Mapboard GIS

Pro­ject cre­ation op­tions

The pro­ject-cre­ation in­ter­face

The new pro­ject in­ter­face al­lows sev­eral cat­e­gories of new in­for­ma­tion to be cap­tured to set up a new map­ping pro­ject. The top Pro­ject de­tails sec­tion man­ages ba­sic meta­data.

The Back­end sec­tion al­lows the se­lec­tion of the spa­tial back­end. There are three avail­able back­ends: the stand­alone Spa­tialite GIS en­gine, the teth­ered Post­GIS en­gine, and the Im­age back­end.

The de­fault Spa­tialite back­end stores geospa­tial in­for­ma­tion di­rectly in a data­base on the iPad, for easy use in of­fline sce­nar­ios (es­pe­cially the field). This back­end is mostly fea­ture-com­plete, but many spa­tial op­er­a­tions (es­pe­cially topol­ogy) are rel­a­tively slow. This makes it a poor choice for large map­ping pro­jects. Work is on­go­ing to re­move some of these lim­i­ta­tions, es­pe­cially as the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of iOS de­vices im­prove.

Choos­ing a spa­tial ref­er­ence frame

The choice of spa­tial ref­er­ence frame is im­por­tant in all GIS ap­pli­ca­tions, and Map­board GIS has full sup­port for the wide va­ri­ety of spa­tial ref­er­ence sys­tems in com­mon use. Ref­er­ence sys­tems pri­or­i­tize va­lid­ity and ac­cu­racy for dif­fer­ent use cases and parts of the world (the Spa­tialite doc­u­men­ta­tion has a good primer).

We are work­ing on a helper to set the “cor­rect” SRID for typ­i­cal re­gional map­ping pro­jects. How­ever, un­til this is fin­ished, you must find and set the SRID your­self.

The de­fault spa­tial ref­er­ence, SRID 4326, lon­gi­tude/​lat­i­tude rel­a­tive to the WGS84 da­tum, is ac­cept­able glob­ally, but us­ing a more lo­cally-rel­e­vant da­tum can im­prove the speed and ac­cu­racy of GIS cal­cu­la­tions. For in­stance, a UTM pro­jec­tion is the stan­dard for many re­gional and lo­cal ap­pli­ca­tions.

The Post­GIS back­end

Set­ting a server con­nec­tion for the Post­GIS back­end

With the Post­GIS back­end, the ap­pli­ca­tion talks to a re­mote server (usu­ally on a lo­cal net­work, al­though in prin­ci­ple in­ter­net lo­ca­tions can also be used), where all spa­tial op­er­a­tions are han­dled. This en­ables faster pro­cess­ing, data se­cu­rity, and col­lab­o­ra­tive map­ping.

Stream­ing large map­ping datasets from a Post­GIS server in teth­ered mode.

In Post­GIS mode, spa­tial ref­er­ence in­for­ma­tion and fea­ture classes are man­aged on the server, so they are not con­fig­ured within the app.

The Im­age back­end

Se­lect­ing an im­age for non-geo­ref­er­enced fea­ture draw­ing

The Im­age back­end is a stripped-down ver­sion of Spa­tialite mode that sup­ports dig­i­ti­za­tion atop a sta­tic im­age in pixel co­or­di­nates. This can help sup­port processes such as an­no­tat­ing field im­ages for later fea­ture ex­trac­tion from 3D mod­els.

Edit­ing flu­vial bound­ing sur­faces in Im­age mode.

Some presently un­wieldy as­pects of the im­age mode, such as the re­stric­tion to a sin­gle im­age per pro­ject, may be ad­dressed in fu­ture up­dates. Leave some feed­back if you’d like to sug­gest im­prove­ments.