Author Topic: GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)  (Read 14845 times)

thare

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GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)
« on: December 15, 2006, 09:19:07 AM »
Mac still don't have a huge selection when it comes to mapping software.  The switch to Intel probably didn't please the software community much, but eventually, I think it will help them out.

For folks interested in ArcMap, ERDAS, ER Mapper, IDRISI, Global Mapper or other Windows mapping applications (especially for students that can get a cheap licenses from their University), then I would suggest the best bet would be to either dual boot (using boot camp) or run Parallels (a virtual machine (VM) which can run Windows under an Intel Mac).  The dual boot option would be ideal for speed but less convenient when booting back-n-forth.  Some say Mac hardware runs Windows faster than PC hardware too.  But really PCs and Macs basically come with similar hardware - so a new PC, with the same specs, will run just as fast.  Curiously, running the same application on a new MAC vs. Windows on Mac hardware has been shown that Windows runs the application faster.  This is probably because not all the Mac OS code has been optimized on the Intel yet.  Anyway, the VM path would not be as speedy but very convenient.  3D apps like ArcScene, ArcGlobe, or World Wind may not run well or at all under a VM because they usually emulate a very simple video card.  This will probably get better as VM software gets better.

I have been suggesting ENVI to other users who are more raster oriented.  ENVI has a new interface that is looking more and more like a GIS.  You can edit vectors there also.

The most robust GIS/RS package out there for Macs appears to be TNT Mips.  Like other COTS mapping software it is very expensive but very capable.

I have heard more folks are testing out the mapping plug-in for Matlab and I think Mathematica has something similar.  I guess everyone is getting into the mapping game.  I have no experience with either in terms of mapping and whether it can handle planetary projections.

Freeware GISs like, QGIS (which can interface GRASS), UDIG, JUMP, and Thuban work on Macs (hopefully SAGA GIS will also be ported as it works on Linux).  They are all still very rudimentary but quickly getting better.  For mapping, I think all of these apps can edit shapefiles (but not with all the fancy (and frustrating) tools ArcMap has - like topology).  These freeware apps mostly lack robust analysis methods.  By linking into GRASS you open the door to tons of analysis routines (also SAGA has many analysis functions).  However, I actually bought a preconfigured (and prebuilt) GRASS installer for testing on a Mac.  After installing, I was still never able to get it to work well.  I felt that if I couldn’t get it to work, any scientist I was supporting was going to quickly throw up their hands.  There is some good work from the Europeans getting GRASS to work for planetary though.  All I can say is good luck if you go that route.  I would love to hear more success stories.  Lastly, JMars is an option for Mars as it allows simple shapefile editing.

For simple planetary image viewing there are PDS and ISIS2 plugins for ImageJ.  This application seems to be mainly for smaller images as it quickly becomes unstable.  Not an ideal solution for larger raster analysis or vector editing.  BTW, ISIS3 is supposed to be ported to Intel Macs also.  They are currently having some issues with the GUI.  Thus for ISIS3 files, qview may eventually be a image viewing option.  No vector editing on the horizon in ISIS3.

Finally, there are GIS-light programs like Canvas w/ its' GIS plug-in and they are also quickly growing up.  Tim P. is working this end heavily.  It does work for planetary (custom) projections - I have checked.  I am having problems right now trying to get Bezier curves out of Canvas into well formed shapefiles though.  It’s suppose to work but I can't figure out how to increase vertices in mass.  Tim says he is frustrated that it can't handle huge images.  He has put a request into ACD to support this better.  I think it does what Photoshop and Illustrator do, they try to read everything into memory instead of a read-only method, which allows many more images and larges images to be accessed.  There is also the expensive Map Publisher for Illustrator but I am not a big fan - pretty painful to use.  But maybe that is because I have never learned its' quirks.

Any other ideas out there are welcome to be posted here.

a couple more here: http://www.cartographica.com/article.php?story=20060228220202157&query=arcexplorer

Trent

Tim

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GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 10:41:20 AM »
Trent:

It's been a long time coming, but I'm in the process of switching over from Canvas X to ArcMap.  ACD stopped supporting Canvas for the Mac over a year ago now (a shame, as it was originally written for Macs), and couldn't handle the huge image files coming from MRO.

Fortunately, ArcMap can.  I'm running it in Parallels and Windows XP on my MacPro.  

I'm still climbing the very steep learning curve, though, so be prepared for some pretty pedestrian questions, okay?  ;oD

First question:  How do I set up map projections?  For landing site mapping and for geologic mapping of Mars, I'd like to start fresh with map projections that are comparable to those used by the USGS for the published maps over the last 20-30 years, like transverse mercator for most low to mid latitude subjects, and polar stereographic for Phoenix localization and MPL searches.

Also, for reprojecting the MOLA gridded topography products.

I suppose I could read the help files, but was hoping that it's a simple set of clicks that I just haven't discovered yet.

Thanks,
-Tim.

thare

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GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 11:12:12 AM »
I am disappointed ACD dropped Mac support especially since it did fine with planetary projections (when using the GIS add-on).

There are many details within those "simple" questions. We just had a two day GIS workshop here in Flagstaff that would have been great because we tried to answer many of those questions. We hope to hold more - so maybe next time. Now we have released the presentations for the workshop however without the talking points it might be hard to follow. I think the day 2 powerpoint file describes setting up a projection on an ArcMap dataframe. Once the dataframe is set, all layers that also have their projection defined will project-on-the-fly into the correct location - hopefully. This can help when loading in HiRISE, THEMIS VIS, etc., which will be in their own local projection. However, the more images you are projecting-on-the-fly the slower ArcMap may get.

Here are the powerpoints from the two-day class:
http://webgis.wr.usgs.gov/pigwad/tutorials/planetarygis

A good place to start, data-wise, is the Mars Global GIS DVD. You can copy any layer from it to another project. All datasets on the DVD should be predefined and project-on-the-fly to any other projection defined dataframe. You can get a fairly recent version (1.5) from this ftp site or I can send one (updated apr 2009):
ftp://pdsimage2.wr.usgs.gov/pub/pigpen/mars/Global_GIS_Mars/

As far as projecting, you can use the "project raster" tool from the toolbox. However, the original projection needs to be defined and of course correct.

The most important aspect to take away with projections for Mars is that most projections need to have a Sphere defined. This helps ArcMap deal with our non-standard use of ocentric lats (non-standard in terms of COTs support). See presentation. You can download a couple sphere examples from: http://webgis.wr.usgs.gov/pigwad/tutorials/planetarygis/arcmap_projections.htm#ProjectionFiles
-You don't need to "download them all" since the solar system bodies are pre-defined in ArcMap (since 9.0).


-Trent

notes from the post workshop email:
PS (1). Note that both pds2world.pl and isis3world.pl PERL scripts and the Windows' versions (pds2world(dot)exe, isis3world(dot)exe) have both been updated. pds2world.pl was updated to support the PDS MOLA projection keyword we had trouble with. isis3world.pl was updated to handle a new keyword in the ISIS3 projection label. Users who have placed these into their C:\Windows\System32\ directory should updated them. Download new version at: http://webgis.wr.usgs.gov/pigwad/tutorials/scripts/perl.htm

PS (2) quick list of a few resources:
*Mars Datasets (many already on DVD): https://isis.astrogeology.usgs.gov/IsisSupport/index.php/topic,1166.0.html
*popular HiRISE issue at the workshop - https://isis.astrogeology.usgs.gov/IsisSupport/index.php/topic,1815.0.html
*Hawth's Tools for ArcMap: great set of routines - http://www.spatialecology.com/htools/
*more to come...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 07:54:07 AM by thare »

Tim

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GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 11:50:43 AM »
Thanks for the quick reply!

I will take a look at those links of yours.

Yeah, I really have wanted to go to the GIS tutorials, but end up swamped every time they happen.  

-Tim.

thare

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Michael Aye

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Re: GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 06:24:27 AM »
Unfortunately, the above link for a "popular HiRise issue" is broken
(it was http://isis.astrogeology.usgs.gov/IsisSupport/viewtopic.php?p=6721)
Could somebody dig out what it was and repost?

Many thanks,
Michael

thare

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Re: GIS on Intel Macs at the end of 2006 (link for 2009)
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2009, 07:56:07 AM »
We switched to a new discussion board and while almost all sites can be forwarded (same topic ID numbers), it appears some like this example broke. Here is the site:
https://isis.astrogeology.usgs.gov/IsisSupport/index.php/topic,1815.0.html


If you happen to have matlab then a new favorite GIS-ish viewer is Mirone (links GMT, Matlab, and GDAL). http://w3.ualg.pt/~jluis/mirone/

For Windows you don't need matlab but for Mac and Linux you do. This has support for GDAL so it can read PDS, ISIS2, ISIS3 images directly. Since it is using an older version of GDAL you have to manually define NULL data for ISIS data (like HiIRISE DEMs).
1.) Open Image -> "Try luck with Gdal"
2.) image should open saturated (red/blue). Under Grid Tools select "Clip Grid" and set:
You can leave Above section with nothing but for Below set "-30000" and  "Nan"
3.) now have fun with colorshades (image - Illuminate - grdgradient), color luts, contours and interactive profiles. It can be a bit slow though. If the image is too large you can open it in the overview tool and visually clip out an area (or use gdal_translate to resample the image smaller). BTW, even though the overview open dialog doesn't say try luck with gdal just type * to open up gdal formats not listed.


-Trent
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 09:31:12 AM by thare »