Data Map Pins
Data Map Pins Geographical Information System GIS can be used with any suitable map from any country in the world. It is not just limited to the UK. It was designed to take advantage of the vast amount of digital mapping available today.
The important thing to remember is that the map should be suitably projected for use with the grid system you intend to use for plotting. For the UK this means maps based on Ordnance Survey Grid in most cases. Your database fields would therefore hold either a single Ordnance Survey grid reference such as SA 050 125, or eastings and northings such as 0123456, 0654321, which may be stored in either a single data field separated by a spaced hyphen, etc or two database fields for each easting and northing value. Also, postcodes * or zipcodes can be used. See Plotting Data for more.
Various Formats Such as Bitmaps and Metafiles
Maps are widely available in various formats such as bitmaps and metafiles from many different suppliers. The internet is a good place to look around for suitable maps to use. Search for digital maps, digital data, digital mapping, maps, etc. The maps you choose should be of a suitable projection and designed for the grid references you intend to plot your data from. Paper-based maps can be scanned and stitched using proprietary GIS software and scanners to make them ready for use. The program does not ship with maps, leaving you free to choose your own from the vast range available in the world today. Each map can be set up using two reference points to set the map’s internal grid. This offers users much more freedom of choice as to which maps they want to use. Many stockists will supply digital maps often to your custom requirements.
Maps Copyright License Notice
Most suppliers will hold copyrights and issue licenses to use their maps. In some cases a fee may be payable, sometimes permission may be granted free providing certain notices are displayed on the map. Data Map Pins has been designed to take this into account and when you insert a map you will be prompted for copyright license information. These notices are in both full and shortened versions of the copyright license notice and are shown on printouts etc.
It is recommended that maps have a little background color, preferably greyscale or black and white, especially when using colored area plotting. If the map is a bitmap, you can use the Data Map Pins bitmap transparency tool to remove the main background color to assist if needed. Data Map Pins has been tested using maps of considerable size, however, it is recommended that the map size only be as big as needed for its purpose. If for example, you are only interested in plotting data for the Wolverhampton area, it would be wasteful to use say a map of the whole of West Midlands County. The smaller the maps the smaller the files and less disk space is consumed.
Using the UTM or MGRS Grids
Please note that when using the UTM or MGRS grids, the program requires the grid references to be within the same single UTM zone 1 – 60 and not across zone boundaries. This is not generally an issue because most maps will be within a single zone which are 6 degrees wide each. Most countries will have their own grid systems and in the USA there is the State Plane System, which has its own points of origin and can be a better choice generally.