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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can you explain the different types of data and what I can do with them?


See the Digital Grove site for a wonderful description of the various kinds of GIS data and what can be done with them. This site includes sample uses of Global Mapper with other software packages to achieve various goals.


Question: I'm looking for satellite imagery/elevation data/etc for a particular area. Where can I obtain this data and how much will it cost?


There are many sources of data available and the costs will widely vary. If you are looking for satellite imagery or topographic maps with the United States and have Global Mapper v6.0 or above, you may be able to use the File->Import TerraServer menu command to pull down the data that you need for free. If not, see the Supported Formats for a list of all of the formats supported by Global Mapper and links to sites where that data can be obtained. Some handy links are included below for reference.





Question: The software keeps asking me for a user name and registration number. Where do I get a registration number?


Global Mapper requires a registration number to perform some functions, such as exporting data. You can purchase a registration number from the Download/Purchase page at http://www.globalmapper.com. You do not need a registration number for just viewing data, although you are limited to viewing 4 data files simultaneously without a registration key.

Question: How do I change the projection that I'm viewing my data in?


The current view projection can be modified on the Projection tab of the Configuration dialog. You can access the Configuration dialog either from the toolbar or under the Tools menu.

Question: How do I change the projection that my data will be exported in?


All data exports use the current view projection to export data in. The current view projection can be modified on the Projection tab of the Configuration dialog. You can access the Configuration dialog either from the toolbar or under the Tools menu.

Question: How can I change the color that is used to fill in areas of no data when exporting to an image format?


You can change the background color used both for display and for filling in areas with no data under the View menu.

Question: Can I create new features by tracing over loaded data and then exporting a new file?


Yes, with Global Mapper v5.0 and above, you can use the Digitizer tool to draw new features on top of loaded data. You can also edit existing features with this tool. New and edited features can be exported to new vector files in any of the supported formats, such as ESRI Shapefiles and DXF.

Question: How do I drape raster imagery (i.e. DRGs or aerial photos) over elevation data (i.e. DEMs)?


To drape raster imagery over gridded elevation data, first load the elevation data, then the raster data. Open the Control Center (found on the toolbar and under the Tools menu), highlight the raster image(s) you want to drape, and select the Options button. Select the Texture Map option and press OK. The raster image(s) should now be draped over the elevation data and shaded. Note that you will have to have hill shading enabled in order to see any difference (this is the rightmost button on the toolbar).

Question: How do I remove the collar from DRGs?


To remove the collar from USGS DRGs, open the Control Center (found on the toolbar and under the Tools menu), highlight the DRG(s) that you want to remove the collar from, and select the Options button. Select the Auto-Clip Collar option and press OK. The collar should now be removed from the selected DRG(s).

If for some reason the collar was not correctly removed, you may need to specify the collar bounds manually. To do this, press the Options button again and select the Customize button next to the Auto-Clip Collar option. This will display a dialog allowing you to manually specify the lat/lon bounds of the image collar.

Question: How do I remove the collar from overlapping imagery files?


If the collar surrounding your imagery files is either black or white (or very close to one of those colors), you can use either the Darken or Lighten blend mode functionality in Global Mapper to remove the collars. To setup the blend modes, open the Control Center (found on the toolbar and under the Tools menu), highlight the imagery layers that you want to remove the collar from, and select the Options button. If the color is black, select the Lighten blend mode from the Blend Mode drop-down list. If the collar color is white, select the Darken blend mode. Then press OK. Finally, you'll also need to set the background color of the Global Mapper view to be either black or white to match the collar color so that the non-overlapping regions aren't affected. You can change the background color under the View menu.

Question: How come there is a thin border around exported DRGs even after I have removed the collar in Global Mapper?


The problem of an extra border around exported DRGs that have had the collar removed is caused by the fact that DRG Quads are NOT rectangular in the UTM projection after their collar has been removed. Rather, they are aligned on lat/lon grid boundaries, which makes them a little bit skewed when viewed in a UTM projection. Because the base TIFF and JPG formats only support rectangular images, something must be used to fill in the areas around the quad such that the data fills a rectangle. This extra fill causes the border to appear.

The best workaround for this problem is to reproject the images to Geographic before exporting them to a new file. This way the quads will be rectangular and you won't have the extra border around the data. You can change the projection for viewing and exporting the data by using the Projection tab on the Tools->Configuration dialog. See the earlier FAQ question for more details.

Question: How can I crop imagery to an irregular shape (i.e. an area) when exporting?


Using Global Mapper v6.06 and later, all that you need to do to crop to an area on export is first either load the file containing the area feature or draw it using the Digitizer or Measure Tool. Then, select the area feature with either the Pick Tool or the Digitizer Tool, then select the appropriate File->Export Raster and Elevation Data menu command. The Export Bounds tab of the export options dialog that appears will have an option at the bottom to "Crop to Selected Area". Select this option and the export will be cropped to the selected area.

It is important to note that if you are exporting to an image format like JPG, GeoTIFF, or ECW, the resultant image will still be rectangular. The areas outside the selected crop area will be filled in with the currently selected background color. You can change the background color under the View menu.

Question: Is there an easy way to copy the current cursor coordinates to the clipboard?


Yes, use the Ctrl+L shortcut key to copy the current cursor coordinate string to the clipboard. Once in the clipboard, it can be pasted into any location that accepts text using the Paste command, usually associated with the Ctrl+V shortcut.

Question: How do I zoom or pan around when measuring something with the Distance Tool without canceling the measurement?


You will need to use the keyboard to zoom and pan around while using the Distance Tool. Switching tools will cause the measurement to be canceled. The arrow keys allow you to pan around and the Page Up/Page Down keys allow you to zoom in and out.

Question: How do I import and project TIFF files that have no projection or associated world files?


With Global Mapper v5.0 and above, you can rectify (georeference) any TIFF imagery, regardless of whether it has a world file. If you try to load a TIFF with no positioning information, you will be prompted to rectify the image. You can also use the File->Rectify (Georeference) Imagery menu command to force the image to be rectified.

Question: How do I generate a list of elevations from a list of coordinates?


First load the elevation data that you wish to get the elevations from. Then use the File->Import Generic ASCII Text File(s) menu command to load a text file with a list of coordinates. Finally, use the File->Export Vector Data->Export Simple ASCII Text File menu command and make sure that the "Export Elevations for Each Vertex" option is checked. This should generate a new file with the coordinates and the elevation for each point in your original coordinate list. You can also do this using the scripting language documented at http://www.globalmapper.com.

Question: How do I generate an elevation grid (i.e. DEM) from a file containing elevation contours or 3D points?


Using Global Mapper v5.08 and above, there is an easy way to do this. First, load the file(s) containing the contours and/or 3D points of interest into Global Mapper using either the File->Open Data File or File->Open Generic ASCII Text File menu command, depending on which is appropriate for the type of data that you are loading. Then, open the Overlay Control Center (under the Tools menu or press Alt+C) and select the layer(s) from which you want to generate the elevation grid. Finally, right click and select the Create Elevation Grid from 3D Vector Data option on the menu that pops up and away you go!

Question: How do I create a true-color image from LandSat imagery in which each color channel (red, green, and blue) is stored in separate TIFF files?


Using Global Mapper v5.08 and above, you can do this using the blend mode functionality accessible from the Overlay Control Center. First, load the three TIFF files containing the separate color channels. Then, open the Overlay Control Center (under the Tools menu or press Alt+C) and select the layer containing the red colors. Press the Options button and change the Blend Mode selection to Keep Red, then press OK. Repeat this for the blue and green layers (selecting the Keep Blue and Keep Green blend modes respectively). After doing that you should have a color image in the main view area, but it may still be hard to see. To improve that, select all three of the layers and press Options, then enable the Auto-Adjust Contrast setting and press OK. In many cases this will generate a very visually appearing image, that can then be saved to a single full-color image using the GeoTIFF, BIL/BIP/BSQ or JPG export options.

Question: Are there any restrictions on how I may use new maps created with Global Mapper?


There are no limitations or copyright restrictions on new data files created by Global Mapper other than those imposed by the original provider of the data used to create the new files. You are free to use any derivative data products created with Global Mapper for any purpose, both commercial and non-commercial, without the need to reference Global Mapper or obtain permission from Global Mapper Software LLC. We would of course appreciate a citation, but it is not required.

Question: Are there any plans for Unix or Macintosh versions of Global Mapper?


At this time a version of Global Mapper that can natively run on a Unix or Macintosh system is not available. However, it is likely that Global Mapper can run on VirtualPC on Macintosh systems.

Question: Is there an academic/student discount available for Global Mapper?


We do offer a discount to academic instutions and those that are verifiably students who will not be using Global Mapper for commercial purposes. Contact us at support@globalmapper.com for information on how to obtain this discount.

Question: If I already have dlgv32 Pro installed, how do I install Global Mapper?


dlgv32 Pro is a version of Global Mapper distributed by the USGS. For all intents and purposes the software packages are identical. If you wish to replace dlgv32 Pro with Global Mapper but maintain your settings, you need to follow the following steps. First download and install the latest version of Global Mapper. Then run Global Mapper and exit it. This will insure that your dlgv32 Pro settings are copied to Global Mapper. Finally, uninstall dlgv32 Pro from the Add/Remove Programs option on the Control Panel.

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