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Saturday
Jun212014

VerySpatial makes the case for Interactive Maps

There's a great article from VerySpatial making the case that the use of "analog" maps in cases where differential information is being compared might night be the best way to display data online. We've been looking into this space recently and already have excellent KML Export in Cartographica, which can be easily paired with online tools like Google Layers and Leaflet.

The original article from The Washington Post is an interesting piece about use of time across the US.

Friday
Jun202014

Cartographica 1.4.3 Released

We are pleased to announce the release of Cartographica version 1.4.3, our latest minor feature and bug fix release.  As with previous versions of 1.4.x, 1.4.3 is compatible with OS X versions 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 (and we've also done some preliminary testing on 10.10).

Features that we have included in the 1.4.3 release include:

  • Improved AppleScript® support for analysis tools
  • Added Selection Summary window
  • Improved handling of GML layers with multiple geometry types
  • Added support for .tab files as georeference information for TIFF files
  • Improved character set support for import

These accompany an array of bug fixes described in more detail in the Release Notes for 1.4.3.

This update is avialable to all customers.  In addition, we are resetting the clock for trials, so if you have tried 1.4.2 or earlier and want to try again, please visit the Lost Key page and enter your registered email address to receive a 10-day trial of 1.4.3.

Selection Summary

One significant addition to 1.4.3 is that of the Selection Summary window, which shows statistical information for the currently selected features. In the past, Cartographica has provied the Selection Info window, which allows you to peek at the details of the selected items, and this new option expands on that to provide statisical information about the selected items.  In particular, the Count, Sum, Average, Minimum, and Maximum values of the user-selected column are shown in the Selection Summary window, so you can quickly identify this information about any selection and any column.  

In addition, when the selected column is a Calculated Column, Cartographica allows you to choose Formula calculated using summary values which calculates the formula over the summary values as opposed to creating the summary values from the post-formula values.   Although in the case of simple formulas, this may have similar results, for some formulas it provides a different insight.  It is important to understand these implications, as the default case (sum of the formula values, average of the formula values, minimum of the formula values, minimum of the formula values) can differ greatly from the application of a formula to the sums of the components, the averages of the components, the maximums of the components, and the minimums of the components.  In most cases, the default case is appropriate.

Technical Details

Additionally, we have moved to linking against the 10.9 libraries in OS X.  This is an internal change and should have no noticable effect on customers who are currently running Cartographica under 10.8 and 10.7, as we have taken pains to isolate the use of the few 10.9 dependencies and made sure that they are only used under 10.9.  Further, our automated test systems are run on 10.7, 10.8, and 10.9 to ensure maximum compatibility.   However, there were some changes to the way internals are handled under 10.9, which required us to spend more time on this update than originally expected.

 

Monday
Mar032014

National Atlas and National Map changes

The USGS has announced that the National Atlas will be taken out of service as of September 30, 2014. According to the detailed product availability information, much of the data will be available via the to-be-enhanced National Map system, or as data downloads "at no cost from Earth Explorer".

This transition appears to be mostly a resource realignment (basically reducing the number of sources and web sites they need to maintain.

In addition, the USGS has also announced that "[L]ater this year we will deliver these new framework datasets at one million-scale: networked hydrography, updated streams and waterbodies, streamflow gaging stations, cities and towns, Federal lands, Indian lands, wilderness areas, and urban areas."

For those of you who are using USGS WFS and WMS services, based on the National Atlas, be warned that the services will be taken away September 30, 2014, but that the USGS is " currently evaluating options for continuing small-scale Web services beyond September 30, 2014, and will provide updates here."

Friday
Nov152013

Scientific American looks at Coordinates

Scientific American posted an overview about tectonic plate movement, datums and geodesy. The article covers a fair amount of ground in some depth, but not so much so that it's confusing. Check it out and contemplate the amount of work that we'll all be doing when the USGS updates the datum in another few years.

For those who are curious, Cartographica maintains a large list of datum and datum shift information so that it can accurately overlay coordinates from one system onto another. These calculations aren't trivial and we had quite a time squeezing these conversions into the first version of CartoMobile within the space and processor constraints. However, it all paid off as the iOS ecosystem has gotten stronger and we've been able to maintain accuracy between the iOS and OS X versions.

Tuesday
Oct292013

Cartographica 1.4.2 compatible with Mavericks

We have been testing against Mavericks since the early betas and the 1.4.2 version of Cartographica works well with it.   At this point, we aren't taking advantage of any Mavericks-specific features, but we have found on our test machines that the upgrade is a good performance move, especially for laptops.

Other ClueTrust software, such as LoadMyTracks, has also been tested and works fine with Mavericks (excepting, of course, the long-standing issue with the Mac AppStore version of LoadMyTracks and serial devices due to Apple's policy change).

Although we haven't tested any of the 1.2.x versions on Mavericks in detail, we have done basic compatibility tests with that version and it appears to also be working fine.   If you find any issues, please alert us to the problems, but we would strongly suggest moving to 1.4.2 if you are running Mavericks.

For the future, we're contemplating what the move to free for Mavericks means for Cartographica's OS support.   There are some clear benefits to moving to 10.9+ only for future versions and we are contemplating this right now.   Considering that we are already 10.7+ only and there were few machines that were abandoned by 10.9 which could also run 10.7, it is likely that we will make this leap.   If you have a strong feeling about this issue, please contact us.