Second in my series of screencasts on MapWindow GIS is a brief look at MapWindow’s shapefile attribute data handling. It has some nice extra features that you might not find in other freeware GIS programs.
Archive for the 'MapWindow' Category Page 3 of 3
I’ve posted about MapWindow in earlier posts on Shape2Earth (a shapefile to KML converter), and on reprojecting shapefiles from one coordinate system to another. So I figured it was time to take a longer look at some of MapWindow’s GIS capabilities, since it’s one of the best open source shapefile viewers and editors out there, and has many other useful functions. In addition, GIS novices might find this series useful as a general introduction to GIS programs, since it covers some of the basic operations applicable to other GIS programs as well.
Shapefiles can be created in any coordinate system, and are often (and annoyingly) found in a coordinate system different than the one you’d like them to be in. For example, several of the shapefile to KML converters posted about recently require that the shapefile be in Google Earth’s native coordinate system: geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude), WGS84 datum; what do you do if your shapefile is in a different coordinate system, like UTM, Lambert Conformal Conic, or State Plane Coordinate System? There are lots of free conversion utilities out there that can reproject shapefiles from one coordinate system/datum to another, but there’s one I prefer because it’s fast and easy to use.
The three previous posts in this series have examined completely free options for exporting shapefile data into Google Earth’s KML format. Each of those had advantages and disadvantages, with the biggest advantage for all being that they’re completely free.Today I’ll take a look at an option that isn’t free, but which at $29.99 I would classify as “cheap”, especially given its capabilities. And the free demo version lets you import up to 1000 features, enough to evaluate whether it meets your needs.