MacNews Category Review: GIS software, part II
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MacNews Category Review: GIS software, part II

imageThis MacNews Category Review offers part two of our four-part round-up of GIS software for Mac OS X. Products covered include GPSPhotoLinker, GPSUtility, GPSy, GRASS, Headings Calculator, Hipparchus, HourWorld, iGPS, iMap, INS Toolbox for MATLAB, iPhotoToGoogleEarch, iSitus, Java OceanAtlas, Le Cartographeur, LandSerf, LoadMyTracks, MacBSB NOAA Marine Charts, MacElevation, MacGIMP and MacGPS Pro.


With [url=]GPSPhotoLinker[/url] the latitude and longitude from your GPS receiver can be directly embedded into the metadata of your digital photos, creating a permanent record of where the photo was taken. GPSPhotoLinker saves the position data in the EXIF header, a common format used by many programs, such as iView Media Pro, which can immediately read the position data and use that information for sorting photos.


[url=]GPSUtility[/url] is software for displaying GPS data including speed, bearing, position and satellite information.


[url=]GPSy[/url] is GPS (global positioning system) communications software that connects your Mac to a wide range of global positioning system navigational units. It features mapping, logging and data transfer capabilities; USGS DRG topo map support; Internet DGPS-IP servers; links to Internet Map Servers, StreetAtlas 4 and IPC's MapFan II; Eagle/Garmin/Lowrance/Magellan/Rockwell/Trimble support; and more. There's also a pro version for boaters, high-accuracy DGPS users and folks with large or complex mapping needs.


[url=]GRASS GIS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System)[/url] is an open source GIS with raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphics production functionality that operates on various platforms (including Mac OS X) through a graphical user interface and shell in X-Windows.

Headings Calculator

[url=]Headings Calculator[/url] displays associated magnetic headings (45, 90, 135, 180, 225, 270, 315 and 360 degrees) based on user input. This application was originally developed to assist in navigational calculations (such as inbound and outbound VOR radial selection) for flight simulators.


[url=]Hipparchus[/url] is named after the ancient Greek astronomer and originator of the concept of latitude/longitude, Hipparchus, which runs under Mac OS X, uses a spatial indexing method and modern vector algebra to provide speed, precision and flexibility to aid developers with an open approach for location information. It offers modeling and manipulation of zero, one and two dimensional objects, allowing for ellipsoidal modeling of points, lines and regions. Functions are included for: conversion from all popular coordinate systems; dynamically adjustable indexing; proximity, union and intersection; mapping and display; debugging. What's more, the library includes a third-order orbital modeler to aid in the management of satellite data.


[url=]HourWorld[/url] 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.


[url=]iGPS[/url] is a tility for Garmin GPS waypoints and routes. It can restore waypoints or routes individually or restore all of them at the same time. You can use it to transfer waypoints and routes between different GPS models. iGPS can also export waypoints and routes in GPX format for use with other navigation software.


[url=]iMap[/url] 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

The [url=]Inertial Navigation System (INS) Toolbox for MATLAB[/url] 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,[url=]iPhotoToGoogleEarth[/url] is an iPhoto plug-in that will 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.


[url=]iSitus[/url] is designed for publishing data on maps. Mac OS X compatible, 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.

Java OceanAtlas

[url=]Java OceanAtlas[/url] is a project by UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and OceanAtlas Software aimed at providing computer applications and data files to electronically explore the oceans. Java OceanAtlas is an enhanced version of Power OceanAtlas in the Java programming language. The Java OceanAtlas application displays data from oceanographic "sections," which are the cross-sections of an ocean region that are made by displaying data gathered from a ship stopping along its track at intervals to carry out a vertical profile of water properties.

Le Cartographeur

[url=]Le Cartographeur[/url] 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.


[url=]LandSerf[/url] is a free Geographical Information System (GIS) designed for the visualisation and analysis of surfaces. Applications include: visualisation of landscapes, geomorphological analysis, gaming development, GIS file conversion, map output, archaeological mapping and analysis, surface modelling, and more.


[url=]LoadMyTracsks[/url] ownloads tracks, routes and waypoints from GPS receivers (including those from Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, TomTom, and Timex) to your Mac. From this info, 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.

MacBSB NOAA Marine Charts

[url=]MacBSB NOAA Charts[/url] are marine charts for the USA waters including Alaska and Hawaii. They're ready to use with MacGPS Pro software (available separately).

MacElevation series

The [url=]MacElevation series[/url] displays the altitude of any points in any of the 50 state of the United States.


[url=]MacGIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)[/url] 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).

MacGPS Pro

[url=]MacGPS Pro[/url] interfaces with most brands of GPS receivers to your Macintosh. It works with Garmin and Magellan receivers to transfer waypoints, routes, track logs and satellite almanacs. It works with most NMEA serial interface GPS receivers for presentation of real-time GPS information on a moving map on the Macintosh screen.

Next week: part III

Part one can be found at .

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