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Global Mapper Training

Section 1 – Introduction to the Principles of GIS


Synopsis
In this introductory self-directed training class, we will explore some of the fundamental concepts of GIS
through several simple workflows. We will first consider the recurring challenge of accessing appropriate
data and modifying it to meet the requirements of a particular project. We will work with both raster
and vector files and introduce the idea of cropping and filtering data based on both geography and
attribution. Using Global Mapper’s Digitizer tool we will create a variety of vector objects. We will work
on some simple analysis processes to discern patterns in the spatial distribution of data. Finally we will
explore some alternatives for sharing data in GIS and non-GIS formats. By following the directions in this
class, we will also learn the importance of file and workspace management in Global Mapper.

Requirements
- A registered version of Global Mapper v.16 or newer.
- Access the data files noted below.
- A folder on your desktop called My_Maps in which you can save any files or exported layers.
- No previous experience with Global Mapper is necessary.

Workflow
The following step-by-step instructions are intended to familiarize participants with the relevant
components of Global Mapper. All steps must be followed to their conclusion. After completing the
scripted section, you will be asked to complete an exercise that will incorporate the practical application
of many of the skills learned in the class.

Data
All data files used in this class are available in the following folder: Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1. For
convenience, it is recommended that you copy this folder to your desktop.

Class Outline
- Importing and viewing data
- Creating and editing vector features
- Adjusting the appearance of vector features
- Working with raster layers
- Querying and filtering data
- The basics of spatial analysis
- Methods for sharing data

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Step One – Importing and Viewing Data

In the following scenario, we will simply import a shapefile, the


most common vector spatial file format, and explore some of the
data and file management components in Global Mapper.

1. Launch Global Mapper and on the introductory screen,


click the Open Your Own Data Files button.
2. Browse the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Maine_Towns.
3. Select the Maine_Towns.shp file and click the Open
button.

After importing a file, Global Mapper reads the data from its original location so if the source file
is deleted, moved, or renamed, it will no longer be displayed in the map window. In order to
preserve the current map view, we will save a Workspace file.

4. From the File menu, choose Save Workspace… or use the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut.
5. Name the file Maine and save it in the My_Maps folder on your desktop.

We will now explore some of the basic tools in Global Mapper.

6. From the toolbar at the top of the screen, click the Feature Info button.
7. Move your cursor over the map and click on a polygon. Note the Feature Information dialog box
listing all of the attributes and other information about the selected town. This dialog box can
be enlarged by clicking and dragging any of the corners.

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When finished, close this dialog box.

8. If it is not already displayed, open the Overlay Control Center. This can be done using the Open
Control Center button in the toolbar or by using the Alt+C keyboard shortcut.

9. Uncheck the checkbox next to the Maine_Towns.shp layer. Note the layer disappears from
view.
10. Click the Metadata button and note the displayed information pertaining to the selected layer.

When finished, close this dialog box.

Finally in this introductory section, we will learn several ways to zoom and pan the map view.

11. Select the Zoom tool from the toolbar.


12. Position your cursor at a point on the map, click and hold your left mouse button and move the
cursor down and to the right to create a zoom box. Release the mouse and map will redraw to
encompass the extent of the box.

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13. Move your cursor to any edge of the map and when the arrow appears, click once to pan the
map in that direction.
14. If your mouse has a mouse wheel, use the wheel to zoom in and out.
15. In the toolbar, click the Home button to zoom to the full extent of all loaded data.
16. Click the adjacent Restore button to return to the previous view.

Step Two – Creating and Editing Vector Features

In the following scenario we will introduce some of the basic drawing or digitizing tools in Global
Mapper and we will learn how they can be used to create new features and to modify the geometric
characteristics of existing features.

1. Unload any previously imported layers using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
2. As a visual reference, open the image file at the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Field
3. From the toolbar, click the Create New Area Feature tool, which in on the left side of the
Digitizer toolbar.

4. Using the left mouse button, click to create a series of vertices that roughly
outline one of the field boundaries in the middle of the image. Note that
because this is an area feature, it will automatically close so you do not
have to manually add the final point at the point of origin. If you need to
remove a point, use the standard undo keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Z).
5. When adding the final point or vertex use the right mouse button to
complete the drawing process.
6. The Modify Feature Info dialog box will automatically appear allowing you to apply certain
settings and attributes to the new feature. Add the following information:
a. Name: Field 1
b. Feature Type: Cropland
c. Feature Layer: Create New Layer for Feature
d. Under the Feature Attributes window, click the Add… button and in the resulting dialog
box, type the following:
i. Attribute Name: Crop Type
ii. Attribute Value: Corn
e. Click the OK button to close the Modify Feature Info dialog box.
f. You will be prompted to name the new layer. Type Fields and click the OK button.
The color of the newly drawn feature will automatically inherit the default color
assigned to the Cropland feature type.

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Repeat steps 2 to 5 for ten to twelve additional fields in the image, naming each field
successively (Field 1, Field 2, etc.). Note the snapping behavior, which is enabled by default in
Global Mapper, will ensure that abutting fields will share a common boundary. For each
successive field, you will not have to create a new layer as noted in step 6.c above but instead
you will choose the Fields layer from the dropdown list. When adding the Crop Type attribute,
you will see that the previously typed values will appear by default. Under Attribute Value,
enter Corn, Potatoes, or Wheat in a random pattern.

When complete, save the workspace in your My_Maps folder and type the file name Field
Study. We will now take a look at some of the tools that can be used to modify the geometric
structure of existing features.

7. Select the Digitizer tool from the toolbar.


Moving your cursor over the map, you will see the word EDIT
next to a crosshair. In this mode, it is a selection tool that can be
used to select one or more vector items on the map.
8. Select one of the fields, right-click on the map and choose Move
Area Feature.
9. Using the left mouse button, click and hold while moving the
field to a new location.
10. Release the button to confirm the move.
11. With the Digitizer still active, right-click anywhere on the map
and from the Options sub-menu, select Always Render Vertices
for Selected Features. You will notice that the vertices or shape-
points for the selected field are now displayed.
12. Use the left mouse button to drag a box around a vertex (it will

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be highlighted with a red circle) then right-click and choose MOVE VTX – Move Selected Vertex.
The word MOVE will now appear beside the cursor.
13. Using the left mouse button, click on the map to select the new position for the vertex.
14. With the Digitizer still active and the edited field still selected, right-click and choose
Move/Reshape Feature > Restore Original Shape of the Area.
15. Click the OK button to confirm and the shape of the field will revert to its original form.

Finally in this section, we will update the attributes for a selected feature.

16. With a field still selected with the Digitizer, right-click anywhere on the map and choose EDIT –
Edit Area Feature.
The same Modify Feature Info dialog box that appeared after the field was drawn is displayed
and any of the parameters can be edited as needed.
17. Select the Crop Type attribute and click the Edit button. Choose an alternative crop type from
the drop down list and click the OK button.
The Modify Feature Info dialog box can also be used to change the feature type, to override the
default appearance, and to move the selected features to a new layer.

Step Three – Adjusting the Appearance of Vector Features

Global Mapper offers several ways to alter the visual representation of vector features either
individually or collectively. In this section we will change the fill color for a selected feature type; for all
features in a layer; for a specific feature; and finally we will adjust the fill color to reflect a component of
the attribute data.

1. From the Tools menu, choose Configure…


The Configuration dialog box is where all of the settings and
preferences are set.
2. Click the Area Styles tab and from the Area Type list, select
Cropland. The default color for this type will be displayed at the
bottom of the window.
3. Adjacent to the Fill Pattern dropdown list, click the Color…
button and choose a yellow color from the resulting color picker.
4. Back in the Configuration dialog box, uncheck the box next to
Show Labels for Areas of this Type.
5. Click the OK button and note the change in the color of the
Digitized fields. Any additional features that are assigned to this
feature type will inherit the yellow color by default.

Note that new Feature Types can be created and they can also
be given a default set of attributes if needed, which significantly
streamlines the feature creation process.

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Now we will change the color of an individual selected feature.

6. Select the Digitizer tool from the toolbar and select one of the fields.
7. Right-click anywhere on the map and choose EDIT – Edit Area Feature.
8. Under Feature Style, choose Specify Style to Use when Rendering Feature.
9. In the resulting dialog box, choose any alternative fill color and click OK to close the Modify
Feature Info dialog box. The selected feature will display your custom fill color.

In this section, we will universally change the display characteristics of all features in a layer.

10. Open the Overlay Control Center.


11. Select (highlight) the Fields layer and click the Options
button.
12. Click the Area Styles tab and select Use Same Style for All
Features and choose a fill color as before.
13. Click the Apply button and note that all of the features in
the layer are rendered with the selected color.

Finally, we will apply a color that represents the type of


crop being grown.

14. With the Vector Options dialog box still open, choose
Apply Styling Based on Attribute/Name Values.
15. From the Attribute/Name to Apply Styling On dropdown
list, choose CROP TYPE.
16. Towards the bottom of this window, click the Init from
Values button.
17. When prompted for a color, chose any fill color and click
the OK button. When asked if you would like to assign
random colors to other values click Yes.
18. Click the Apply button to see the results on the map.
Note that individual colors can now be edited by clicking on the Edit Style button. When all edits
are complete, click the OK button to close the window.
19. To display a legend for the assigned colors, select Map Layout from the Tools menu.
20. In the resulting dialog box, choose Display Legend Based on the Loaded Vector Types from the
Map Legend dropdown list.
21. In the Header section, type Crop Types and click the OK button.

To save the map with its assigned colors, save your workspace.

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Step Four – Working with Raster Layers

Raster data, which often takes the form of aerial or satellite imagery, is essentially a representation of a
defined area comprised of an array of pixels. While vector data can be easily created and modified using
a wide variety of digitizing tools, raster data are more static in form and is often used as a visual base
map for vector projects. That said, Global Mapper does offer a number of tools that can be used to alter
the display of raster layers. In this section, we will explore some of the tools for altering the color
characteristics, for cropping, and for tiling loaded raster data.

1. Unload any previously imported layers using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
2. Open the GeoTIFF file at the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Topo_Map
3. Open the imagery layer at the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Field
Note that because these are both raster layers covering the same area you will only see the last
imported layer.
4. Open the Overlay Control Center and uncheck the box next to the Field.jp2 layer. Note the
underlying layer is now visible. Recheck the box.
5. With the Field.jp2 layer still highlighted, use the up arrow to the right of the window to move
the imagery above the Topo.tif layer. Note the display order on the map has changed.
6. From the toolbar, select the Image Swipe tool.
When prompted, choose Topo.tif from the Layer to Swipe dropdown list.
7. Position your cursor close to the top of the map, click and
hold your left mouse button and move the cursor in a
downward direction. Note the underlying layer is exposed.
Release the mouse button to return the image to its default
status.
8. Repeat this process from the bottom and sides of the map.

Now we explore two ways in which the underlying imagery


can be made to be partially visible through the topographic map.

9. In the Overlay Control Center, select (highlight) the Topo.tif layer and click the Options button.
10. Select the Display tab and pull the Translucency slider to approximately 50%.
11. Click the Apply button and note the field outlines can be seen merged with the topographic
map.

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12. Return the Translucency slider to the Opaque side.

13. Still in the Display tab, choose the Multiply option from the Blend Mode dropdown list and click
the Apply button.
This multiplies the RGB values for the corresponding pixels in each layer creating a single image
in which the darker features in each (e.g. the contour lines) are accentuated.
Click the OK button to close the window and save the workspace in your My_Maps folder.
Name the file Topo Blend.

In this section we will follow the steps necessary to crop and tile the imagery.

14. In the Overlay Control Center, select the Topo.tif layer and click the Close OverLay button.
15. Open the Export_Bounds.gmp file from the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Export_Bounds
A .gmp file is a Global Mapper Package file that allows any loaded data to be saved in a single
compressed file. It is very useful for sending multiple layers to another Global Mapper user.
16. Select the Digitizer tool from the toolbar and left-click to select the red area feature on the map.
This selected rectangle represents the extent of the imagery that we will export so first we will
crop the imagery layer to these bounds.
17. In the Overlay Control Center, select (highlight) the Field.jp2 layer and click the Options button.

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18. Select the Cropping tab and at the bottom of the dialog box, choose Crop to Currently Selected
Polygon(s).

19. Click the OK button and press the Esc button on your keyboard to deselect the area feature.
20. From the File menu, select Export > Export Raster/Image Format and choose JPG2000 from the
format dropdown list and click the OK button.
21. In the resulting Export Options dialog box, select the Tiling tab.
22. Choose the Specify Number of Rows and Columns option and type 3 in both the Rows and
Columns fields.
23. Click the OK button and, in the My_Maps folder create a new sub-folder called Tiles.
24. Type the file name Fields and click the Save button.

Finally we will import all of the resulting tiles.

25. Unload the currently imported layer using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
26. From the File menu, choose Open All Files in a Directory Tree…
27. Choose the My_Maps\Tiles folder previously created and click the OK Button.
28. In the File Masks dialog box, type *jp2 and click the OK Button.
Notice that the Overlay Control Center lists nine separate imagery layers.

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Step Five – Querying and Filtering Data

There are two ways in which vector layers can be queried or filtered: you can either search for features
based on the attribute table or you can conduct a spatial or geographic search. In this section we will
cover both of these procedures.

1. Unload any previously imported layers using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
2. Use the Ctrl+W keyboard shortcut to load the previously created Maine.gmw file from your
My_Maps folder.
3. From the toolbar, click the Search button.
4. In the Search Criteria section of the Search Vector Data dialog box, enter the following:
Attribute/Item: COUNTY
Operator: =
Compare Value: Cumberland
as: TEXT
5. Click the New Search button.

The table will display a list of Maine towns that are in Cumberland County. Now we will create a
second filter to limit the list to those towns that are on the mainland.

6. In the Search Criteria section, enter the following:


Attribute/Item: ISLAND
Operator: =
Compare Value: N
as: TEXT
7. Click the Search in Existing Results button.

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Now we will assign these towns to their own layer.

8. At the bottom of the window, click the Select All button then click the Edit Selected button.
9. In the resulting Modify Selected Area Features dialog box, choose Create New Layer for
Feature from the Feature Layer dropdown list and click the OK button.
10. When prompted, type the name Cumberland Mainland for the new layer and click the OK
button.
11. Close the Search Vector Data dialog box.
12. In the Overlay Control Center, close the Maine Towns layer leaving just the Cumberland
Mainland towns. When asked if you want to save changes, click the Yes button.

Finally in this section, we will import a layer containing the passenger railroad corridor and,
using a simply spatial query, determine which towns through which the railroad travels. Before
beginning, we will make a configuration change that will clarify the display of the query results.
a. From the Tools menu, open the Configuration dialog box, and click the Vector Display
tab.
b. Scroll through the list of check boxes at the bottom of the dialog box and make sure the
following option is checked: Only Highlight Border of Selected Area Features.

c. Click the OK button to apply this configuration setting.

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13. Open the Railroad Corridor.gmp file found at the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Railroad
14. Using the Digitizer tool, right click anywhere on the map and from the Options sub-menu,
deselect Always Render Vertices for Select Features.
15. Click and hold the left mouse button to drag a box that intersects any part of the red railroad
corridor polygon.
16. Right-click on the map and choose Advanced Selection Options > Select All Area Features
Enclosed within Selected Area(s).
17. In the Area Coverage dialog box, choose Any Overlap with a Selected Area Allowed and click
the OK button.
18. With the selected towns still highlighted, use the Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V commands to copy and paste
them. When prompted, choose to paste the copied features to a new layer.
19. In the Overlay Control Center, uncheck the original Cumberland Mainland layer.
20. Save your workspace (Ctrl+Shift+S) as Cumberland Railroad.

Step Six – The Basics of Spatial Analysis

Fundamental to a fully functional GIS, spatial analysis is best defined as the examination of data in its
locational context. Global Mapper includes several tools for performing this type of analysis, two of
which we will employ to gauge the distribution or clustering of data points. In the first scenario we will
simply assign a point-count as an attribute to arbitrary grid and in the second we will create a density or
heat map to visualize the degree of clustering.

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1. Unload any previously imported layers using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
2. Use the Ctrl+W keyboard shortcut to load the previously created Maine.gmw file from your
My_Maps folder.
3. Open the Towers.shp file found at the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Towers
This file represents the point locations for all communication towers within the state of Maine.
4. From the toolbar, select the Grid tool and left-click anywhere on the map.
5. In the resulting dialog box, enter the following grid parameters:
a. Number of Grid Rows: 10
b. Number of Grid Columns: 10
c. Grid Cell Width: 10 km
d. Grid Cell Height: 10 km
e. Anchor Point:
X: 365842
Y: 4959325
All other settings can be left with their default values.

6. Click the OK button to create the grid tiles.

A new layer called User Created Features is automatically created in the Overlay Control
Center. Right-click on this layer and choose DESCRIPTION – Edit the Selected Layer’s
Description and type the name Grid in the resulting dialog box. Right-click on the new layer
name and choose ZOOM_TO – Zoom to Selected Layer(s) to view the full extent of the grid.

7. With the grid tiles still selected on the map, select the Digitizer tool from the toolbar, right-click
anywhere on the map and choose Attribute/Style Functions > Add Attributes with a Count of
Points and Lines in Selected Area(s)…
8. Click the OK button in the confirmation dialog box and use the keyboard Esc button to deselect
the grid tiles.

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9. Use the Feature Info tool to see the new attribute assigned to the grid tiles.

In the following steps, we will label each grid tile with the appropriate point count value and
apply a shading pattern to reflect this value.

10. In the Overlay Control Center, select the Grid layer and click the Options button.
11. Under the Set up Feature Display Label section, choose Use Selected Attribute Value for Name.
12. From the adjacent dropdown list, choose POINT_COUNT, click the OK button, and in the
subsequent dialog box, click the Yes button to Save the New Attribute-Based Label.

The number in each grid tile will now reflect the total number of points within that area. If
necessary, uncheck the other layers in the Overlay Control Center to clarify this view.

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13. In the Overlay Control Center, select the Grid layer and click the Options button.
14. Choose the Area Styles tab and select Apply Styling Based on Attribute/Name Values.
15. From the Attribute/Name dropdown list, choose POINT_COUNT.

In normal situations, the next step would be to manually assign the values and corresponding
styles however in this case, a preconfigured layer style file has been created for this purpose.

16. Click the Load from File button and select the Towers.gm_layer_style file at the following
location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Towers

17. Click the OK button to assign the preconfigured colors to the grid tiles on the map.
18. Open the Map Layout Setup dialog box from the Tools menu to enable the display of a map
legend.
19. Choose Display Legend Based on Loaded Vector Types from the Map Legend dropdown list.
20. Save your Workspace (Ctrl+Shift+S) as Maine Towers.

Finally in this section, we will create a density map to visualize the clustering of communication
towers in the state.

21. In the Overlay Control Center, uncheck all of the layers except the Maine_Towns.shp layer.
22. Select the Towers.shp layer, right-click and choose Density - Create Density Grid…
23. In the Density Grid Setup dialog box, enter the following parameters:

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a. Search Radius: 5000 meters
b. Cells per Radius: 10
All other settings can be left with their default values.

24. Click the OK button to create the raster formatted density grid. This layer is in the same format
as a raster elevation layer which is why you will see an elevation legend on the left side of the
map. In this context, the red colors indicate a higher concentration of towers and blue
represents a lower concentration.
25. Save your workspace file.

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Step Seven – Methods for Sharing Data

In the final section of this introductory class, we will look at several ways in which data can be exported
and shared in both GIS and non-GIS formats. Sharing data may entail simply printing the map, which we
will simulate through the creation of a geospatial PDF; it might involve exporting layers to share with
other Global Mapper users; or it might be achieved through the creation of third-party files for
subsequent import into other software. During this section, we will also explore some of the
configuration settings and options that can be assigned prior to exporting.

In the first scenario, we will explore some of the Map Layout options that can be used to prepare a
map for printing.

1. Unload any previously imported layers using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
2. Use the Ctrl+W keyboard shortcut to load the previously created Field Study.gmw file from your
My_Maps folder.
3. From the Tools menu, choose Map Layout…
4. Apply the following page layout parameters:
a. Distance Scale:
i. Font: Verdana – Regular – 10 point size
ii. Background Color: White
iii. Position: 0.5cm from the left edge and 0.5cm from the bottom
b. Elevation Legend:
i. No Legend
c. Map Legend:
i. Display Legend Based on the Loaded Vector Types
ii. Font: Verdana – Regular – 12 point size
iii. Position: 0.5cm from the bottom and 0.5cm from the right edge
iv. Header: Crop Types
Font: Verdana – Bold – 14 point size
d. Margins:
i. No Margins
e. Text:
i. New: Field Study
Font: Verdana – Bold – 12 point size
Position: 0.5cm from the top and 0cm from the center
f. North Arrow:
i. No North Arrow
All other settings can be left with their default values.

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Note that the positioning of all of these cartographic elements is relative to the screen or page
layout and not to any geographic location. It is therefore possible to zoom and pan the map for
optimal coverage while maintaining the overall layout.
5. From the File menu, click Print Setup and in the resulting dialog box, select Landscape
orientation and click the OK button.
6. From the File menu, click Print Preview.
7. Check the box next to Print to Scale and type 21000 in the adjacent text box.
8. Click the OK button.
The resulting window displays a low-resolution rendering of the printed map.
9. If you have access to a printer, click the Print button otherwise click the Close button to return
to the main window.

Next we will generate a geospatial PDF file using the same map.

10. From the File menu, choose Export > Export PDF File… and apply the following settings:
a. Page Size: Letter
b. Orientation: Landscape
c. Export to Fixed Scale: 21000
d. Margins: All 0 cm

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11. Click the OK button and save the PDF using the name Field Study in your My_Maps folder
12. Open the PDF using any suitable PDF viewing software.

Now we will demonstrate how multiple layers of varying types can be simultaneously exported
in a single compressed file for easy transfer to another Global Mapper user. This procedure is
also useful for creating a backup of an important Global Mapper project. All of the data layers as
well as any configuration settings that have been applied will be saved as a single compressed
.gmp file.

13. With the same Field Study workspace loaded and visible on the screen, click the File menu and
choose Export > Export Global Mapper Package File.
14. In the resulting Options dialog box, keep all the default settings and click the OK button.
15. Save the file in your My_Maps folder with the file name Field Study.
16. Unload all data using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut and open the Field Study.gmp file to
recreate the map.
Note the Overlay Control Center displays a tree view containing both the imagery and vector
layers.

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In the final scenario, we will export a layer in third party format after modifying the projection
settings.

17. From the toolbar, open the Configuration dialog box and select the Projection tab
18. Apply the following projection parameters:
a. Projection: State Plane Coordinate System
b. Zone: Maine CS2000 East
c. Datum: NAD83
d. Planar Units: Feet (U.S. Survey)

19. Click the OK button.


20. From the File menu, choose Export > Export Vector Format…
21. Choose Shapefile from the Export Format dialog box and click the OK button.
22. Check the box next to Export Areas and save the file as Fields in your My_Maps folder.
23. Click the OK button to generate the file.
24. Unload all data using the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut and open the Fields.shp file previously
created.
In the Configuration dialog box, you will now see that the layer is projected using the State
Plane Coordinate System.

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Exercise

The goal of this exercise is to create a PDF map that shows the distribution of hospitals by town within
the state of Maine. The required data files are the Maine.gmw workspace file that was previously
created, and a shapefile containing the hospital locations, which can be found at the following location:
Global_Mapper_Data\Section_1\Hospitals

Many of the workflows that were utilized throughout this class can be applied in this exercise:
- Data importing
- Spatial analysis (point count)
- Differential shading
- Map layout
- PDF export

When complete, save the PDF as well as a Global Mapper Package file containing all of the requisite
layers in your My_Maps folder.

If you need additional assistance when completing this exercise, refer to the help files that can be
accessed from the Help menu in the software.

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