Northwest MapInfo User Group
Northwest MapInfo User Group
Meetings and News
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The Northwest MapInfo User Group meets in Seattle every three months, typically on the second Tuesday of the month. Meetings are free and open to all current MapInfo users.  New users are especially welcome.

Please register now or update your email address here so you can receive meeting notices.


"...the Northwest MapInfo Users Group web address ... has loads of good stuff relevant to MI user groups. Your site gives other user groups good ideas and examples .... It wouldn't hurt for other user groups to check out the page.. "
   -- Bill Thoen, GISNet, USA; Founder and host of MapInfo-L.

Next Meeting
When Tuesday, December 6, 2011  12-2 PM Pacific (new time)

Can't attend in person?  Join User Group via conference call  for main presentation! 
Call-in lines limited; registration required; SGSI customers given preference.

RSVP encouraged  Registration required for conference call.


SGSI Offices @ One Union Square
600 University St, Suite 3012, Seattle, WA 
206-224-0800  Map to meeting site.

Regular Features

  • Technical Q & A [bring your questions]

  • Map project show-and-tell [bring your printed maps or projects]

  • Announcements from users, SGSI & PBS (MapInfo)

Future Meetings (save the dates!)

  • Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Just today I read the NW MapInfo User's Group - Meeting and News. I found some cool notes on using the Distance() function, read about Graphics and Publishing Issues in MapInfo, and finally I checked out the MapBasic code fragments in the FAQs. I spent about 15 minutes on the site and thought it was worth it. Especially the MapBasic code fragments." 
-- E. Hohneck, New Zealand.


Previous Meetings
Sep 2011 No meeting this month.
Jun 2011 "First look:  MapInfo Pro v11.0"
Free v11.0 trial version...
Mar 2011 "Newly-released Census 2010 data & maps"
2010 Census population counts, by block, are being released now.  For 2010, map boundaries and block IDs are *different*.  Join us for an update on data release schedule and (for in-person attendees only) a free 2010 Block Group map layer for WA State.
Map of states with block-level data available...
General Census 2010 release schedule...
Census 2010 PL94-171 Tech Docs (4mB PDF)...
WA State Census data & maps from WA OFM ...
About "ACS":  Successor to SF3 (long form)...
Nov 2010 "Custom (stacked) line styles  & Custom text labels"
Sep 2010 "Mini-Training:  v10.5"
July 2010 "MapInfo Pro's built-in PDF Writer:  Tips, Tricks & Traps"
"Layered PDFs" are just the beginning.  With v10.5 embed column values ... store Lat-Lon coordinates (geo-referenced PDFs) ...
May 2010 "MapInfo Pro v10.5:  First Impressions + Report from User Conference 2010 - Miami"
Mar 2010 "Meridian Awards Entries:  Winning GIS Application Ideas"
( and
Nov 2009 "Retail Site and Sales Transfer Analysis"
Using GIS to compute sales "cannibalization":  ie., the sales revenue change in adjacent stores, when a new store is added. (Curt Newsome, Presenter.)
Sep 2009 User Panel:  Census 2010 & GIS"
Informal roundtable discussion.
- New TIGER/Line street and boundary maps;
- 2010 Population counts & data releases;
= Oopportunities and implications for GIS professionals and other Census data users.
Jul 2009 "MI Pro v10 Mini-Training" (Hands-on)
May 2009 "Layout tools" (No handout)
Mar 2009 "MapInfo Pro Import/Export:  PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Adobe PDF & more" (No handout)
Jan 2009 "MapInfo 9.5.1 Tutorial:  Translucency, Text smoothing ..."
- Semi-transparent map layers, to add graphic polish;
- Anti-aliasing for clearer text labels;
- New Buffer & Combine code, for 30-40% faster processing.
Nov 2008 "Intro to Using MapBasic"
Joshua Laverne
Sep 2008 "Free & Low cost MBX Add-ons"
Tami Goodwin and Jenaline Pyle (No handout)
July 2008 "MapInfo Pro v9.5:  Mini-Training"
No handout.
May 2008 "Geocoding"
Concepts, Tricks & Secrets:  MapInfo Pro, MapMarker and Envinsa Geocoding.
Mar 2008 "Map Labels: Tips, Tricks & Traps"
No handout
Jan 2008 "SQL Select Queries in MapInfo Pro"
SQL Select:  Tips, Tricks & Traps
Nov 2007

"Making MapBasic Work for You"
Live national online MapInfo Professional User Group.  (No handout)

Sep 2007 Hidden Features of the Object Menu"
Nooks and crannies of MapInfo Pro's "Object" menu.  Voronoi?  Enclose? Intersect Nodes? Offset? Convex hull?  (No handout)
July 2007 What's new in MapInfo Pro 9.0
May 2007

MapWorld 2007 in Seattle (no meeting)

Mar 2007 Storing & Using Point Maps layers in SQL Server  (No handout)
Jan 2007 Rooftop geocoding:  New techniques & new geocoding data
Most street address geocoding computes x,y coordinates by interpolation between the start & end of a street block, but that is changing ....
Presentation by SGSI...
Nov 2006 Grid Maps:  Tips, Tricks & Traps
Presentation by SGSI...
Sep 2006 Layout Window:  Tips, Tricks & Traps
Presentation by SGSI...
July 2006

MapInfo Pro 8.5:  Hands-on Mini-Training
Brush up on the new features:  e.g. "on-the-fly" raster/image projection, links to geocoding & drivetime web services, and more.

May 2006 Report from MapWorld 2006 Phoenix
No handout.
Mar 2006 Performance Tips, Tricks & Traps:  Practical suggestions & "best practices"
Splitting or combining large complex map layers?  Querying tables with 100,000s or 1,000,000s of records?  SGSI shared its suggestions for getting faster results, with particular reference to MapInfo Pro. 
Presentation, with charts ...
Test script for your own tests ...
Jan 2006 RDBMS-based GIS:  Using Spatialware with SQL Server to manage forestry maps--Case Study of Port Blakely Tree Farms
SpatialWare lets you manage lines, regions and other spatial data within the native SQL Server DBMS.  You can still use MapInfo Pro as the client interface, as well as all SQL Server tools.  Storing data in SQL enables multi-user simultaneous map editing; trigger-driven data integrity rules; and more. 
Presenters:  Phil Woods, SpatialPro & Chris Lacy,
Port Blakely Tree Farms
PowerPoint web presentation (IE6 only)...
Nov 2005 Shortest-path RoutingShortest/fastest path routes; drivetime polygons; driving directions and more...
PowerPoint web presentation ...
About TargetPro ...
About RJS Extensions for MapInfo Pro ...
Sep 2005 Grid-based mapping:  Vertical Mapper and more... (no handout)
July 2005 Mobile GISField GIS using MapInfo Pro & GPS.  Logging GPS points in real-time and more...
PowerPoint 14.7 mB (Tom Curley, Suquamish Tribe) ...
About MapX Mobile for PocketPC devices (SGSI) ...
May 2005 Web maps without MapXtreme
Discovery, PDFs, Hot-spotted html maps, and more...
User Panel:  No handout.
Mar 2005

Tool Manager tools
Survey and test the plug-ins included, no charge with MapInfo Pro 7.8:  Scale bar, Labeler, HTML builder, Sync Windows, and more ...  
List of Tool Manager tools (*.pdf)...

Jan 2005 MapInto-to-Graphics:  Tips & Tricks
"Tips & tricks" when transferring MapInfo Pro output to Photoshop, Powerpoint, Word, Illustrator & similar. No handout.
Nov 2004 Data Panel:  Free and low cost map data  Summary of links contributed by attendees ...
Sep 2004 Bathymetry and Shellfish Habitat Analysis using Vertical Mapper.  59mB PowerPoint ...
Using the Vertical Mapper add-on with MapInfo Pro to create 3D views and analysis for shellfish resource management.  By Tom Curley, Suquamish Tribe.
July 2004

SQL Select:  Tips, Tricks & Traps

May 2004

Performance:  Tips for faster spatial and table queries.

Mar 2004

User Panel:  Using Tool Manager's MBX tools.

Jan 2004

Site Selection using Maps & Location Technology.  (Special seminar)

Nov 2003

Using free ProViewer software to hotlink to CAD, PDF, XLS and other documents (Lawrie Black)

Sep 2003

Cartographic Tips:  Making More Effective Maps
(Karen Behm)

Jul 2003

Workspaces:   Customization & Automation

May 2003

Geocoding:  MI Pro vs. MapMarker

Mar  2003

User Panel:  Favorite Tech Tip or Shortcut:
a.  GPS live-links to MapInfo Pro.
b.  Using voronoi (proximal) regions for "Find the Nearest..." and Trade area definition.

Jan  2003

Close-range wetlands weed-control using GPS and 3D maps [27 slides]

Nov 2002

Using the 3D Window:  3d grids and prism maps

Sep 2002

Layouts:  Tips, Tricks & Traps

Jul  2002

SQL Select:  the super Select 

May 2002

Workspaces:  Tips, Tricks & Traps 

Mar 2002

Map Editing Workshop 

Jan 2002

Making Map Books, Map Atlases  & other series of similar maps:  Workspace editing, MapBasic, & MapInfo Pro Add-ons

Nov 2001

Using Census 2000 Data 
Meeting notes thanks to Patty Dupre:  Word document

Jul 2001

MapInfo Pro 6.5:  New features and future directions  No handout.
Guest:  Andrew Dressel, MapInfo founder & MapInfo Pro Product Manager. 

May 2001

Free and Low Cost Map Data
User panel.  

Mar 2001

Year 2000 Population Estimates--Port Madison Reservation

Jan 2001

Free & low cost MBXs
User panel and discussion. 

Nov 2000

Hotlinks:  Linking digital photos (and more) to the Map

Sep 2000

Panel:  Using New Features of MapInfo Pro 6.0
[No handout.]

Jul 2000

Making 1,000s of Maps Using MapBasic

May 2000

2000 Census:   Key Issues for GIS & Data Analysts

Mar 2000 Getting Started with MapBasic
Presentation materials to be posted.  Please check back.
Technique discussed:  Using the Distance() function to measure between and among many points in the same table.   MS Word document.
Jan 2000

Using Aerial & Satellite Photomaps
No presentation outline.
Featured utility: (8k)   Workspace and map table to create a printable color palette for color calibration.

Nov 1999

Graphics & Publishing Issues
John Schlosser & Rich Murphy
Presentation outline with hot links

Sep 1999

Internet Mapping Issues

July 1999

Roundtable Discussion on MapInfo Pro with Andrew Dressel

May 1999

Grid Analysis in MapInfo and Vertical Mapper
Overview:  MapInfo Grid and Vertical Mapper Grids (PPT)
Convert text labels to points with label text (Bennett)
Re-Use Custom or Automatic Labels via a Label Point map layer (Schlosser)

Mar 1999

Crystal Reports in MapInfo

Jan 1999

Realtime GPS Applications
Suquamish Tribe GPS/GIS, T. Curley presentation. (PDF format)

Nov 1998

Crime Analysis

Sep 1998

Panel on Workspaces:  Tips, Tricks & Traps
Issue paper and meeting notes. Thanks to Patty Waller for taking notes.
Download pre-release MapBasic utility to embed "active" CurrentDate function in your workspaces (and keep it there).
Note:   This downloadable "zip" file is a "door prize" for all user group meeting attendees and is password protected.

Jul 1998

Panel on Metadata:  Documenting your data.
Metadata resource documents.  795k compressed file provided by Erica Wieland
Meeting notes, 12k MS Word document by Tom Curley

May 1998

Labels:  Tricks, Tips, & Traps [Updated 5/99]

Mar 1998

3D Analysis:  Terrain and Non-terrain:   (No handout)

Jan 1998

Geocoding: Issues, Alternatives & Techniques

Nov 1997

Map-Enable Everyone for $2-$20/user
Steve Lance, Bellingham Police

Sep 1997

MapInfo + Graphics: Making "publication quality" maps:
September 1997 meeting notes

Jun 1997

Map Editing 151: Tips, Tricks & Traps

Mar 1997

Free & Low-cost MapBasic Utilities - Part 2

Dec 1996

Free & Low-cost MapBasic Utilities - Part 1

Sep 1996

GPS-MapInfo Integration: Report of Field Tests in Kitsap County

Jul 1996

SQL: The Super Select

Feb 1996

MapBasic 101: Using the MapInfo Programming Language

Dec 1996

New Features in MapInfo Pro, Rev 4

White Papers and Product Comparisons


White Papers


For SGSI Customers Only

For your free set of SGSI's MapTools (email link).

Useful Links

MapInfo Training Schedules

Training options and costs, including custom training, standard training, and rent-a-tech.

MapInfo-L Discussion List

MapInfo-L is the premier discussion forum for MapInfo software users.  It is not edited or moderated by MapInfo Corporation.  Some messages are worthless, but post a serious question and you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how many really helpful people read this list and will try to help.  Use this link to learn how to sign up for MapInfo-L and also to download free shareware.

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