Section One: Getting Started
Part One: About MapInfoWhat is MapInfo?
MapInfois a commercially available Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software package. Usingthe familiar Windows Icons Menus Pointer (WIMP) Graphical User Interface (GUI), it allows the user toimport geographically referenced data and to create thematic maps of different variables.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) were defined by Burrough (
) as "a powerful set of tools for collecting, storing, retrieving, transforming and displaying spatial data from the real world." GIS include "adatabase system in which most of the data are spatially indexed" (Smith et al,
), and these data maybe displayed as tables or maps in GIS software packages such as MapInfo.Geographical Information Systems may be either 'raster', i.e. a continuous surface stored as cells, or 'vector', stored as discrete point, line and polygon objects with attached attributes. MapInfo is a vector based GIS.
single data locations, with an x and y co
connections between two points. A point may be seen as a line with only one set of x and y co
Polygons, or regions
a closed area composed of points which are joined by lines.
the text attached to any point, line or polygon entity. This may be an address for a pointrepresenting a house, a name for a line representing a road, or a land use type for a region representinga forest.2