Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Add tickmarks to the horizontal

I needed to add a bunch of tick marks to a line in a layout in ArcGIS. I am not aware of a built-in tool to do this, so I created my own. It is just for the horizontal, but may be modified for the vertical. I made it fairly generic so that the inputs might be automated as well.

It is available here...Hopefully it will help someone.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This is off topic...

I've been trolling the technical forums a lot recently while learning more about Windows Presentation Foundation, which I'm using in a little project. I've noticed certain commonalities in all forums that bug me...which I will now list...just giving you enough opportunity to ignore this entry.

For one, certain forums award points to posters. Sometimes this leads to a prize of some sort poster. I suppose this is an incentive to get people to participate. What bugs me is when a poster new or old ends the post with "If this answers your question be sure to mark it as answered." I like the people who don't care about the points and just help answer the question.

I also don't like the posters who berate the question asker...especially if it is obvious English is a second language. It's just uncalled for. On the other hand, I don't like it when with the question asker writes "URGENT!!!!", or when they don't receive a response in an hour post "HELLO? NO ANSWER!!!!??" But I don't think it warrants berating the question asker.

Finally, I don't like the forum lecturers. These are the people that instead of helping or answering questions lecture the question asker or poster about how to post. Kind of like what I'm doing right, no, it's different, really it's different. :)

Basically, I wish every forum could be like CartoTalk where the posters love the topic and helping people, and everyone is polite and friendly. I just don't get why some posters treat the question askers like they are waisting the poster's time. Don't volunteer your time if you're going to be a jerk about it.

Just my 2 cents.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

MapInfo MapCad 9.5

I thought I should post a little more about MapCAD than just "I Couldn't get it to install." If you are using 9.5 you should definitely download MapCAD. It will give you more data editing control than previously, as well as speed up some general data editing tasks.

To add MapInfo MapCad. Go To --> Tool Manager. Click on Add Tool, and navigate to C:\Program Files\AGIS\MapCAD. Then add the MapCAD.mbx. Two new toolbars should be added.

Basic CAD stuff like mirroring and filleting. The Copy Style tool is cool, and can be useful at times. This is a common feature in Word (AutoCAD has one as well).

There are some more sophisticated options such as splitting a polyline (exploding) to different line segments. There is a tool to add nodes at intervals on a segment. The Calculate angle and direction tools will be useful for more precise drawing.

I think the Create Lines and Create Polylines from database are interesting. Seems to be a way to store geographic data without using a spatial object...but with SQL server 2008 express this might not be necessary...

Basically they've added some nice little features that are part of a CAD application.

I found the tools a little cumbersome initially, but it didn't take long to figure them out.

I've complained about Named Views on here a few times, so with that in mind here is a feeble attempt to produce something "different." This is my first MapBasic Application, so feel free to improve upon it. Basically it adds to options to the Map Menu - Load Saved View and Save View. All it does is write the centre coordinates and zoom to a text file. Nothing fancy, but it might work for you.

For the source code.

For a compiled file (mbx, version 9.5).

Good to know

Just wanted to thank Hampden GIS/IT for a very valuable MapInfo tip. As I've said a few times, I'm not a fan of workspaces, but there is something you can do with a workspace that you can't with any other proprietary program file I've worked with (e.g. *.dwg, *.mxd, *.map). You can open it up in Notepad or WordPad. This is excellent for fixing broken paths (which I'm needing to do right now). It's actually neat to read through it, because it is like reading a program...a LISP or FORTRAN program. Sort of takes me back to working with AutoCAD commandline. Personally, I think commandline is more efficient than searching for icons...This is probably a good workaround to the Named Views problem. Pick a view that works at then use map basic to set it...even copy and paste it into the workspace in Notepad. That's much better than saving it at the application level. In fact to rebuild this workspace, I'm just copying the Map Basic code because it wouldn't load anymore. That's definitely a mark in the plus column for MapInfo.

Still I couldn't resist an experiment. I started a new workspace with one Map Window and one Layout Window. Saved the workspace, then added a piece of text to the layout, closed the layout window and saved as a new workspace. I compared the two in Notepad, and the layout was gone in the second workspace. I was secretly hoping that it just retained all the commands, but of course that really isn't efficient to save all the commands. Oh well, nothing is perfect. In the end, I shouldn't be trying to fit MapInfo into an AutoCAD ArcGIS mold, all three are different programs. It's useful to know the quirks so that I can compensate when using any of the programs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Handy Information

Good demonstration on how to use Representations in ArcGIS to create the ED effect for building footprints...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

MapInfo Tutorial

I can't help but laugh at this. I'm back in government land putting together a "manual"/"tutorial" for working with MapInfo. There was a copy of version 4.5 floating around with the manuals, so I was flipping through it. It looks exactly the same! And, this was for Windows 95! So I went online and searched for MapInfo tutorials. I didn't see any of the initial hits that were for greater than version 7.5...

On the one hand, MapInfo is like a rock and doesn't change. On the other hand, they haven't fixed fatal flaws with their program (IMHO), like workspaces.

I'll post the tutorial (edited to remove gov' related info) when it is done.