MapInfo / Forestry Users Meeting - 05/09/07

The MapInfo/Forestry Users Group held the 2007 meeting on May 9th, 2007 in conjunction with MapWorld-2007 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, Washington.   About 16 participants attended and were made up of MapInfo Partners, Forestry and Natural Resources MapInfo Users as well as MapInfo Corporate representatives.   The meeting was limited to an Hour and a Half session slot so little time was available for detailed presentations. 

Tony Cooley, of Data Directions moderated the meeting and began with a brief presentation, providing some history of the Users Group and presented a map detailing past User Group meeting locations.   His presentation was concluded with a glimpse of the capabilities of LIDAR technology in Forest Management. 

Next, Ms. Robin Harkins of Roseburg Forest Products,  provided an overview of how MapInfo has been deployed by her organization for timber management activities for over a decade, followed by  Mr. Chris Lacy, with Port Blakely Tree Farms, who reviewed  MapInfo usage for timberland management on lands in the Northwest as well as New Zealand. 

The industry presentations were concluded by Mr. Will Mitchell of Mitchell Geographics who provided details on a variety of forestry related projects he has been involved with in the Northeast.  These included: projects with the State of Maine, the Virginia Department of Forestry,  the University of Maine’s Cooperative Forestry Research Unit, among other projects.   Throughout each presentation technological needs and requests were presented. 

Following the industry presentations Mr. Moshe Binyamin, Senior Product Manager with MapInfo Corporation, provided a detailed demonstration of the upcoming MapInfo Professional Version 9.0, focusing specifically on some of the requests made in the previous presentations.  MapInfo Pro. v9.0 looks to be an exciting offering filling many needs of the group.  New noteworthy features include: 

It was also mentioned that an update to Vertical Mapper is planned for the future which will include support for programming in MapBasic. 

In preparing for this meeting all members of the Users Group were questioned as to their requirements and requests for future enhancements to MapInfo and related products.  Opinions were solicited from over 50 individuals.  Below is a summary of some of these responses in no particular order. 

MapInfo Forestry Users Requirements and Requests.

  • Hard copy map production tools:  label conflict resolution flexibility and options, work in Map Window or Layout Window, generally enhanced tools for making presentation quality maps.  Enhanced Cartographic Capabilities.  This was by far the most requested item.
  •  Increase support for Imagery and new formats of remote sensing data.  Provide support for images with more then 3 bands, automated registration of ECW files.
  • Provide Browse window capabilities for sorting.
  • Provide ability to work directly with GPS files from Garmin and other consumer grade products.
  • More Topology Tools.
  • Model Building Utility.

  • Improve data editing tools.  Offer base layer alignment or snapping tool.  Provide for enhanced Cogo Input capabilities allowing for entering of deed descriptions to create regions.
  • Provide in Vertical Mapper: Fly throughs, 3D objects, LIDAR data recognition, support for .LAS format, improved visualization, increased analysis capabilities from satellite data and other large data sets.
  • Resolve certain printing issues related to certain region patterns and detailed contour data.
  • More automated options related to recalculation of Centroids.
  • Change Tracking/Auto Date and Time Stamps.

Immediately following the User Group Meeting was a MapWorld Session entitled: “Real World Case Study:  Focus on Natural Resources.”.   Mr. James Rea, Systems Analyst with the State of Maine, Department of Conservation, provided an excellent presentation detailing wide ranging use of MapInfo technology.  Mr. Rea has been employing MapInfo technology for the State of Maine, since the days of MapInfo for DOS.   His presentations were broadfrom an early Spruce Budworm spray mapping project to, timber type maps,  to State Park land management projects and bear bait station tracking.    This session was concluded  by Mr. Brett Merritt of Encom based in Australia.  Mr. Merritt provided a detailed discussion of a 3D Modeling project analyzing the impact on local Hydrology from an active mining project.  This presentation provided a good review of the vast capabilities of Encom’s Discover-3D product. 

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