Planet Geographic Information Systems
The world's fastest & friendliest GIS

Archive for June, 2007

PlanetGIS 2.50

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I am happy to announce the release of version 2.50 of PlanetGIS. This is an important update because it introduces a change in PlanetGIS’ storage format, in line with development being done on PlanetGIS 3.0. From version 2.50 onward, PlanetGIS can store labels along with the geometry of features. While you still have the ability to label features with values from a database, storing labels with the geometry allows for extremely fast rendering of labels for large maps. If you have downloaded the SA-Roads or SA-Places maps, you have probably noticed a significant wait when Planet loads the labels from the Access database. This is no longer the case with these maps, and version 2.50! You can download this latest release from here.

PlanetGIS 2.50 also introduces two major improvements in automatic map labeling:

  • Symbols (point features) can now optionally be drawn only if their labels can be displayed - no more unlabeled points if you don’t want them.
  • Label prioritization gives you the ability to determine which labels should be dropped in favour of labels of other layers when conflicts occur.

To see the new and improved map labeling in action, be sure to download all the updated maps of South Africa or order them all on DVD.

Other improvements since version 2.43 include:

  • Google Earth (KML/KMZ) export.
  • Improved hatching & the ability to create custom hatches.

Landsat7 Satellite Images

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

I am pleased to announce the opening of our Map Shop. I am getting so many requests for maps and data that I decided to start making data available on DVD for online ordering from our website. The first maps will be the most commonly requested data that is in the public domain but hard to obtain or in a format that is not easy to use or import into PlanetGIS. I have decided to make the first map a big one… really big!


No one working in the field of GIS should be without the 15 meter resolution images from NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite. Landsat 7 images are useful to add detail and colour to maps where aerial photography is not available. The resolution is good enough to discern unmapped roads, but is not really useful for viewing at scales of under 1:50,000. The satellite images are in PlanetGIS’ own .IJP format which is very fast, but you will only be able to view them with PlanetGIS. Order this map here and we will promptly send you a DVD to your PO Box or nearest Post Office (ETA 2 business days). Postage is included in the price of R175 plus VAT (total R199.50). You can view a Flash demo of the Landsat 7 map here (8.6MB / 38 slides) or a shortened version here (3.3MB / 15 slides). You can also order a CD containing all of the other maps featured on our Maps page.

Google Earth

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

The latest update of PlanetGIS can now export vector data and attribute “balloons” to Google Earth.
This is a Google Earth snapshot of Cape Town with vector data from our Main Roads map. If you are a registered user of PlanetGIS, please download the latest .EXE from the updates section on the downloads page and test the .KML/.KMZ export function. I would appreciate your feedback. Once this has been tested more thoroughly, the installation packages and trial versions will also be updated to include this functionality.