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Maptitude Mapping Software

The problem:

I used freehand tools to modify a feature, but it doesn't stay where I put it when I zoom in and out or pan around the map.

Why it's happening:

Maptitude lets you edit maps in two ways:

  • Using freehand items to embellish your maps by adding text, symbols, lines, circles, rectangles, and other graphics
  • Using map editing tools to add, delete, or change the features in a geographic file

Freehand items are useful for making a map more informative, effective, and attractive. Maptitude displays freehand items each time the map is drawn, after all layers, themes, and labels have been displayed. The freehand items embellish the map, adding an overlay without changing the geographic file, although they are saved as part of the map file.

Map editing tools allow you to make changes to the map that do change the geographic file and become part of the same layer and same database as other features in the layer.

Maptitude uses a geographic file to store the locations and shapes of features in a map layer. A geographic file is really a collection of several files stored on your computer's hard disk or on a CD. These files contain all the information needed to display features on a map, and tabular data that describe each map feature. For example, tabular data on a city would include information on its longitude and latitude, the state and county in which it is located, the population, and other information.

The tabular data on a feature are joined to that feature by means of ID numbers that are unique to each feature.

Whenever you create a new feature using the map editing tools, either by adding one or splitting an existing one into parts, Maptitude assigns each new feature a unique ID number. When you join features together, Maptitude keeps the ID of the first feature you picked.

If you want to add features to a map created by Maptitude, you must use the map editing tools. When you add a feature using freehand tools, you do nothing to the database that includes information on the locations and shapes of features in a map layer. Instead, you essentially create a bitmap "doodle" that is managed separately from the database. Since the freehand object is not part of the same layer and same database as the other features, it is not attached firmly to the rest of the geography, and it can move around when you move around in the map.

When you add a feature using the map editing tools instead of the freehand tools, the feature becomes part of the same layer and same database. It therefore doesn't move in relationship to the other features in the map. You must, however, update the tabular database when you make changes.

Most geographic files include tabular data that describe each map feature. When you edit a geographic file, the tabular data are also affected. When you delete a feature, any data for that feature are deleted. When you add a feature, the tabular data will be missing until you add some.

When you split or join area features, Maptitude creates new features without any tabular data. The data from the features that were joined or split are deleted. You can use the optional Data Update feature to preserve data when features are joined or split.

Geographic File Formats

Maptitude geographic files come in two formats:

  • A compact, read-only format that displays very quickly
  • An editable format that takes more space and displays less quickly

When you create new geographic files, they are in the editable format, so you can modify them right away. Most Maptitude geographic files, however, are delivered in the compact, read-only format, and before you can edit them you must convert them into the editable format.

When you complete your edits, you may want to convert the geographic file back to the compact, read-only format, since it takes up less space and displays more quickly.

Compact, read-only geographic files have a file extension of .CDF. Editable geographic files have a file extension of .DBD.

What to do about it:

To solve your problem, we will cover the following areas:

  • Creating a new geographic file and adding it to a map
  • Editing features

To create a new geographic file and add it to a map

  1. Choose File-New to display the Create New File dialog box.
  2. Choose whether to create a point, line, or area layer.
  3. Enter a name for the layer.
  4. Click OK to create the empty file. Maptitude displays the File Save As dialog box.
  5. Enter a name for the file and click OK.

Maptitude creates an empty geographic file for the map layer, adds it to the active map and sets the new layer as the working layer. You are now ready to use the editing tools to add features to the layer.

  1. Choose Tools-Map Editing to display the Map Editing toolbox.
  2. Use the map editing tools to update the map.

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