An Overview of the Raster GIS capabilities in MapInfo Pro Advanced

Products affected: MapInfo Pro Advanced™
An Overview of the Raster GIS capabilities in MapInfo Pro Advanced
User-added imageMapInfo Pro Advanced is an extension to MapInfo Pro developed especially for high quality raster visualization and analysis.
This new engine revolutionizes the way GIS professionals use grid and imagery data and will dramatically improve efficiency. It is a next generation raster grid-based engine and data format that offers high speed processing without the traditional trade-off in quality. 
User-added image

MapInfo Pro Advanced is a native 64-bit application which takes advantage of a new data storage format, called Multi Resolution Raster (MRR). It also features an easy to use interface that is tightly integrated with MapInfo Pro. 

The Multi-Resolution Raster (.MRR) data format provides very high performance with extremely large raster/grid datasets. The limitation is basically up to that of your disk storage capacity. Here at Pitney Bowes we have tested grids as large as a whole terabyte. The display performance, including pan, zoom, color changes, hill shading changes and even dynamic changes of color breakpoints happens nearly instantaneously. This technology supports storage of unified and sparse data. Change in raster data can be handled through this and also helps in efficient memory management. 

MapInfo Pro Advanced offers pyramiding, which enables efficient display of data at all zoom levels. It gives support to grid and/or imagery formats. 

MapInfo Pro Advanced gives you the ability to process and view data in ways that previously required a number of software packages. A geologist in the field, an exploration manager in head office, or a draftsperson in a regional office can use this product to track settlement activity, contour point data, analyse geographic data, facilitate map creation, easily produce scaled hard copy output, and more. 

Easy to Learn and Easy to Use! 

MapInfo Pro Advanced takes full advantage of the new extensibility inherent in the 64 bit version of MapInfo Pro. It is a seamless add-on. 
User-added image

MapInfo Pro Advanced Capability Overview

Here is an overview.  

MapInfo Pro Advanced Display group on ribbon 

MapInfo Pro Advanced has great capabilities with powerful display options. The Color Stretch tool can be used to enhance the display of a raster grid by changing the grid's appearance through data stretches. It is a powerful tool to present data visually. Breakpoints between colors can be set dynamically and you will see the changes in real time.

The Hill Shade capability enables one to add an illumination effect to a raster map based on the variations in elevation within the map landscape. This tool can easily be used to mimic the sun's effects like illumination, intensity, shadows, etc. on DEMs and other grid files. 

User-added image

An innovative highlighting feature adds a glossy look and increased contrast to call out the detail in your data.

Multi-spectral imagery that is organized as Fields and Bands can be displayed as desired. There are specific display templates built in for working with Image data as well as data from the Landsat satellites.

Raster Quality options are available to improve the appearance of continuous (numeric) raster datasets.

Raster quality drop-down list

Creating Grids
Grids can be created in MapInfo Pro Advanced in a number of ways. This includes interpolation and modeling techniques.
Interpolation and modeling capabilities

Here are two examples. The top example was done using the Inverse Distance Weighting interpolation method. The bottom example was created using Hotspot Density modeling.
Examples of interpolation

MapInfo Pro Advanced offers a variety of raster data processing capabilities.

Raster processing capabilities 

The Convert tool is used to convert an input raster dataset into Multi Resolution Raster (MRR) and other raster formats, this helps to optimize storage. The Resample tool can be used for classified, numeric grids, MRR grids, MapInfo TAB files, etc. If the source raster is of classified type, you can produce a resampled output in MRR or classified formats.

The Reproject tool changes the projection of a raster dataset from one projection system to another. In MapInfo Pro Advanced this is done using one of the three Interpolation Methods – Nearest Neighbour, Bilinear and Bicubic. The Clip tool is used to extract a portion of the input data based on user defined extent(s). The output will consist of cells that intersect the extent(s). The Merge tool allows multiple grids to be combined into a single output grid. The Rasterize tool converts a MapInfo TAB file of region/polygon objects into a raster file. The output raster file can be either a numeric or classified grid. 

The Combine tool combines multiple raster input files together. The resulting MRR file can be organised into a Field and Band structure as required.

Raster analysis capabilities 

The Point Inspection tool can be used to inspect grid files at each point, return the appropriate grid value, and write the value (or values) to a new column(s) in the point table. The Region Statistics tool inspects the region(s) specified in an input vector file (TAB file) for a set of input raster grid files. Data is aggregated from the grid cells into the regions. The Line Statistics tool inspects the cell samples along the length of a line and calculates grid statistics for these cells.

In MapInfo Pro Advanced, the Calculator provides a powerful tool for performing multiple tasks on an input raster file or multiple raster files. One can perform mathematical calculations using operators and functions or set up selection queries. Inputs can be Multi Resolution Raster files (.mrr files) or other supported raster formats. A dedicated article on using the Grid Calculator is available.

Contouring is an essential part of raster analysis. Contour lines connect a series of points of equal grid values (commonly used with elevation data) and are used to illustrate topography. It allows for vector analysis of the results.

An example of contour lines created for an elevation dataset.

The Cross Section tool creates a profile view (change in grid values) along one or more lines or polylines. The Surface Analysis tool can be used to calculate the slope, aspect, and curvature of an input raster file. 
User-added image
The Cross Section tool creates a profile view from a line or polyline. The graph in the upper right represents the change in elevation of the line seen in the map.

The Viewshed tool identifies all locations on a grid that are visually connected to a single or multiple observer locations. This tool is useful when you want to determine how visible particular places are or if two locations are visible to each other.
Viewshed example

In the Viewshed screenshot above, the areas in red are visible from the tower location. The areas in blue are not visible.

And there’s more!!

More detail can be found in additional articles!


MapInfo Pro Advanced is an innovative, powerful and easy to use add-on for MapInfo Pro that provides raster grid based capabilities. In future articles we will cover capabilities in more detail.

Do you have the latest version of MapInfo Pro? 

The MapInfo Pro free trial install includes MapInfo Pro Advanced. You can download the free trial here:

If you are trying MapInfo Pro for the first time, after installing the trial go to the PRO tab and click on the Licensing page to start up a trial of the raster GIS capabilities in MapInfo Pro Advanced.

If you are already using MapInfo Pro versions 15.2 or 16.0 you can also try the raster GIS capabilities. Go to the Licensing page in the PRO tab to start the trial.

The authors:
Kriti Anand , Associate Software Engineer

KritiWhen not writing articles for the MapInfo Pro journal, Kriti enjoys hearing about Pitney Bowes’s customers experiences with our products and loves to explore new places with her friends.

Mahima Relan, Associate Software Engineer 
MahimaMahima enjoys working on localizing MapInfo Pro. When not working she enjoys reading and playing outdoor games. 
UPDATED:  July 9, 2019