Pitney Bowes
MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
MapInfo Pro v15.0- What's new and what's coming

MIPro First things first. You didn’t fall asleep and wake up a couple years later. MapInfo Pro v15 is the successor to MapInfo Pro v12.5. Why? Well, we decided to skip the unlucky numbers 13 (for some in the Americas and Europe) and 14 (for some in China and other countries in the Asia Pacific region).

32 and 64 bit versions

Version 15.0 is the latest 32 bit release. It continues with the legacy user interface.
Version 15.2 will be the next 64 bit release. It is scheduled for late October.

A boring disclaimer

Some of what is mentioned in this article is in MapInfo Pro v15.0. That release has gone to production. Version 15.2, our next 64 bit release is a work in progress. Our road map plans can and do change from time to time.

Overview

Here are some of the main work areas:

main themes

Something else! - "Friendly" layer names

Consider this to be in realm of creating output in general!

One of our top ranking suggestions in the Ideas portal (#2 as I write this) is a request to be able to assign “friendly” names to your layers. The ability to rename layers is being added to both the v15.0 and v15.2 releases.

You will be able to rename tables and thematic layers. The names can be long (up to 256 characters) and can use many of the special characters. These friendly names will appear in your Legend windows and perhaps most importantly will appear in your PDF output. You can add them to TAB files so that they are always used when the table is opened.

And it’s easy to do too! Just right click on the layer name in the Workspace Explorer and type in a new name.

main themes

There is a bit more detail behind this which will be the subject of a future article.

Layout Designer improvements

The Layout Designer is one of the main work areas in v15 and v15.2. It is important to note that the version 15.2 release coming out in October will have many more new capabilities as compared to the 32 bit version.

The overall goals for improving the Layout Designer are to
  • Provide the ability to create blank or empty layouts to serve as templates.
  • Improve the ability to convert existing legacy Layout windows into Layout Designer windows.
  • Provide new capabilities to allow you to create better Layouts than ever before.
Layout Designer improvements - 32 bit version

Note that everything added to the Layout Designer window in the 32 bit release will also be in the 64 bit version.

Layout designer

Layout grid

Layout Designer - mouse wheel support

In v12.5 the mouse wheel was programmed to scroll the page up and down. Based on feedback from users we have changed the behaviour:
  • The mouse wheel now zooms the Layout canvas in and out.
  • Holding the Ctrl key while using the mouse wheel will now scroll the Layout canvas up and down the page.
Layout Designer - MapBasic capabilities
  • Empty frame support
  • Named frames
  • Select and de-select frames
  • Alter a frame's text, width, height
Note that for MapInfo Pro v15.0, the empty frame support and other things mentioned above are available via MapBasic. These capabilities can be programmed to create template functionality and other capabilities to automate map production. The requirement to use MapBasic pertains just to the 32 bit version, these capabilities will be fully available in the user interface of version 15.2 See the next section.

Layout Designer and cartographic output– more capabilities in version 15.2

The 64 bit version is getting a number of additional enhancements.

Support for "Empty" frames. As was possible with the legacy Layout window, we are adding the ability to specify empty frames and then fill them with content. In addition the frames can be named for easy identification later. This will allow MapInfo Pro users to create pre-arranged Layout Designers that can be populated later.

In addition, as mentioned above, it will be possible to name frames. You can add descriptive names that describe what the frame is for. If an “empty” layout is opened these can be cues as to what should be put into the frame.

Graticule - A dynamic graticule capability is being added to the Layout Designer. This will allow for grid lines to represent coordinates to be added to your Layouts.

And more! In addition support for copy/paste, rotating images, multiple page layouts, North arrows, symbol, line and polyline annotations are also planned. We may squeeze in some more enhancements too!

Smart Indexing (in both v15.0 and v15.2)

We have improved the efficiency of a number of editing operations when your data is indexed. This includes Update Column, Append, Combine, Erase, Erase Outside, Disaggregate and the splitting of lines.

Here are some example tests run on a Dell E6420 laptop. This laptop is running Windows 7 and has four dual core CPUs and 8 GB RAM.

In the comparisons below, the 32 bit release of MapInfo Pro v12.5 is being compared to the 32 bit release of MapInfo Pro v15.0.

Example 1: Combine 181,400 objects (65 million nodes) into a single object
  • Version 12.5 (32 bit release) completed the operation in 1092 seconds.
  • Version 15.0 (32 bit release) completed the operation in 489 seconds.
    Multiple CPUs were used in the operations above.
Example 2: Update Column operation on a Table with 73,000 records (Column A + " "+ Column B).
  • Version 12.5 (32 bit release) completed the operation in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Version 15.0 (32 bit release) completed the operation in 15 seconds.
Performance improvements will vary by the specific data. This capability only makes a difference on larger operations and is not used during small editing operations. The default is set to Auto and this means operations affecting 1000 or more objects are involved. This is designed into the system because the use of Smart Indexing could be slower on small operations.

The nature of the data column is a factor, for example a longer character column requires more processing time than a shorter column. Also, in some cases having multiple columns indexed makes a difference in the performance.

Also, there is a preference to control whether or not this capability is used. This is found in the Performance Settings dialog box. In v15.0 look in Options > Preferences.

And finally… COMING IN VERSION 15.2

Once again, version 15.2 is scheduled to be available in October. This is our next 64 bit release. This has some additional major work areas which we will detail further in future articles. These include:
  • A new extended TAB file format. This new format will eliminate the 2 GB file size limit.
  • Support for the GeoPackage data format. GeoPackage is an open standard for sharing one or more sets of data (think Tables in MapInfo parlance) in a single file.
  • Additional performance enhancements.
  • Integration with Spectrum geocoding capabilities.
Article by Tom Probert, Editor of "The MapInfo Professional" journal

When not writing articles for "The MapInfo Professional", Tom enjoys talking to MapInfo Professional users at conferences and events. When not working he likes to see movies with car chases, explosions and kung-fu fighting.