MapInfo Pro 8.5 Features and Opinion from SGSI
MapInfo Professional 8.5
New features & SGSI's perspective



MapInfo Pro 8.5, began shipping in June 2006, one year after the successful launch of Rev. 8.0.   This is the 21st revision of MapInfo Corp's mature mapping & spatial analysis workbench for Windows.

This version offers a richer-than-usual set of enhancements, some small, some large.  The price of MapInfo Pro upgrade costs are increasing by 10%, but the cost of annual software upgrade maintenance stays the same.

New in Revision 8.5

Improved mapping & spatial analysis:

  • Auto re-project grids and photo layers:  Add background aerial photos or grids without changing your map window projection!  Gone are the days when your map view was locked to the projection of your background image layer.
    SGSI opinion:  A major enhancement with huge benefits for users of aerial photos, telecom grids, and WMS map layers.   Can you do this with competing GIS analysis tools?

  • Auto-thematics:  Build a normal thematic map, then save the thematic settings so they apply automatically whenever you open the table.
    SGSI opinion:  Very handy.  Faster and simpler than defining default symbology one color/pattern or symbol class at a time.

  • Grid thematic and 3D visuals for Vertical Mapper grids--without buying Vertical Mapper:  Change color breaks, apply drop-shadows and use the standard "Info" tool on VM Grids.
    SGSI opinion:  VM grids previously could be shows as "dumb" rasters only, unless you purchased VM.  Now use all built-in MI Pro tools on them, just as you can on native MIGs and other grids.  This will benefit Planet EV (Wireless RF software) users, too, as it also uses VM grid formats.

  • Auto-find Selection:  Automatically re-center the map on query results.
    SGSI opinion:  What do you usually do after selecting map records?  Query > Find selection?  Now do it automatically.  Another click-saver.

  • Web services link:  Street-level geocoding and drive-time buffers integrated with MapInfo Pro:  Implemented via new menu commands:  e.g., "Table > Geocode using server" and "Table > Driving Regions" you can now geocode and create drivetime buffers seamless in MapInfo Pro.
    SGSI opinion:  This is incredibly more convenient that having to switch to the separate MapMarker client program.  It is a "must have" for any organization with Mapmarker Server and/or Envinsa Server licenses.  But everyone, large or small, gets a modest number of free transactions accessing MapInfo Corp's Online Services.  Please try it.  When registering for trial web services use, *please* note on your Site Pass that you work with "Schlosser Geographic Systems (SGSI)".  Thank you!




    "We had quite a bit of oil on the beach from the recent spill. Used MapInfo to illustrate that, and to map it. I couldn't take my GPS out there, so I gave one of the biologists a map, and he drew the areas on that. I brought the map back, scanned it, geo-referenced it in MapInfo, and on-screen digitized his polygons. All under severe time pressure, last night. Hurray for MapInfo!"  Details ...(PDF)
  -- T. C., Suquamish Tribe













Integrate street-level drive time region analysis (requires paid service or Envinsa server). 




Better output:

  • Free PDF writer:  Print maps or layout windows to PDF files, viewable by Acrobat Reader users everywhere.
    SGSI opinion:  PDF is a great format for distributing maps or posting them to your intranet.  Now MI Pro 8.5 users can produce PDF maps without spending $100's to buy Adobe Acrobat.
    Note:  Does *not* support printing transparent raster or cross-hatched fill patterns and is a little quirky. 
    Warning:  The PDF printer driver is prepared by a third-party that really wants you to send it print/plotter business.

  • Improved printer output:  Rev 8.5 implements a re-written print engine, supporting even higher resolutions.
    SGSI opinion:  Should help with thorny print situations, especially high-res raster and PDF maps.

  • Google Earth link:  Capture your MapInfo Pro map and see it layered with Google Earth maps.
    SGSI opinion:  Great way to take advantage of Google's rich set of aerial maps.  The MBX the links MI Pro to Google has been improved.




Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference.  Here's a selection of new Rev 8.5 features SGSI particularly likes:

  • Define & save calculated columns 
    Always want to see the coordinates or the area of map objects?  With Rev 8.5, define calculated columns and save them so they always display.

  • Capture a map window image and use it immediately as a map table 
    For example, if you have a complex map, with multiple layers, you can use this new feature to "flatten it" into a single georeference map image, complete with *TAB file.

  • Higher-resolution buffers 
    Make really-smooth (500 segment) circular or other buffers.

  • Copy/paste from Statistics & Message windows 

  • Free online training 
    If covered by the "Upgrade Protection/Maintenance" program, you will have access to 5 of MapInfo Corp's new online trainlets.

Optional modules:

  • Online Geocoding & Drivetime:  New in Revision 8.5, these services can be purchased in blocks of transactions.  Add-on cost:  $1000 or $1800 blocks, typically.  $1000 buys 1,000 street-level US/Canada geocodes or 100 US/Canada drivetime buffers (mix & match is OK).

  • MapBasic:  The MapInfo Pro automation software.  New MapBasic commands, in Rev 8.5 support web services access.   Add-on cost:  $795/named user.

  • Vertical Mapper:  3D and Grid Analysis module. 
    Add-on cost:  $1195/named user (ask about bundled prices, too).  More ...


With Rev 8.5, prices have increased for Upgrades, although not for full licenses and not for Annual Software Upgrade Maintenance.  As a result, the Annual Software Upgrade Maintenance option (1, 2 or 3 yrs) is an even better value.

Before ordering, consider your options:

  • Do you need a new full desktop license, or an upgrade?  If upgrading, do you have your serial number?

  • Do you only want to buy MapInfo Pro, or do you want to add annual phone Technical Support?

  • Do you want a price that includes "Software Upgrade Maintenance":  e.g., includes all software upgrades shipped automatically for a 1, 2, or 3 year period.  This is substantially cheaper than buying annual one-time upgrades.

All prices listed here are in US$, for a single user license,  and are subject to change.  We must have your serial number to process an upgrade order.  Volume discounts may apply if you have 3+ individual licenses.  Please call SGSI at 206-224-0800 for volume license options.



Full product, includes media/docs.
Ask about any current promotions!



Upgrade MapInfo Pro Rev. 8.0-to-8.5


Upgrade from competitive product (Call pls.)


Upgrade old MapInfo Pro versions (7.8 etc)


Upgrade any version MapBasic to 8.5



Rev. 8.0-to-8.5  + All upgrades for 1 year.


Old version-to-8.5  + All upgrades for 1 year.



Rev. 8.0-to-8.5  + All upgrades for 3 years.


Old version-to-8.5  + All upgrades for 3 years.



New licenses:  60 days phone support



Upgrades:  30 days phone support



Three incidents



Three-incident pre-paid support:  1 yr


Ready to order?

You can order MapInfo Pro, Upgrades, Annual maintenance, and/or Technical support by simply calling SGSI at 1-206-224-0800 or email us

For upgrades and support orders, please have your serial #'s handy, as it is required by MapInfo Corp. 
- The serial number for Revision 7.5 and later typically begins with "MIUWEU" followed by 10-digits:  e.g., "MIUWEU0750012345" and is usually listed in the MapInfo > Help > About dialog box.
- The serial number for Revision 7.0 and earlier typically begins with "W" followed by 9-digits:  e.g., "W700812345" and is usually listed in the MapInfo > Help > About dialog box.

Evaluation copies

20-day full-function downloadable version.  Please call 206-224-0800 for details.

Features of previous versions

MapInfo Pro 8.0
Support for complex 100 million-node regions; Distance Calculator; Support for ESRI grid & 3D Shapefile formats; ...    More ...

MapInfo Pro 7.8
New "spider graph" and "Synch Windows" utilities; Square and colored dot density maps; large 2048-character text objects; support for Oracle 10g & AccessXP formats; real-time use of both raster "WMS" and vector "WFS" map layers.  More ...

MapInfo Pro 7.5
New snap, cross-hairs, & "print to scale" features; support for 64,000 row XLSs & Oracle 9.03; Workspace "packager"; higher-res. fill patterns and symbols; real-time use of maps from remote "web map servers" (WMS).  More ...

MapInfo Pro 7.0
XP-logo certified, direct display of ShapeFile format maps, proximal area (voronoi), object rotation, "nudge" nodes, and new Crystal Reports 8.5  More ...

MapInfo Pro 6.5
Extruded "prism" thematic maps, raster translucency, map "thinning", "cleaning", and other editing enhancements, "invert" selection tool, and  More ...

MapInfo Pro 6.0
3D perspective map views; auto-hotlinks to XLS, DOC and other documents; HTML page-builder tool; improved 24-bit color printing control; & support for Access 2000 binary format.  More ...

MapInfo Pro 5.5
New charting styles, improved cartographic legends, shaded relief grid maps, MrSID image format support (from SGSI!), & completely re-written map feature processing (split's, combine's, etc) .  More ...

MapInfo Pro 5.0
Continuous-color grid thematics, cartographic legends, dynamic ODBC, Crystal Reports.  More ...

MapInfo Pro 4.5
Info Tips, thematic templates, saved queries, interleaved line styles, up to 1,000,000 nodes, & bundled Universal GIS translators.    More ...

MapInfo Pro 4.1
Native MS-Access support without ODBC, export JPEG or Photoshop formats.  More ...

MI65_Prism2.GIF (5663 bytes)

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