Getting started: Displaying spatial data

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Viewing maps
Figure 1, a map panel located at right side of a selected Catalog

ILWIS can open Geo-data of any format (shape, ILWIS 3, Erdas, Envi, etc.) directly; no need for import. First time entering a previously unvisited folder will trigger a scan and a delay before the data is shown. After that all the geo-data in the folder will be displayed in the catalog with their corresponding icons (Figure 1). The name of the folder and the path to the folder is shown on the top right corner of the Catalog (See also: Starting ILWIS).
To open a map:

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  • In case no data displayed in the Catalog, use the Locator button to select a folder where your geo-data are located
  • Double-click a map in the catalog or
  • Select a map from the catalog
  • Click the tab Selection at the bottom of the catalog and choose one of the available option to open it

The map will be opened in a Map panel enclosed within the catalog (Figure 1). The opened map can also be moved out of the catalog as a standalone view (Figure 2).
To do that:

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  • Click the icon available on the right corner(above the Position tools where the map view id is displayed on the left top corner of the map panel


The map panel consists of Position tolls at the top, a Data panel in the center with option panel bellow and an Action tabs at the bottom. The Position tools includes tabs at the left and two fields at the right side. The tabs allow to zoom in and out, move and refresh the displayed coverage. The fields on the right side of the panel, display coordinates of the mouse in Latlon and in a projected system.

Figure 2, a standalone map panel outside the Catalog
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  • Move the mouse on the displayed map to view the coordinates
  • Move the mouse over the buttons and tabs to read texts explaining their functionalities

Use the button on the toolbar to:

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  • zoom in and out
  • move the map in the data panel
  • fit the map to the data panel

The Data panel displays the map contents and Action tabs which provides tools to access and edit the map visual properties and its metadata. To add more map to an opened map panel:

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  • Select a map from the catalog
  • Drag and drop it to the map panel
  • Change the visual properties of the map by using options available via display action tabs
  • Click The Layer info tab to view layer information
  • Position the cursor on a location in the map and press the left mouse button; the associated info will be displayed in the Layer info