Digital mapping software presents numerous opportunities to understand the world. Whether you're using the software for academic, commercial, governmental, or personal work, you need to understand which features are critical to the task. Anyone interested in digital mapping software should think about these 6 features.
Shapefile is a widely used digital format for importing map data. If you're trying to gather information from the USGS, for example, there's a good chance you'll find it somewhere in a database that points to something in Shapefile. Whatever software you plan to use needs to allow these imports so you can utilize one of the biggest publicly available sources of data.
Especially if you're creating maps from collected data, you will likely want the ability to use geomorphic mapping. Suppose you're using ground-penetrating radar to map features underneath the surface of a region. You may end up with a bitmap that codes distances in grayscale. Consequently, the digital mapping software will need to translate this information to a vector file to store and export it easily. This will convert the pictured areas to points and lines, making the results highly reusable.
Particularly if you're trying to marry existing data to newly collected data, geocoding is critical. You need to be able to accurately map an X origin so everything will align properly. Likewise, the scales need to match so you don't end up with mismatched layers.
Some folks may need to restrict access to certain maps, especially in the government and corporate domains. If you believe there's any chance a map or its source data may be restricted, it's best to be able to enable permissions and encryption to avoid the risk of exposing sensitive sites.
Increasingly, users don't just want to produce maps. They also want to translate geospatial information into more readable formats. Visualization tools allow digital mapping software to tell compelling stories. If you want to explain a complex issue like local land use over several decades, for example, the right visualization tools can create beautiful and easy-to-understand maps.
Many users need to send map data to database servers. If you don't already know the database software you're using, you should contact your IT support staff to learn which is in use. You can then verify your preferred digital mapping software will allow you to connect. Not only can this quickly solve storage issues, but it opens the door to cloud-based backup and distribution options.
For more information, contact a company that provides digital mapping software.