Very slow to load Features from Shapefiles

A customer reported that it took a long time to load Shapefiles containing county property lines.

The U.S. county property line Shapefiles typically contain more than ten thousand polygons, along with a multitude of Attributes. As we mentioned in our 10/2/19 blog post, it will take time for the app to process a large job with a huge number of Features and Attributes. The app might also crash if a computation or file saving operation is disrupted for some reason.

Typically, you will want to just load the polygons that you need for a particular job, and not all of them. If you have a PC software program that will let you load the county property lines then let you export just the ones that you need, then please use it to prepare the corresponding Shapefiles for importing into the app.

Some of the iCMTGIS PRO customers use our PC-GIS X to accomplish this. PC-GIS X can import and export Shapefiles. So, the users would load the Shapefiles from the county then select the polygons they need to export to a new set of Shapefiles for importing into iCMTGIS PRO. After collecting GPS data, they would copy the .pmp file to their PC and open it in PC-GIS X. Then they will see the Feature data displayed along with the property lines . They will be able to make some changes, if they wish, then use the Plot Preview function to make a nice map for printing to a PDF file or a printer.

If you don’t need to refer to the property lines in the field, then you could simply load the county property polygons into PC-GIS X and combine them with the field data to complete the map.

Displaying iCMTGIS PRO data in PC-GIS X

“I have a project where I collected points using iCMT GIS Pro and EOS arrow. I would like to export the data points to PC GIS X and make a map with a parcel layer in the background and have the features collected shown with the symbol associated to that data point. Can this be done and if so what is the best way to perform this task?”

Yes, you can import the Shapefiles for the land parcels into your GPS Job file after switching the datum, coordinate system and distance unit in your GPS Job file to that used by the Shapefiles. After importing the parcels, you could switch back to the original datum, coordinate system and distance unit.

Shapefiles export does not retain the symbol and color assignment in iCMTGIS PRO. When you import the Shapefiles into PC-GIS X, the Features will be represented by the default symbols. In fact, you don’t need to export the Feature data to Shapefiles if you will be using PC-GIS X to work further with the Features.

iCMTGIS PRO stores your Feature data in a .pmp job file, which retains the symbol assignment. Simply use iTunes to copy the .pmp file to your PC then use PC-GIS X to open the .pmp file.

PC-GIS X can work with .pmp files as well as .fmp files. The .fmp file will store the Features as well as non-spatial map elements, such as a geo-referenced background map (*.tif) or shapes you’ve drawn using the drawing and lettering tools provided in the Palette. After opening a .pmp file in PC-GIS X, you can save the data in the .fmp format.

If you want to send a Job file from your PC to iCMTGIS PRO, please save the .fmp file as a .pmp file then copy it to the iCMTGIS PRO documents folder. A .pmp file only stores Feature data (including symbol assignment) but not the non-spatial data.

Issue with Feature ID when combining job data

“it happens that two colleagues work on the same project at the same time on two application and two different tablets. When I save their project I give them different names eg MNAR-108_1 MNAR_108_2. When I view them both at the same time on PC-GIS the numbers of the features are changed. I understand that it avoids duplicates, but how can I assemble projects while keeping the original feature numbers?”

Assume that the two colleagues working on the same project at the same time on two different tablets collect Features using the same Feature Topic name. For example, Colleague A records the position of a point, and the Feature ID is Point001. Colleague B records a different point, and the Feature ID is Point001. If you combine their jobs in PC-GIS, the Feature ID of the points imported last will be changed to avoid duplicates. To keep the original Feature IDs when you combine jobs, the two sets of Feature IDs must be different. If there are fewer than 100 points that each colleague will be recording, then one way is to have Colleague A record points starting from Point001, and have Colleague B record points starting from Point100. (Colleague B can change the Point001 automatically presented by the app to Point100 when he/she collects the first point. Then the app will automatically present Point101 as the next Feature ID.)

How to record GPS points using iCMTGIS PRO and Arrow 100

“We are focusing in how to collect data points to create a block then a series of blocks to create a ranch then transfer to software to make a ranch map. Can you help us understand it better?”

Here are the steps for recording GPS data using iCMTGIS PRO and the Arrow 100.

1. Pair your Arrow 100 with your iPad via Bluetooth.

2. Start iCMTGI SPRO and create a Job file by tapping the Main Menu icon then selecting Job – New Job. Enter the new Job name. If you are using a Feature List for collecting the Points, please select it for the Job.

3. In iCMTGIS PRO tap the Main Menu icon then select Setup. Select GPS then tap on the check box for Enable the external GPS. Select the Arrow Device then tap on the green check mark at the top to confirm.

4. Tap on the GPS icon then select Turn External GPS On. You should hear the navigation beeps.

5. Select GPS – Collect.

6. Tap on New then select (if Feature List is used) or enter the Feature Name. As you would like to collect Points then use them to create Areas, please select Point and Static. Enter the Time Session in seconds then tap the green check mark to confirm.

7. If you are using a Feature List, the Attributes will be displayed, and you can enter the Values. Stand still and tap the Store button to start recording GPS position. You should hear the featuring beeps.

8. Walk to the next point and tap Store again. When done collecting all the Points, tap on the Exit button.

9. To create the Area Blocks, first create an Area Feature called Block by using Topic Menu – New Topic. Select Area as the type of the Feature. Then, select the Tools Menu and use Add Area manually to join the points to form the Area Feature.

10. As you have the PC-GIS X software, you could simply transfer the .pmp Job file to PC-GIS X after collecting the Points. Then use PC-GIS X to form the Area Features.

 

Can a .pmp job be created on a PC?

“Is it possible to view the data collected by the ipad in the computer? Can the job creation .pmp be done on a PC?”

Yes. We have a PC-GIS X software program for use on Windows 7, 8, 10 that is compatible with iCMTGIS PRO, iCMTGIS III, Forester GPS GIS II/III, Farming GPS/GIS II/III and Utility Data Collection apps. The .pmp (Job) files, the .fbr (Feature List) files and the Shapefiles are interchangeable among these software programs.

You could also export the data to Shapefiles and view it in some other PC software program that works with Shapefiles.

Is it possible to build a Feature List externally?

“. . . I will be mapping stream habitat features and want to build a feature list with attributes for the mapping. Can I have multiple attributes for each feature? I would like to pick a feature (e.g. pool, riffle, glide, etc) and then have additional attribute fields that I can fill in with data such as width, depth, large woody debris and substrate. Is it possible to build a list externally and import it to a job?”

To answer your first question, yes, you can build a Feature List with multiple Attributes and user-defined Values to facilitate data collection.

In the iCMTGIS PRO app, you will tap on the GPS icon at the top then select Feature List and tap on New to create a new Feature List. You will add Pool, Riffle, Glide, etc. as new Feature Topics (“Feature”). Select Point type for points. If you are interested to get the length of the glides, for example, then select the type Line. For each highlighted Feature Topic, you can add the desired Attributes and assign the desired Values to the drop-down list. You can follow the example in the Help document to create your own Feature List. Afterwards, go back to the Job setup screen to select your Feature List to be associated with your Job.

It’s rather straightforward to use an iPad to create the Feature List. To answer your second question, we do have a PC-GIS X software program for use on a PC, which will let you create a Feature List that you can transfer to the iCMTGIS PRO. PC-GIS X will let you open Jobs created in iCMTGIS PRO to work with it further. It provides a nice Print Preview function to let you enhance the map (such as by adding the north arrow and scale bar symbols) then print it to PDF or printer.

How to convert Garmin GPS waypoints for importing to Stakeout iCMT

Garmin can export waypoints in GPX format. Some of our apps, like iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO, can import and export data in GPX format. These and a number of our other apps, such as Stakeout iCMT, can import Shapefiles.

A software program is required to convert GPX files to Shapefiles. If you have our PC-GIS 9, PC-GIS X, PC-GPS 9 or PC-MAPPER 9 software program, you can import the GPX file then export the data as Shapefiles.

Otherwise, you could do the conversion by using some other software program, such as the one at the following link.

http://freegeographytools.com/2007/exporting-gps-data-to-gis-i-garmin-gps-units

Deed Calls, Grid and Stakeout functionality for Windows

“We bought your DeedCalls Grid Stakeout software for my IPad. Beautiful, simple and functional program. My question: can you have it for Windows?”

We have a PC-GIS X software program for use on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 that provides the Create Grid, Create Deed Calls and Navigation functions. Many of our customers use it to complete a map and print it to a printer or to a PDF or JPG file.

Our PC-MAPPER software program provides Create Grid, Create Deed Calls as well as GPS data collection and stakeout functionality. It is ideal for use on a Windows tablet PC, both in the field and in the office.

If you would like to try the PC-GIS DEMO program on your PC, please log on to http://www.cmtinc.com. Select “Downloads and Updates” then click on the PC-GIS DEMO link. The password for downloading and installing the demo program is:

FJ6UCCDD

(ALL CAPS)

Please log onto your desk-top computer as the administrator with full rights, and make sure there are no firewalls or any antivirus or anti-spyware programs that may interfere with the software installation. Should the installation stall for any reason, please try installing the software in Windows SAFE mode.

Context Help is provided for most functions. Under the Help icon in the PC-GIS DEMO program is a full on-line manual.

The DEMO program provides many active functions, and will let you import Shapefiles, but it will not let you export or save the data. It will let you create a grid over an Area Feature. The DEMO program does not provide the Deed Calls functionality, and some of the functions are disabled.

PC software compatible with iCMTGIS PRO

“I have purchased iCMTGIS Pro and like the APP, works excellent with EOS’s Arrow Gold. My workstation is PC based. What product should I purchase for that … so that I may work with the data I collected with my iPad.”

Although a number of our PC software programs can work with the .pmp job files created by iCMTGIS PRO, PC-GIS X program is the PC software that is fully compatible with iCMTGIS PRO (as well as iCMTGIS III, Forester GPS GIS III and Farming GPS GIS III).

iCMTGIS PRO, iCMTGIS III, Forester GPS GIS III and Farming GPS GIS III employ the newer enhanced Feature List structure, which will let you assign different symbols for the various Values defined for an Attribute. For example, for the Species Attribute of the Tree Topic, you could assign a particular symbol for all Pine trees and a different symbol for all Oak trees. PC-GIS X also provides this capability.

In addition, the Sheet View in these apps will let you select from a drop-down list populated with the various Values defined for an Attribute field. PC-GIS X also provides this capability.

Windows 7 issue – Program won’t run.

“I successfully downloaded and installed PC-GIS 09. However my Windows 7 PC will not execute the software program.”

This problem is due to the Windows 7 security setup. You can resolve it as follows:

First, uninstall PC-GIS 09 by using Windows – Control Panel – Programs – Uninstall Program.

Then right-click on PCGIS9WEB.exe and select “Run as administrator“. When Windows 7 informs you that PC-GIS is trying to make changes to the system and do you want to execute it, in that pop-up window there is a link to change the security level. Please change it to 0 (zero) then select Yes. The installation should go through and the program should run.

Same for installing PC-GIS X and our other PC application software programs.

Special promotion for PC-GIS PRO ends

The special $231 promotion price for PC-GIS PRO version 09 and version X that we have been offering to our iOS app users ends today. The list price for downloading a PC-GIS PRO license is $385.

If you are in the process of purchasing PC-GIS PRO at the $231 special price, the special price will still be honored.

If you will be purchasing multiple licenses of PC-GIS PRO for your organization, please contact support@cmtinc.com to request a discount on the additional licenses.

How to rotate a deed plot

You can create a deed plot by entering the distance and bearing information into the Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app, the Farming GPS GIS app, or the Forester GPS GIS app.

Sometimes the deed plot does not align with the background map, and you would like to be able to re-orient the deed plot.

The ability to re-orient the deed plot is provided by PC-GIS X. You can save the deed calls in a .dcf file and open it in PC-GIS X. In PC-GIS X you can specify an orientation angle for rotating the deed plot. PC-GIS X will let you display the deed plot on top of a geo-referenced raster image (*.tif, *.jpg, *.sid, *.ecw). You could also have a Feature created based on the deed plot and export the Feature in .kml format to display on Google Earth.

You could use PC-GIS X to create a deed plot then save it in .dcf format for use with your Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter, Farming GPS GIS, or Forester GPS GIS.

Edited 7/23/13: You can rotate a deed plot using the newly released Deed Calls Pro app for the iPad.

Edited 5/19/14: You can rotate a deed plot using Deed Calls & Stakeout or the updated version 1.1.1 of the Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app.

Special Promotion of PC-GIS Mapping Software

It’s good news for users, especially those in developing countries, that nowadays owners of an iPhone or an iPad fitted with GPS can achieve a software solution for their GPS/GIS jobs for just a few hundred dollars.  Such a solution might consist of the PC-GIS mapping software plus an iOS app like the iCMTGIS II, iGPSGIS II, Farming GPS GIS or Forester GPS GIS.

We understand that every dollar counts for an individual user, an independent consultant, or a small woodland or farming operation. Therefore, we are offering the PC-GIS software at a special price for users of the CMTINC.COM iOS apps. This promotion will run until the end of 2013.

Currently, iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II are paired with PC-GIS PRO 09.

The previous Farming GPS GIS 1.0.0 and Forester GPS GIS 1.0.0 also work with PC-GIS PRO 09.

For the latest  Farming GPS GIS 1.0.1 and Forester GPS GIS 1.0.1, we have just released PC-GIS X, which uses file formats that are compatible with these updated software apps. PC-GIS X provides all the functionality of PC-GIS PRO 09. It has been enhanced to include a Deed Calls function as well as the “Activate Pattern” option for the user-defined Feature List.

If you own one of our iOS apps and wish to purchase PC-GIS, please email your inquiry to support@cmtinc.com.

9/11/14 Edit: The special promotion of PC-GIS software has officially ended as of 9/11/14 and the 40% discount no longer applies.  The list price for downloading a PC-GIS PRO license is $385. If you will be purchasing multiple licenses of PC-GIS PRO for your organization, please contact support@cmtinc.com to request a discount on the additional licenses.