pixels to Points updates, Ground Control Points can now be automatically identified and placed in imagery. Improvements have also been added to the award-winning Custom Classification Training tool. Subclassifications can now be created when classifying point clouds, adding detail to point cloud visualization without sacrificing functionality or processing.  

As always, the complete list of new features, updates, and bug fixes is included in the v25.1 Knowledge Base. Remember that if your maintenance and support subscription is still active, you can license this new version using your order number.  

Keep an eye out for the next blog: Top New Features in Global Mapper v25.1 Standard

Pixels to Points Updates

Automatic Ground Control Point Placement 

Ground control points (GCP) in the Pixels to Points tool (P2P) are now managed in a separate dialog and have the additional functionality of automatically searching for ground targets in possible overlapping images. GCPs are optional GNSS-located point features that can be used to improve positional accuracy in photogrammetric processing. Each GCP has an x/y/z location that must be manually associated with an image pixel, an essential process that can be tedious at times. The new GCP Manager can locate and place markers on clearly identifiable targets in associated images, making the process of using ground control points much easier. 

Setting up the GCP Manager is a straightforward process. If the feature in the image used to mark the GCP is a unique shape, such as the red target shown in the example screenshot, use the Define Target in Image button to create a bounding box around the target. Global Mapper will use a method of shape detection to identify similar features in the other images. Other non-unique GCPs, such as the edge of a paint line, can still be manually placed in each image as normal

After an assessment, Global Mapper will color code the images based on its confidence in point identification. To improve accuracy to the best extent, confirm as many GCP locations as possible. To prevent error introduction, only confirmed point locations will be included during processing; unconfirmed auto-placements will be ignored. For step-by-step instructions, check out the Knowledge Base.

A screenshot of the ground control point manager
The Ground Control Point Manager is the new tool for automatically placing GCP markers in your imagery.

Save a Pixels to Points Wizard Template

A screenshot of the Pixels to Points wizard with new template options

Along with the general quality and processing speed improvements, P2P v25.1 includes the ability to save Wizard settings to a template for use in future workflows. The Pixels to Points Input Wizard is designed to increase ease of use for existing users and make photogrammetric processing more approachable to new users with the streamlining of settings choices. Simply import your images and choose your most important output, including the option to run a quick output for quality assessment. Global Mapper adjusts the Pixel to Points settings to match your input, providing a follow-up option to tweak the settings if desired. 

New in version 25.1, these P2P Wizard settings can be saved as a reusable template. Once created, Templates will appear in, and can be used from, the Project Type drop-down menu, as shown in the screenshot. Template names are automatically given the “(Custom)” suffix.

Terrain Painting within the Path Profile Window

Terrain Painting is a popular (and fun) tool for editing elevation values in grid layers. This tool is often used to model future ground construction, remove imperfections in the data, fill holes, and much more. In v25.1, a new Terrain Painting function has been added to the Path Profile tool. The functionalities are still the same, but the Path Profile tool provides the ability to measure and visualize the terrain changes while working from an additional, perpendicular perspective. 

The changes are still applied to the layer in the same way as the regular Terrain Paint tool, even in the areas that aren’t visible in the Path Profile window. Keep an eye on the 2D workspace to watch the cursor follow where you are in the Profile window. Compared to the main Terrain Paint tool, this has the added benefit of always telling you the elevation of the data you are working on. Use the measure tool to measure the exact desired slope for the Slope Along/Across Line options. Learn more about the Terrain Painting tool in this blog: How to use the new Terrain Painting tool in Global Mapper Pro.

The cursor used in the terrain paint too in path profile is a line with buffers marked by color.
The Terrain Paint cursor in the Path Profile window is the same as the main tool’s circle cursor, but seen from a perpendicular perspective. The black dot is the center, the red area is the brush size, and the blue is the feathering size.
Terrain data is edited with the terrain paint tool in the path profile
Here the perpendicular perspective is used to smooth cars off of the road using the slope value measured in that path profile tool.

Create Subclassifications in Point Clouds

Point Cloud classifications are identification markers, such as ground, pole building, etc, that are added to points to provide meaning and define what they represent. Subclassifications, a new training and custom classification feature in Global Mapper Pro v25.1, can be added to classifications to further refine the type of point feature with which it is being worked. Subclassifications are distinct in color and classification label without losing the functionality of the parent class. 

For example, the automatic ground classification tools classify all points that make up the ground, including roads, sidewalks, etc.. By creating a custom subclassification called “roads”, you can add extra meaning to the “ground” point features without removing them from the existing class. Continuing with the ground example, this means that you can create a bare earth digital terrain model filtered to only include “ground” points without having to also specify that road and sidewalk classifications need to be included as well. Tools that measure Height Above Ground will automatically use points in the road class as part of the ground measurement. Subclassifications are another advancement in the award-winning Custom Classification training tool to help users make the most out of their point cloud data.

A point cloud with multiple classes and sub classes
This custom classification of paved surfaces (blue) is visually distinct from its parent ground classification, but Global Mapper can use them as one during processing.

Compare Point Clouds against Gridded Elevation Layers

A point cloud and a terrain layer loaded in Global Mapper v25.1.

The Compare Point Clouds tool has been expanded to compare not only point clouds against point clouds, but also point clouds against one or more loaded gridded terrain layers.

Gridded data is one of the most commonly provided types of elevation data online, especially for (relatively) historical data. Point cloud data, while commonly available now, hasn’t always been available for every study area. The ability to compare point clouds to a gridded elevation layer expands Global Mapper’s change detection abilities. In addition to the point cloud comparisons, grided layers can still be compared against each other using the Compare Terrain tool.


Additional notable updates include the added option to save the overlap difference grid as a separate layer during Swath Separation Image processing, and the ability to import XMP metadata into Pixels to Points from TIFF files if present, improving location information for drone images. To check out the exciting new functionality in Global Mapper standard and Pro v25.1, download a free 14-day trial today!  If you have any questions, please contact us!

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