MacNews Category Review: GIS software for the Mac, part II
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MacNews Category Review: GIS software for the Mac, part II

imageThis MacNews Category Review looks at part two of our round-up of GIS software for the Mac. Products covered include HourWorld, iGPS, iMap, INS toolbox for MATLAB, iPhotoToGoogleEarth, iSitus, LandSerf, Le Cartographeur, LoadMyTracks, MacBBS NOAA Marine Charts, MacElevation, MacGIMP, MacGIS, MacGPS Pro, MacMap, Mactopos, Major Cities USA, MapGrafix, Map Picture Viewer, Map Memo, Map Objects, Mapping Toolbox, Map Projector, MAPublisher, Master's Mate and McDwiff. Part one can be found at


HourWorld is a graphical application that can determine the time at any location around the world with dynamic time zone displays. It also shows sunrise and sunset times, moonrise and moonset details, outdoor lighting conditions for photography or other planning needs, and more. HourWorld features up to 15 clocks, phone call coordinator and the potential to receive global positioning (GPS) data from a GPS receiver through GPSy. Almanac features print or save sun and moon times for any location for any month or year. Menus allow experimentation to find lighting conditions at any worldwide location, date and time. Ddisplays tailored for monitors up to 1280x1024 show a satellite image or political map of the earth overlaid with the pattern of time zones, daylight, twilight and night with earthlights. Ten display options show analog or digital clocks around the world, sunrise, set, and twilight, sun and moon calendars, day/night time strips, phone call coordinator, animated sundial, and GPS options.


iGPS is a backup utility for Garmin GPS waypoints and routes. It can restore waypoints or routes individually or restore all of them at the same time. It can transfer waypoints and routes between different GPS models and export waypoints and routes in GPX format for use with other navigation software. Exported waypoints include depth data and waypoint comments. Initially developed for marine navigation, iGPS is also suituable for aviation and other navigation applications that use professional grade GPS equipment. All Garmin GPS models with a serial interface are fully supported.


iMap is a program designed for mapping large amounts of latitude/longitude data. It works with different kinds of picture maps (TIFF, JPEG, PICT, GIF or PNG) and is supplied with several maps. Additional maps can be downloaded from the Internet, exported from GIS software or they can be scanned. iMap can plot symbols or characters from any font installed on your system. Additionally, it offers the possibility to create a QuickTime movie from a sequence of maps in order to trace the vegetation history of a certain area. Distribution maps can be printed at high resolution or they can be exported for incorporation in presentations, Web pages, posters, reports, movies or publications. Distribution maps can be exported as BMP, PICT, Photoshop, JPEG, PNG, SGI, TGA, TIFF and QuickTime image files.

INS Toolbox for MATLAB

Inertial Navigation System (INS) Toolbox for MATLAB allows you to simulate the raw data from a strapdown inertial measurement unit (delta-thetas and delta-Vs) and perform position, velocity and attitude updating. The effect of errors such as biases, scale factor and noise can be simulated and analyzed.


If you've got photos with GPS coordinates embedded in their Exif tags, you can use iPhotoToGoogleEarch to create a KMZ file so you can view the photos in Google Earth. The file contains everything so you can send it to others and they'll be able to see not only what you saw, but where you saw it. It can also include a NMEA track file to show where you went between photos.


iSitus is designed for publishing data on maps. It can be used to locate equipment and services on a city map, but can also be applied to any need for a visual representation of data.


LandSerf is a GIS particularly suitable for the visualization and analysis of surfaces. Applications include: visualization of landscapes; geomorphological analysis; gaming development; GIS file conversion; map output; archaeological mapping and analysis; surface modeling; and more.

Le Cartographeur

Le Cartographeur from France allows you to associate a digital series (points, lines, surfaces) to a geographical area and apply or import data from other programs (spreadsheets, databases, etc.). This freeware provides two maps of France (Communes and Regions) and a map of the United States.


LoadMyTracks downloads tracks, routes, and waypoints from GPS receivers (including those from Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, TomTom, and Timex) to your Mac. From this information, it can create GPX files (for use in software that understands GPS output) or KML files (for use with Google Earth and Google Maps). LoadMyTracks can also be used to send data to some GPS devices (including those from TomTom, Garmin and Magellan) and convert data from LOC and GPX files to Google Earth.

MacBBS NOAA Marine Charts

MacBBS NOAA Marine Charts for the USA waters including Alaska and Hawaii offer a digital chart solution by having all the charts on a two DVD set. These charts aren't encrypted and don't need to be registered. They're ready to use with MacGPS Pro software (available separately). Install any or all of these detailed charts on your Mac hard drive, or use the charts directly from these two DVDs as you sail.


MacElevation is a series that displays the altitude of any point in any of the 50 Unites States.


MacGIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a suite of tools that lets you run Gimp within Mac OS X extensible software for photo retouching, image authoring and composition and more. It includes XDarwin for running the X-Windows on Darwin and Mac OS X (in rootless mode).


MacGIS, from the University of Oregon, streamlines all the steps involved in creating and using a raster geographic information system, from scanning source maps and digitizing new data on-screen to generating new maps and wire-frame views for use in desk top publishing. Analytic functions include Boolean overlay, proximity and coincidence, visibility, and a wide array of statistical and spatial analytic tools. Features include a macro-maker that translates menu selections and mouse clicks into a text-based version of any analytic command that can then be edited, stored as a separate document, or re-executed.

MacGPS Pro

MacGPS Pro software interfaces most brands of GPS receivers to your Mac running Mac OS X (10.2 or later). It works with Garmin and Magellan receivers to transfer Waypoints, Routes, Track Logs and Satellite Almanacs. MacGPS Pro also works with most NMEA serial interface GPS receivers for presentation of real-time GPS information on a moving map on the Mac screen. It works with most Bluetooth GPS receivers.


MacMap, also from France is mapping software that features numerous representation options with many presets and tools. It is PostScript compliant and can export documents in EPS. MacMap also comes with a software development kit in C so you can extend its functions.


Mactopos is a series that incorporates topographic digital raster maps of the all the states on one DVD in three crystal-clear map scales: 1:24K, 1:100K, and 1:250K.

Major Cities USA

Major Cities USA is a collection of royalty-free Illustrator files featuring the United States' 36 largest metropolitan areas.


MapGrafix Mapping System is designed to "give you the power of a geographic information system on your desktop at a fraction of the cost of large-scale systems." It simplifies the access and use of spatial data and is targeted to those in land use planning and analysis, transportation planning, environmental studies, demo-graphics and much more. MapGrafix has the ability to link every map feature, graphic or text, with database information.

Map Picture Viewer

Map Picture Viewr is a Japanese application that lets you browse, print, connect and scale maps based on Digital Map 25000 and Digital Map 200000.

Map Memo

MapMemo lets you place your files on whatever graphical data you wish and give them a visual or location-based relation. MapMemo uses only aliases of your files, so called "memos", and all files open in their original application. It's compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

Map Objects

Map Objects is a suite of Java-based developer components for creating client (J2SE) or server-side (J2EE) mapping and GIS applications. A collection of visual Java beans and high-level components are provided for application development of robust client-side application. In addition, server-side mapping components can be used to build Web services, Java Server Pages (JSPs) and custom servlets. It runs under Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

Mapping Toolbox

Mapping Toolbox is a Mac OS X solution that provides a set of functions and graphical user interfaces for creating map projection displays, performing geographic computations and data fusion, generating presentation graphics and accessing external geographic data.

Map Projector

MapProjector is a graphics program that can be used to view, alter and process images of global maps. Some of the primary functions of the program include the ability to re-center images, extract specific regions, and convert images to different projections (mollweide, orthographic, stereographic). Functions are also available to annotate images with features such as scalebars, latitude and longitude grid lines and continental overlays.


MAPublisher is a suite of filters for Adobe Illustrator that imports GIS vector data directly into the graphics programs with no conversion required. All feature codes and data attributes are intact and editable. With MAPublisher tools you can import, scale, project, transform, edit, analyze and query. Map finishing tools include labeling, raster image registration and instant legend rendering.

Master's Mate

Master's Mate is a celestial navigation program that handles most of the calculations involved in this traditional, but still widely used method of navigation at sea.


McDwiff lets you open and convert Autodesk DWF files.

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