Cartographica MacGIS is here!

ClueTrust is very pleased to announce today, GIS Day 2008, that we have released as a Preview Release, Cartographica, a brand new GIS package for the Macintosh. Please head over to our dedicated MacGIS site for more details and to download a copy.

Ever since my brother, Derek, started working in GIS, he's been complaining about the lack of good GIS software for the Macintosh. In fact, he did a popular Mac GIS Software review of the topic on this site a couple of years ago. In the intervening time, not a lot has happened for the Macintosh GIS community, but a lot of work has been going on at ClueTrust.

Here, a small, but highly dedicated team has been working on laying the groundwork for a great Macintosh GIS product, and we're happy to announce today that the first Preview Release of Cartographica is now available.

Our MacGIS site has details and access to the downloads for those who are interested, but to give you a taste of what's already in there and what's to come, we want to keep up on things here at Cartographica, the web site.

We decided that for a Macintosh GIS, we needed to concentrate on not only powerful features, but powerful ease of use. To that end, Cartographica may be a bit disturbing for those who expect their GIS to get in the way through arcane command codes and difficult interfaces.

Cartographica is designed not only with map-making in mind, but also with exploration of geospatial data. We've brought many of the standard Macintosh idioms into the GIS world, such as a filter box to help you filter the features of the currently selected layer.

We also realize that there's a lot of data out there, and you need to get it into the GIS. To that end, PR1 contains a vast array of importing capabilities for both Vector and Raster formats (thanks to the widely-used GDAL libraries as well as importers of our own).

But, we didn't stop at Geospatial data formats. Using our own custom importers and the ODBC support built in to MacOS X, Cartographica can load data with coordinates (X,Y, and optionally Z and M), or it will use TIGER/Line files to geocode them, or it can merge non-spatial data with spatial data by using one or more join columns. These powerful importation capabilities mean less time figuring out how to get data loaded, and more time exploring it.

But, sometimes you just need to grab some imagery off of the internet. This is why Cartographica has an integrated WMS (Web Map Server) client, which can access publicly-available as well as paid-content servers without having to go do another program. In fact, if data isn't available in a projection matching your current map, Cartographica will reproject the coordinates of the request into an available CRS, retrieve the data, and then wrap the imagery in the result to get an approximation of the right data.

These are a small fraction of where Cartographica is today, and there's a lot more to come. Even as you read this, we're enhancing the capabilities to include support for more data acquisition and analysis functions and improving the User Interface to provide you with more control to existing features.

At ClueTrust, we're committed to making the best GIS possible and we'll appreciate any input that you have on how we're doing so far.

Get your copy today at our dedicated Macintosh GIS web site at MacGIS.com.