Following on from my earlier blog post about MapInfo version 10 I had the opportunity last week to attend the MapInfo User Forum and Version Launch. As expected showing off MapInfo 10 was the focus of the forum and this version sees some big changes to the product.
Most of the user forum was spent showing off the redesigned interface which has undergone a total facelift. All toolbars can now be docked on any edge of the application and the layer control has been made modeless and is also dockable allowing users to set up MapInfo in a similar way to ArcMap if desired. All the toolbar icons have also been updated and the interface has generally been modernised. A lot of these changes are purely cosmetic but making the layer control modeless is quite a big productivity boost as it dramatically reduces the number of clicks required to make changes to the map window.
As I also mentioned in my earlier post MapInfo now has native support for PostGIS which we are very excited about. Unfortunately this was not demonstrated at the user forum, however it has been announced that like SQL Server and Oracle PostGIS will be accessed through the EasyLoader tool. For us this is the best thing in this release and makes open source GIS a lot more viable for organisations that have some money to purchase desktop software but not enough to spend the $50k plus required to put in a spatial database from one of the big vendors.
The last cool new thing is the ability to create layered PDFs which allow users to turn layers on and off within the PDF document. I’ll be interested to see whether or not this supports the new GeoPDF open standard.
The combination of PostGIS support with the revamp of the user interface makes this a really good release.
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