Geomap is a new development stage of what we knew as Tcmap already under an integrated concept into Tracsa Geobide company strategy. Like gvSIG, this initiative will take my interest because it’s born on Hispanic environment with a proprietary approach, but with prices that could be easily reach and under a phased model that looks attractive.
Some time ago it has be seen something in the free GIS Conference in Girona and just a year ago it has been announced the suite release which in itself is not announced as a GIS solution but as a manager of geographic data operated with different CAD/GIS platforms.
In future articles we will see other Geobide tools now I want to focus on Geomap although Beta 3.0 is mainly a tool; I have taken time to test it because it looks promising as a free tool for displaying geographic data. It is the viewer-although it does something more– within the modular scheme of the line-out of the SDK- includes analysis, construction and maintenance of data in 6 tools:
- Geobuilder. With this can be constructed geoprocessing diagrams, the style is very friendly and quite similar with ESRI’s way of becoming popular.
- Geoconveter. This is an astral smoke, but practical to transform bulk data between different formats; it supports more than 20.
For example, in a conducted study case, a total of 115 files XYZ in ERTS89 (16 GB with more than 503 million of points and about 5 meters resolution) became to a raster BIL format in ED50.
All this process was done in 7 hours with all the data at once, not page by page. The application executes information triangulation with an algorithm known as “Streaming Delaunay” that allows managing huge data volumes among which were included:
– Conversion of 115 files in ‘XYZ ETRS89’ to ‘LAS ED50’ (Time ~ 2:30 hours).
– Transformation of LAS files to a single raster file in BIL format with 5 meters pixel size of. (Time ~ 4:20 in hours)
In this final step all points are triangulated in a TIN (> 503 million points) and it is a generated as output a single GRID of the work area.
- Geobridge. This allows you to work with common use programs formats, such as AutoCAD, Microstation or ArcGIS files without having to convert them to another format. The most surprising is the approach they have with dgn V8 format with which many others had stayed short.
- Geocheck. These are tools that facilitate data consistency in terms of topological cleanliness and spatial validation rules.
- Geotools. This has advanced tools that can be enabled or disabled towards other interfaces.
In Geomap case, the current beta still crashes with some processes. But in what I have been testing some functionality seemed interesting to me.
It’s really great, and a full suite feature is the formats support, which include Geomedia, ESRI, Lidar, PostgreSQL, kml, gml, Oracle, WFS, MySQL, including Microstation DGN V8 format.
But Geomap is much more than a viewer. Valuable is that apart from opening a file, this can be exported to another format, leaving set properties such as:
- In the case of point files, choose the xyz order and number of decimal places.
- In case of dwg / dxf files, choose whether to ungroup blocks and handling of curves.
- In case of dgn files, you can choose to run some processes using Microstation engine installed indicating where the file ustation.exe is placed; usually for offline commands when converting to v7 format in cells and text handling. You can also choose to send v7, v8, 2D or 3D seed, and also select an existing dgn as seed.
- To export, there are also special configurations such as format type in files dgn, dwg… anyway, it’s very good.
With regard to deployment, Geomap loads different views of Google Maps, Bing, Yahoo, Open Street Maps and even Esri Map Imagery and Esri Imagery Street. These can be placed in synchrony with a vector layer so that when approaching a zone, also so other deployments. Each layer has its properties, where parameters can be defined as asynchronous stream, thus the load becomes more efficient.
It can be loaded layers coming from a tiled WMS server, establishing cache alternatives and fly re-projection system. For DEM layers, theming can be chosen or imported from a .bil / .bt a file
The file is saved in .mwd format which is similar to ESRI mxd.
It must be seen to judge, but has tools that are notoriously borned from innovation. Like going to a specific coordinate, in which it is possible to choose a specific reference system and deployment scale.
In conclusion, it looks promising as a free data viewer. As TatukGIS struck me, it seems that this could be the tool we use to view and change data lightly, or compare against web map layers.
Although version 2.0 is fully functional, I’m waiting for a stable version of this 3.0; there is involved work in repairing a number of bugs in beta versions. Apparently running with GDI base map could be exported, for now it throws a blasphemous error. Then it needs to be seen what capacity has the geoprocessing manager shown there, it seems to create and save geoprocessing in .gpf format.
It also fells short Help because there are no manuals available yet.