Rummaging in the Toolbox - Named Views

MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
Rummaging in the Toolbox - Named Views
User-added imageThis is one of the hidden gems lurking inside the MapInfo Professional toolbox for those that have defined areas (States, Capital Cities, Sales Territories, Parishes, etc) which need to be mapped and reported on regularly. Trying to ensure that outputs produced are of exactly the same area or moving around a map between areas whilst doing analysis across a distributed organisation can be challenging and time-consuming.

Welcome to "Named Views". A MapInfo Professional tool that saves a map's view, position and zoom settings so that frequently referred to areas can be returned to easily and quickly. Where there are multiple GIS analysts in an organisation, Named Views lists can be shared amongst users ensuring that analysis and outputs are consistent.

Opening the Named Views tool

Access to the Named Views tool is via Tools->Tool Manager. Once enabled, Named Views will appear in the Tools menu and will also display as an icon in the Tools toolbar.

To create a named view, simply move the map view to the exact position and zoom level you would like to save for future access. Click on Tools->Named Views or the Named Views icon. When activated, a Named Views panel appears with any previously created named views displayed.

The previously defined map view can then be added as a named view by clicking on the "Add" button. A dialog box appears into which a desired title for the map view can be entered. Click Add and the newly defined named view will be added.

Named Views can be altered, deleted or renamed should the user require. Folders can be created in which to manage the Named Views for ease of reference. Views created are global and are saved independent of the workspaces and tables with which they may be associated.

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Figure 1: Activating and accessing the Named Views tool.

Returning to a Named View

With the Map Window active, activate Named Views. With the desired view selected, click on "Go To". The map displayed in the map window will now be at the exact position and zoom level defined when the view was saved. Alternatively, double-clicking on the desired view will also achieve the same result.

Moving around the States and Capital Cities of the wide brown land that is Australia is made much easier by the creation of Named Views for each level. Many times when producing bureau services consulting work for organisations, we are asked to produce maps of every State and Capital City was well as a national overview. The list of Named Views shown below (Figure 2) make this process simple meaning the standard for outputs is regular and repeatable.

In a similar vein, named views could be created for Sales Territories or Government areas of authority/responsibility that need to be referenced regularly. 

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Figure 2: A well structured set of Named Views can be a great time-saver.

Sharing lists of Named Views

The list of Named Views is saved to a file named nviews.xml. To access this file for sharing or editing it can be found at ...\ AppData\Roaming\MapInfo\MapInfo\nviews.xml. 

If you overwrite your Named Views file, you will lose your saved map views. Keep a copy of your original named views file and restore it when required. 

Article by Tony Maber, Senior Consultant - Location Intelligence

When not providing consulting services to PBS clients or writing articles for "The MapInfo Professional" journal, Tony enjoys spending time with his family and playing baseball with the Comets Baseball Club.

UPDATED:  July 11, 2017