Let’s Put Some Pins On Your MapInfo Maps

woman reading map

When working in the building next to the Tower of Paddy, a work colleague taught my team MapInfo. Here’s an introduction to the geographic information system software.

The professional product was originally produced by Pitney Bowes Software. You’ll need to give up your ideas of owning a wall-mounted cinema size television to purchase a licence, because it’s packed with mapping functionality to allow users to create specialist maps. After you gain access you’ll need to work with a couple of different files (specific maps, mosaic, proprietary maps) and need to make regular backups.

You might like to think about the layers of map similar to one of those ridiculous sugar-laded rainbow cakes. Your manager will want the final map to look pretty for his report, but he’s not going to be the one mixing and baking each layer up until midnight. Pins mark important points, so you can think of them like candles or coloured smarties. Your aim is to make the top view of the cake look good for a screenshot or slide presentation.

MapInfo File Formats

For a custom map you may require the following four file formats:

  • Filename.DAT – a file that stores the attribute data
  • Filename.ID – Stores information linking graphic data to the database information
  • Filename.MAP – Stores the graphic and geographical information needed to display each vector feature on a map
  • Filename.TAB – an ASCII file that is the link between all other files and holds information about the type of data set.

MapInfo has a steep learning curve. User support is located in a different time zone and slow to respond to enquiries. Their tutorials may make you want to take a nap under the desk after lunch. I’d recommend working out a training plan for the year with your manager’s approval.

Be careful when you have finished your maps that you save you work. Always save as you go, and at the end, because there is no confirmation message when you exit the program.

It’s a myth that women can’t read map. I have good spatial ability, and can find my way out of any National Park or wilderness protected area like an indigenous tracker.

MapInfo Pro Training in Australia

Li360 Community

You may consider joining the Li360 community where you can find a lot of useful resources and discussions about MapInfo Pro. Here’s you’ll be able to talk with subject matter experts and professionals interested in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

About MapInfo Pro

A complete, desktop mapping solution for the geographic information system (GIS) analyst to manage, analiyse, visualise, and publish location-based data.


Written by Emma Crameri

I am a Brisbane-based freelance technical reviewer and writer. I have experience working in ICT, online education and digital marketing. I can turn your ideas into engaging and shareable online content. I'm an early adopter with both Android and Apple devices. I'm also the Editor of the Brisbanista website.


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