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Importing Geodata page 1 Getting Started Importing Geodata with TNTmips ® TNTedit TNTview ® I M P O R T I N G

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  • Importing Geodata

    page 1

    Getting Started






  • Importing Geodata

    page 2

    Before Getting Started

    It may be difficult to identify the important points in some illustrations without acolor copy of this booklet. You can print or read this booklet in color fromMicroImages’ web site. The web site is also your source for the newest GettingStarted booklets on other topics. You can download an installation guide, sampledata, and the latest version of TNTlite.

    This booklet introduces procedures for importing geospatial data for use withTNTmips®, TNTedit™, and TNTview®. The Import process allows you to im-port geospatial data from a wide array of file formats, including many commonraster, vector, CAD, and database formats. Import of attached attribute data issupported for many of the vector and CAD file formats. This booklet leads youthrough a series of exercises to familiarize you with basic import procedures forraster, vector, CAD, and database files. A complete list of file formats that can beimported is found on the inside back cover.

    Prerequisite Skills This booklet assumes that you have completed the exercisesin Getting Started: Displaying Geospatial Data and Getting Started: Navigat-ing. Those exercises introduce essential skills and basic techniques that are notcovered again here. Please consult those booklets and the TNTmips referencemanual for any review you need.

    Sample Data The exercises presented in this booklet use sample data that isdistributed with the TNT products. If you do not have access to a TNT productsCD, you can download the data from MicroImages’ web site. In particular, thisbooklet uses sample files in the IMPORT data collection.

    More Documentation This booklet is intended to be only an introduction toimporting geodata. Consult the TNTmips reference manual, which contains morethan 110 pages on the Import process, for more information.

    TNTmips and TNTlite® TNTmips comes in two versions: the professional ver-sion and the free TNTlite version. This booklet refers to both versions as“TNTmips.” If you did not purchase the professional version (which requires ahardware key), TNTmips operates in TNTlite mode, which limits the size of yourobjects and does not allow export.

    The Import process is not available in TNTatlas. All the exercises can be complet-ed in TNTlite using the sample geodata provided.

    Randall B. Smith, Ph.D., 12 September 2002©MicroImages, Inc., 1997

  • Importing Geodata

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    Welcome to Importing GeodataGeospatial data can come in several different forms.TNTmips allows you to work with raster, vector,CAD, and TIN data structures, and to store all ofthem as objects within a single Project File format.You can use the sample data distributed withTNTmips to explore various processes and objecttypes. Once you are familiar with TNTmips, you willprobably want to start working with geospatial datathat you have obtained from other sources.

    TNTmips supports the import of geospatial data frommany different types of raster, vector, and CAD fileformats. You can also use point location data storedin a text or database file to create a vector object.Database subobjects are created automatically forimported vector and CAD objects with attached at-tributes. You can also import database tables directlyfrom several different types of database file formatsor set up a link to the external database file.

    The exercises in this booklet use a set of samplefiles to lead you through the import procedures thatare specific to different external file formats. Thegeodata contained in these external sample files canalso be found as objects in Project Files elsewherein the sample data collections. The objects you im-port in these exercises can thus be placed in atemporary Project File which can be deleted onceyou have completed the exercises. For your conve-nience, each exercise provides you with the objectname, Project File, and data collection name for thecorresponding sample object. Although only a sam-pling of the supported import formats are coveredin these exercises, the common procedures you learnhere should enable you to follow the steps requiredto import other file formats.

    You can use the standard Display process (Display /Spatial Data) to view any of the objects you importin these exercises or the corresponding objects inthe sample data collections.

    Procedures common to allimport operations areintroduced on page 4. Theexercises on pages 5-9cover standard proceduresfor importing raster objects.Import of vector and CADobjects is introduced onpages 10-16, and databaseimport is covered on pages17-19. Procedures forsizing imported objects forTNTlite are summarized onpages 20-21. Page 22discusses how you canincorporate metadata in yourProject File for any importedobject. A list of currentlysupported import formatscan be found on Page 23.


    � launch TNTmips� select Import / Export

    from the Process menu� select Import from the

    Operation menu in theImport / Export window

  • Importing Geodata

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    Common Import Procedures

    STEPS� in the Import / Export

    window, select Rasterfrom the Object Typeoption menu

    � select JPEG from thescrolled file format list

    � click [Import...]

    The spatial objectillustrations included witheach exercise use displaysettings created for theobject in the existing sampleProject Files. Your newly-imported objects will notinclude these settings. Forinformation on settingdisplay parameters forraster objects, see GettingStarted: Getting GoodColor. For instructions onsetting up display styles forvector and CAD objects,see Getting Started:Creating and Using Styles.

    All import operations are launched from the Import/ Export window. Use the Object Type option menuto select the type of object you want to import orselect All to view all available formats. The largescrolled list that occupies most of the Import / Ex-port window shows the external file formats that areavailable for import for the specified object type.The list shows the file format acronym on the left, abrief description on the right, and is ordered alpha-betically by file acronym. If you compare the listingsfor different object types, you will find that someexternal file formats can be imported to more thanone type of object.

    When you click the Import button, in most cases aSelect File window automatically opens to enableyou to select the file for import. An Import dialogwindow then appears, allowing you to set the de-sired import parameters. The layout of this windowvaries depending on the type of object you are im-porting and the specific format of the source file.

    Use the scroll bar to move up ordown through the format list.

    Click [Import...](or double-click on the selectedformat listing) to open thecorresponding import dialog window.

    Select the format ofthe external sourcefile from thealphabetical list.

    Select the type ofobject to be createdby the Import process.

    For all Import operations, begin by followingthe common procedures outlined below: Make sure Import is selected

    on the Operation menu.

  • Importing Geodata

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    Import a Raster Object from JPEGLossy compressionschemes achieve highcompression ratios byadjusting raster valuesduring compression, whichresults in some loss of theoriginal data.

    STEPS� use the Select Files

    window to select fileHAWMSSCM.JPG from theIMPORT data collection

    � click the Coordinates tabin the Import Rasterwindow and make surethat None is selected onthe Georeference optionbutton

    � click [Import] and usethe standard SelectObject window to createa new TEMP_IMP ProjectFile and a new object forthe imported raster

    � when the import processis complete, click [OK]on the Process Statuswindow and [Close] onthe Import Rasterwindow

    Let’s begin by working through import proceduresfor several common raster file formats, starting withJPEG files. The JPEG File Interchange Format canstore 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit color images and in-corporates JPEG (Joint Photographic ExpertsGroup) image compression. This is a lossy com-pression scheme that can achieve compression ratiosof 20:1 without noticeable degradation in imagequality. JPEG is a common interchange format forlarge, “true-color” raster images. Color JPEG im-ages are imported into TNTmips as 24-bit colorcomposite raster objects.

    The Create Pyramid Tiers button is toggledon by default, ensuring that importedraster images are automatically pyramided.

    Click the Files tab tosee the list of filesselected for import.

    The sample JPEG file is a Landsat image ofthe island of Hawaii acquired with theMultispectral Scanner (MSS). The groundresolution of the image has been reduced to276 meters. The image is a color compositecreated using red and near infrared bands tosimulate approximately “natural” colors.Vegetated areas appear in shades of greenand areas of bare lava and ash in shades ofbrown. This color composite image can befound as object COMPOSITE in the HAW_MSSProject File in the HAWAII data collection, alongwith the full set of Landsat MSS bands.

    Turn on the Compress togglebutton to apply JPEG compres-sion to the new raster object,then use the slider to set thedesired compression quality

    (lowervalues resultin greatercompressionand lowerimagequality).

  • Importing Geodata

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    Lossless compressionschemes do not discard anycell values duringcompression. When animage is compressed andthen decompressed, theoriginal data in the image iscompletely preserved.

    Import a Raster Object from TIFFThe TIFF format is one of the most diverse and wide-ly supported raster file formats. TIFF (Tag ImageFile Format) files can store a binary or grayscale im-age, an 8-bit color image with a color map, or a 24-bitcolor image. TIFF images can also be compressedusing either lossless or lossy compression.

    When the TIFF file contains a 24-bit color image, theImport As menu choices allow you to import the fileas either a single 24-bit color composite raster or asa set of separate 8-bit grayscale rasters (one for eachRGB color component). Import the image as an RBGraster set if you wish to modify its contrast and colorbalance later.

    STEPS� select the TIFF format in

    the Import / Exportwindow

    � click [Import...]� click the Files tab in the

    Import Raster window,then click [Select...]

    � select file M_ULU_TM.TIF� click the Options tab on

    the Import Rasterwindow

    � choose SingleComposite from theImport As option menu

    � click [Import] and directthe link object to theTEMP_IMP Project File

    Keep the Import Rasterwindow open for the nextexercise

    The sample TIFF file is a 24-bit color image of part ofthe East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano on the island ofHawaii, derived from Landsat Thematic Mapperimagery. The dark blue to black areas are lava flowserupted since 1969. Forested areas appear green,and grassy areas appear in shades of orange, pink,and magenta. This image can be found as objectCOMPOSITE in the KIL_IMG Project File (MAUNAULU_TM folder)in the HAWAII data collection.

    When you turn on the Compress toggle button for fileformats other than JPEG, a standard losslesscompression is applied to the new raster object.

    For any raster import you can designate a singleraster value to be the null value (representing noimage data). Enter the desired value in the text fieldand turn on the toggle button.

  • Importing Geodata

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    Import a Georeferenced TIFF RasterSTEPS� on the Files tabbed

    panel in the ImportRaster window, click[Clear], then [Select...]

    � select file KIL12A01.TIF� on the Coordinates

    tabbed panel, selectARC/INFO World fromthe Georeference optionbutton menu

    � click [Projection...]� in the Coordinate

    System / ProjectionParameters window,click [System...] andselect UniversalTransverse Mercator

    � click [Zone...] andchoose 5 (W 156 to W150)

    � click [Datum...] andselect North American1927

    � click [OK] to close theCoordinate System /Projection Parameterswindow

    � click [Import] and directthe new raster object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Rasterwindow

    This grayscale airphoto of Kilauea Crater canbe found as object KIL12A01 in the KIL_IMGProject File in the HAWAII data collection.

    TIFF image files may be georeferenced in severalways. Georeference information may be incorpora-teed within the file (GeoTIFF format) and/or be foundin an accompanying file with the same name but dif-ferent file extension. The import process readsGeoTIFF georeference information automatically(unless you turn on the Ignore GeoTIFF Tags tog-gle button). For information in accompanying files,you must use the Georeference menu on the Coordi-nates panel to select the file type: the availableoptions are Arc/Info World (*.tfw) and MapInfo(*.tab).

    Arc/Info World files include coordinates and scaleparameters but do not specify the coordinate sys-tem. You must set the Coordinate System / ProjectionParameters for the image in order for the TIFF importprocess to use the information in the .tfw file to cre-ate a Georeference subobject for the imported raster.This information may be found in a metadata or de-scriptive text file (.txg file extension) accompanyingthe TIFF file.

    Click the Projection button to reveal the CoordinateSystem / Projection Parameters window so thatyou can set the relevant parameters.

  • Importing Geodata

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    Link to ECW, JP2, MrSID, or TIFFFor some file formats TNTmips offers you the op-tion of linking to the external file rather thanperforming a full import of the data. This option isavailable for raster data in the ECW (Enhanced Com-pressed Wavelet), JP2 (JPEG 2000), MrSID(Multiresolution Seamless Image Database), andTIFF formats.

    When you choose the link option the image is notcopied into the destination Project File. Instead, alink object is created that contains the information

    needed to direct TNT processes to the ex-ternal file. You can thus maintain one copyof the image for use with many applicationprograms, including TNTmips. This is es-pecially advantageous when you areworking with large images, in which casestoring duplicate versions would require alarge amount of hard drive space.

    STEPS� select the ECW format in

    the Import / Exportwindow

    � click [Import...]� select file MAUISIRC.ECW� note that the Link Only

    toggle button on theOptions tabbed panel isturned on by default

    � click [Import] and directthe link object to theTEMP_IMP Project File

    The sample ECW file is acomposite radar image of theisland of Maui (in the HawaiianIslands) acquired by theSpaceborne Imaging Radar-C(SIR-C) sensor from the SpaceShuttle Endeavour on 16 April1994. Light blue and yellowareas in the lowlands are sugarcane fields, rain forests appearin yellow, and grasslands aredark green, pink, and blue. Thiscolor composite image can befound as object SIRCCOMP in theMAUISIRC Project File in the HAWAIIdata collection.

    NOTE: TNTmips will automatically link to raster files in the above formats inany process that uses the standard File/Object Selection window. Files inthese formats appear in the window along with TNT Project Files, and youcan navigate into the files and see their contained raster “objects”. When youselect any of these objects in any process, a link file with same name as theexternal file and the extension .rlk is automatically created in same directory.(If the external file is on read-only media, the link file is automatically placedin a special link-cache directory).

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    Import a Raster Object from Simple ArraySTEPS� select the SIMPLE

    ARRAY format in theImport / Export window

    � click [Import...]� select file KILSHADE.ARR� enter 511 in the Lines

    and Columns text fields� enter 60 in the Line Cell

    Size and Column CellSize text fields

    � select 8-bit unsignedinteger from the Datatype option menu

    � click [Import] and directthe new raster object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Rasterwindow

    Use the Simple Array option to import a raster im-age that is encoded as a generic stream of byte data.To import such a file, you must know the size of theimage (in Lines and Columns) and the data type (8-bit unsigned, for example). You might find thisinformation in an accompanying readme, label, orheader file.

    The sample file in Simple Array format is a shadedrelief image produced from a digital elevation mod-el (DEM) of Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii.The illumination is from the south. The relief shad-ing highlights the large summit crater, subsidiarycraters along the Southeast Rift Zone, and the steepescarpments marking fault zones near the coast.

    The Byte Order setting applies if the filecontains 16-bit values (each valueconsisting of two bytes). Somecomputer operating systems structuresuch data with the least significant bytefirst (Low-High), and others in thereverse order. The byte order shouldbe included with the header informationfor the file.

    This shaded relief image can be found asobject SHADING in the KIL_DEM Project File inthe HAWAII data collection.

    Set the dimensions of theimage in Lines and Columns.

    Set the Data type forthe raster values.

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    STEPS� select Vector from the

    Object Type optionmenu in the Import /Export window

    � select SDTS from thescrolled format list

    � click [Import...]� select file HP01AHDR.DDF

    from the SDTS directory� click [Import] and direct

    the new vector object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Vectorwindow

    The Spatial Data Transfer Standard, or SDTS, is aformat standard adopted by the United States gov-ernment for the transfer of digital geographicinformation. The SDTS format includes geographicvector data with full topology, georeferencing, andattributes. SDTS vector data can include point, line,polygon, and composite features. Much of the Dig-ital Line Graph (DLG) vector map data produced bythe U.S. Geological Survey has been converted toSDTS format.

    A vector dataset in SDTS format consists of a suiteof files in a common directory. In the case of DLGdata, a global set of Data Dictionary files must beobtained separately and copied into the data direc-

    tory before import.

    The sample SDTS-DLG data set shows el-evation contour lines and spot elevationpoints for an area on the island of Hawaiisoutheast of Kilauea Crater. It includesthe area shown in the color TIFF imageyou imported in an earlier exercise.

    Import a Vector Object from SDTS

    You can set the desiredtype of vector topology forthe imported object usingthe Topology Level optionmenu.

    The structure of a vector object can beoptimized during import to speed upvector display. The optimization pro-cedure uses spatial location to assignelement numbers. Nearby elements areassigned similar numbers, speeding thesearch for the elements when only aportion of the object is in the view. Thisoption is turned on by default.

    Enlargement of part ofthe elevation contourobject. It can be foundas object MAKADLG in theKIL_IMG Project File in theHAWAII data collection.

    When you import data from formats with multiple files(such as SDTS, TIGER, and Arc Coverage), select only asingle data file from the directory. All associated files inthe directory will be read automatically by the importprocess. In the case of SDTS DLG data, be sure to selecta data file rather than one of the Data Dictionary files.

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    STEPS� select the ARC-

    SHAPEFILE format inthe Import / Exportwindow

    � click [Import...]� select file CBSOILS.SHP� accept the default

    selection Polygonal onthe Topology Leveloption button on theOptions panel

    Shapefiles produced in ArcView store map data in anontopological form, like the file formats used byCAD programs. A single shapefile can include onlyone type of map element (point, line, or polygon).Attribute information is stored in a dBase file (.dbf)with the same name as the main shapefile (.shp). Youcan import a shapefile into TNTmips as either a vec-tor object or a CAD object. The import processautomatically creates a database subobject with atable linked to the external dBase file.

    The sample shapefiles contain vector andattribute data for a soil map of part of theCrow Butte area in northwestern Nebras-ka. The polygons delineate areas withdifferent types of soils, which are identi-fied by a soil class code. The class codecan be used to link individual soil poly-gons with records in other databases thatcontain additional attribute information foreach soil type.

    � in the CoordinateSystem / ProjectionParameters window, setthe System to Latitude /Longitude and theDatum to NorthAmerican 1927, thenclick [OK]

    � click [Import] and directthe new vector object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Vectorwindow

    This vector soil map can be found as objectCBSOILS_LITE in the CB_SOILS Project File in theCB_DATA data collection.

    Import a Vector Object from Arc Shapefile

    ArcView originally supported onlyLatitude / Longitude (Geographic)map coordinates, so the Shapefileformat has no provision forspecifying a coordinate system.But Shapefiles are used todistribute geographic data in avariety of coordinate systems.Consult the metatdata thataccompanies a shapefile todetermine its coordinate system,then use the Coordinates panel tomake the appropriate settings.

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    STEPS� select the TIGER format

    in the Import / Exportwindow

    � click [Import...]� select file TGR31013.BW1

    from the TIGER directory� accept the default

    selection Polygonal onthe Topology Leveloption button on theOptions panel

    � click on the Extract tab� click [Projection...],

    accept the defaultLatitude / Longitudesystem, select NorthAmerican 1927 for thedatum, and click [OK]

    � in the Latitude textfields, enter N 42 07 30(to) N 42 15 00

    � in the Longitude textfields, enter W 102 5230 (to) W 103 00 00

    � choose Clip Inside fromthe Region option menu

    � click [Import] and directthe new vector object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Vectorwindow

    TIGER/Line files contain geographic data from theU.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER (Topologically Inte-grated Geographic Encoding and Referencing)database. TIGER files contain line segments thatrepresent natural and man-made physical featuressuch as streams and roads, along with census andgovernmental boundaries, all integrated into a sin-gle topological network. Associated attribute dataprovide direct links to other 1990 Census data prod-ucts. TIGER/Line files have been prepared for eachcounty, creating seamless coverage of the entireUnited States.

    Most TIGER/Line files contain too many lines to beusable in TNTlite in their entirety. Use the controlson the Extract panel to specify the extents of a smallerarea that will be extracted from the full county dur-ing import. If this area still contains too many lines,TNTlite directs you to select a smaller area.

    Import a Vector Object from TIGER

    This TIGER data can be found asobject TIGERBEREA in the BERVECT ProjectFile in the BEREA data collection.

    The Clip Inside selection option extractsonly the parts of lines within the boundaryof the specified area. The other optionsextract entire lines that are either PartiallyInside or Completely Inside the selectionarea.

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    TNTmips can import vector and attribute data fromseveral file formats produced by ArcInfo, includingthe “Export” format (e00). The import process givesyou the option to attach any included Line attributesand Point/Polygon attributes to their respectivevector elements. The default “Element Number”attachment option should work in most cases; if not,try the “Element ID” option.

    The sample e00 file is an index map of 1-degreequadrangle outlines for the western United States.The polygon attributes include a code number (madeup of the latitude and longitude of the southeast cor-ner) used to reference the location of USGStopographic quadrangle maps. The map coordinatesare in meters, referenced to the Mercator Projec-tion, with a central meridian at 96 degrees westlongitude.

    STEPS� select the ARC-E00

    format in the Import /Export window

    � click [Import...]� select file WEST1DEG.E00� on the Options tabbed

    panel, select NoAttachment from theAttach Line Attributes Byoption button menu

    � on the Coordinatespanel, click theProjection button

    � in the CoordinateSystem / ProjectionParameters window,click [System] and selectUser Defined

    � click [Projection] andselect Mercator, thenclick [Datum] and selectNorth American 1927

    This index map can befound as object WEST1DEGin the US_1DEG Project Filein the USA data collection.

    Import Vector Object from Arc E00

    � enter W 96 00 00 in theCentral Meridian textbox, and click [OK] toclose the CoordinateSystem / ProjectionParameters window

    � click [Import] and directthe new vector object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Vectorwindow

    This example includes no lineattribute data, so set Line attachmentto No Attachment; leave Polygonattachment set to Element Number.

    You can choose whether or not to haveElement ID tables and Standard AttributeTables created during import by using thecorresponding toggle buttons. Turningthese options off can speed up the importfor large files.

  • Importing Geodata

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    You can use the Import process to create a vectorpoint object from sets of 2D or 3D coordinate val-ues in a text or database file. The coordinate valuesin a text file can be aligned in columns or separatedby a delimiter character (the default is comma-de-limited). You must specify the coordinate systemand map projection for the object and identify thetext field that contains each of the coordinate values(X, Y, and Z). In this example, Field 1 contains theelevation value (Z), Field 2 the X value, and Field 3the Y value.

    STEPS� select the TEXT format

    in the Import / Exportwindow and click[Import...]

    � select file ELEVPTS.TXT� on the Coordinates

    tabbed panel, select 3Dfrom the Coordinatesoption menu

    � click [Projection...]� in the Coordinate

    System / Map Projectionwindow, click [System...]and select UniversalTransverse Mercator

    � click [Zone...] and selectZone 13

    � click [Datum...] andselect North American1927

    � click [OK] to close theCoordinate System /Map Projection window

    � in the Field Numberstext fields on the Optionspanel, enter 2 for X, 3 forY, and 1 for Z

    � click [Import] and directthe new vector object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import Vectorwindow

    This vector point object can be found as object ELEV_PTSin the SURFACE Project File in the SURFMODL data collection.


    Z , X , YSample of inputtext file withcomma-delimitedcoordinate values.

    Import Vector Points from TEXT

    Use the Formatradio buttons toselect columnar ordelimited format.

    You can use the Additional Attributescontrol panel to create an attacheddatabase containing other attributeinformation (see pages 18 and 19).

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    TNTmips gives you several options for importingfiles in the MapInfo Interchange Format (MIF).These ASCII files store coordinate lists for poly-gon, line, and point elements, as well as informationabout the map projection and the database tablestructure. Only one database table can be specifiedin the file. Attribute data for individual elementsare stored in an accompanying ASCII file (with .MIDfile extension).

    You can import an MIF file using either the ImportVector option (producing a vector object) or theImport CAD option. The latter option gives you achoice of full CAD import or linking to the externalMIF file. If the map data contained in the MIF fileis geometrically complex, you should im-port it as a vector object to take advantageof the topological structure provided byvector objects.

    STEPS� select CAD from the

    Object Type option menuin the Import / Exportwindow

    � select MIF from thescrolled format list

    � click [Import...]� select file NEBRASKA.MIF� press in the Link Only

    toggle button on theOptions panel

    � click [Import] and directthe link object to theTEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import CADwindow

    This map ofNebraska countiescan be found asvector object COUNTIESin the NEBRASKAProject File in theUSA data collection.

    The map projection is readautomatically from the input MIF file.

    Turn on the Link Only toggle button to setup a link to the external MapInfo file.Turn off the toggle button to import the fileas a CAD object.

    Link to a MapInfo MIF file

    NOTE: TNTmips can auto-link directly to MapInfo TAB files and ArcViewshapefiles as described for raster formats on page 8. These linked objectsare treated and styled as CAD objects.

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    STEPS� select the DXF format in

    the Import / Exportwindow

    � click [Import...] on theImport CAD window

    � select file FOOTPRNT.DXF� on the Coordinates

    panel, click [Projection]� in the Coordinate

    System / ProjectionParameters window, setthe System to UniversalTransverse Mercator, theZone to Zone 17, andthe Datum to NorthAmerican 1927

    � click [Import] and directthe new CAD object tothe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � close the Import CADwindow

    The AutoCAD DXF (Drawing eXchange File) for-mat has become one of the standard means ofexchanging drawing data between CAD programs.DXF files are ASCII files containing coded text in-formation needed to draw each element in a CADdrawing. The elements in a DXF file can includepoints, lines, polygons, and regular geometric shapessuch as circles and ellipses. Unlike vector files, theelements in a CAD file (or CAD object) can overlapeach other yet remain as distinct elements. Fore-ground-background relationships of overlappingelements are also stored in the file.

    The sample DXF file shows a neighborhood sur-rounding the Blackburn Recreation Center in OldeTowne, Columbus, Ohio. The drawing contains linesthat depict street curbs and polygons that representbuilding and house footprints.

    This drawing of the Blackburnneighborhood can be found as CADobject FOOTPRINT in the BLACKBRNProject File in the BLACKBRN datacollection. Other objects in thisProject File include a parcel map, astreet map, an airphoto, and adatabase containing crime reports.

    Import a CAD Object from DXF

    Elements in a DXF file can beorganized into different drawing layers.Each layer might typically holdelements representing a specific typeor types of feature. You can choose tocreate a separate CAD object fromeach drawing layer in the DXF fileduring import. If you choose not toseparate layers, you can still use theimported DXF Layer table to set updisplay styles by attribute for elementsin the different DXF layers.

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    When you have attribute information in dBASE III/IV format that you want to use in TNTmips, youcan either import the database information directlyinto a Project File or set up a link to the externaldBASE file. In either case, the database can existas a main-level object in the Project File or as asubobject of a parent spatial object.

    If the database contains fields with spatial coordi-nates, the attribute information can be displayeddirectly using the Database Pin-Map option in theDisplay process. The sample dBASE file is a data-base of police reports for crime in the Blackburnarea. The Pin-Map display below shows the crimelocations as red squares, with the FOOTPRINT CADobject from the previous exercise shown in the back-ground for reference.

    STEPS� select Database from

    the Object Type optionmenu in the Import /Export window

    � select the dBASE formatand click [Import...]

    � click [Source...] on theImport Database window

    � select file CRIME.DBF� click [Destination...] and

    name an outputdatabase object CRIME inthe TEMP_IMP Project File

    � in the Description textfield, enter “Database ofpolice reports”

    � click [Import]� close the Import

    Database window

    Import a Database from dBASE

    Choose Copy todo a full importof the databaseinformation orLink to set up alink to thedBASE file.

    This database can be found as objectCRIME in the BLACKBRN Project File.

    Use theDestination buttonto name thedatabase object orsubobject beforeimport.

    You can also import database files in dBASE and several other formats from theDatabase Editor (using the File / Import menu path). Consult the bookletGetting Started: Managing Relational Databases for more information.

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    STEPS� select the ASCII format

    and click [Import...]� click [Source...] on the

    Import Database window� select file YIELD.TXT� with the Temporary

    toggle button turned on,click [Determine fromFile...]; a Text FileFormat window thenopens with a preliminarylist of Field names andassociated settings

    � highlight the defaultname of the first field(Bc) in the text fieldbelow the scrolled listand type SYMBOL; notethe other settings in thepanel to the right

    You can also import attribute information from anASCII text file. The attribute information for eachrecord must be on a separate line in the text file.The fields can be aligned in columns, as in the sam-ple file for this exercise, or they can be delimited bya separator character (the default is a comma). Inthis exercise you import projected crop yield valuesfor the different soil types in the Crow Butte area.The records in the sample input file include the soiltype symbol and yield values for wheat, oats, anddry-farmed and irrigated alfalfa (hay). The first fewlines of the sample input file look like this:

    Import a Database from ASCII

    Bc 19 24 1.1 3.0Bd 0 0 1.5 2.8Bf 0 0 0.0 0.0Bg 39 46 2.2 5.5

    In order to correctly structure the new database ta-ble, the Import process needs information about theformat and content of the text file. Each field re-quires a Field Name and a Field Type setting (Stringfor a nonnumeric field, Integer for whole-numbervalues, or Floating-point for decimal values). For a

    file in columnar format the width and start-ing column of each field are also required.You can set most of these specifications au-tomatically by clicking the Determine fromFile button. The selected file is scannedand the preliminary settings are shown inthe Text File Format window.

    Keep the Text File Format windowopen and continue to the next page.

    The Field Name text field allows youto edit the name of the field currentlyselected from the scrolled list. Thefield entry in the first line of the text fileis selected as the default Field Name.

    � rename the remainingfields WHEAT, OATS,HAYDRY, and HAYWET

  • Importing Geodata

    page 19

    When you have renamed all five fields as in-structed on the previous page, you should havefields with the characteristics shown in the listto the right. You can then proceed to specifythe destination for the new database table.

    Field Name Field Type PlacesSYMBOL StringWHEAT IntegerOATS IntegerHAYDRY Floating-point 1HAYWET Floating-point 1

    Import a Database from ASCII

    STEPS (continued)� click [OK] in the Text File

    Format window� click [Destination...]� select the CBSOILS vector

    object that you importedto the TEMP_IMP ProjectFile on page 11

    � in the Select window,press in the Polygontoggle button, then click[OK]

    � click [Import]� close the Import

    Database windowThe name of the source text file is automaticallyused to name the table. You can enter a differentname in the Table Name field if you wish, and adda description in the Description text field.

    This table can be found as the polygondatabase table YIELD attached to theCBSOILS_LITE object in the CBSOILS Project File.

    The Places text field specifies the number of decimalplaces for a floating-point field.

  • Importing Geodata

    page 20

    The limits discussed here donot apply to the professionalversion of TNTmips. How-ever, professional users canstill use the techniques de-scribed to import specific por-tions of large geodata files.

    Carefully selected limitations have been placed onthe size of objects in the free TNTlite version ofTNTmips. If you are using TNTlite and attempt toimport an object that exceeds these limits, an errormessage informs you that the object is too large forTNTlite. Most TNT import processes allow you todesignate a portion of the spatial object to import.(You have used several of these procedures in theprevious exercises.)

    Meeting TNTlite Object Size Limits

    Raster Objects in TNTlite cannot exceed 314,368cells (614 x 512), with a maximum dimension of1024 cells. You may find the dimensions of the ras-ter file you wish to import in an accompanyingmetadata or header file. Most of the raster importdialog windows allow you to select a range of linesand columns from the input raster. You can use thesesettings to insure that the size of the object you areimporting fits within the TNTlite raster size limita-tions. For common raster file formats such as TIFF,GIF, JPEG, and BMP, you can use readily-availableshareware utilities to preview a raster before import,and either crop it to the required size or determine arange of lines and columns to select during import.

    Database Objects containing attribute informationcan be imported along with a spatial object or inde-pendently. A database object contains attribute datafor one type of object element (vector polygons, forexample), but can contain more than one databasetable. TNTlite places no limit on the number of ta-bles in a database object, but a single table cancontain no more than 1500 records. For a stand-alone database table, the Import Database processallows you to select records for import By Query. Ifthe external table contains more than 1500 records,you will need to construct a query that selects a small-er subset for import.

    Choose the By Queryselection option, and pressthe Edit Query button tocreate a query to selectspecific records for import.

    Specify a range of lines andcolumns to extract from alarge raster during import.

  • Importing Geodata

    page 21

    Vector and CAD Objects are limitedin the number of elements they can con-tain in TNTlite. The maximum countsfor different elements in a single vectorobject are: 500 polygons, 1500 lines,1500 isolated points, and 1500 labels;there is no limit on the number of nodes. The limitsfor CAD objects are 500 drawing elements (lines orgeometric shapes) and 5 blocks.

    The Import Vector and Import CAD windows in-clude an Area Selection panel that you can use tospecify the extents of a rectangular selection area(in map coordinates for a georeferenced object). Thedefault coordinate system is Latitude / Longitude,but you can use the Projection button to choose analternate map projection and coordinatesystem. The Area Element Selectionoption menu allows you to specify howthe selection area is applied. You canchoose entire elements that are eitherCompletely Inside or Partially Inside theselection area, or use the Clip Insideoption to trim enclosed elements at theboundary of the selection area.

    The selection and possible segmentationof elements caused by the Area Selec-tion procedure create new topologicalrelationships for the extracted elements.TNTlite must compute the new topolo-gy during the import procedure before it candetermine whether the imported object falls withinthe TNTlite limits for the specific object type. If itdoes not, you will need to try again with a smallerselection area.

    Meeting TNTlite Object Size Limits

    Specify the extents of aselection area to extractelements from a vector orCAD file.

    When you import a vector orCAD object with anassociated database usingthe Area Selection option,only the records attached tothe selected elements arecopied. This should ensurethat a table created toaccompany a Lite-sizedvector or CAD object will notexceed the TNTlite recordlimit for a database table.

    The Clip Inside option usedwith this selection areaboundary will segmentseveral now-continuouslines and polygons.

  • Importing Geodata

    page 22

    As the use of geospatialdata has spread, theconcept of metadata hasbecome important. Simplyput, metadata is “data aboutdata”. Metadata is text thatdescribes the content,source, accuracy,georeference control, andother characteristics ofdigital geographic data andassociated attribute data.

    Digital geospatial data can be copied, edited, andtransformed with ease and it can be displayed atvirtually any scale. Without metadata, the end userof geospatial data has no way to know the originalscale and accuracy of the data and may be unawareof other potential limitations.

    In TNTmips, metadata is contained in a special textsubobject stored with a raster, vector, CAD, TIN, ordatabase object. A metadata subobject should in-clude any information that would help potential usersof the geospatial data to determine whether it isappropriate for their needs, and how best to use it.For example, you can document the source, accura-cy, georeference control, and any transformationsapplied to the geosopatial data. You can use theMetadata Viewer and Editor to create your own meta-data text or to copy an internal RVC text object orexternal text file into a metadata subobject. Youaccess the Metadata Viewer and Editor from theProject File Maintenance window or from the stan-dard Select Objects window in any TNTmips process.

    Incorporating Metadata

    STEPS� select Support /

    Maintenance / ProjectFile from the TNTmipsmain menu

    � select object SIRCCOMPfrom the MAUISIRC ProjectFile in the HAWAII datacollection

    � click the Metadataicon button

    � after examining themetadata, select File /Close in the MetadataEditor window

    Use standard keyboard and mouseoperations to add, delete, or edittext within the editing canvas.

    Click the Metadata icon button to open themetadata subobject for the selected object.

  • Importing Geodata

    page 23

    Raster Import FormatsADRG: DMA ARC Digitized Raster GraphicsADRI: NIMA ARC Digitized Raster ImageryAG LEADER TargetAISA HyperspectralALDEN RadarARC-ASCII, BIL/BIP, E00, GRID: ArcInfo formatsASCII, ASCII-XYZ: Text, 3 coordinate textASTER-HDF: EOS ASTER in HDFAVHRR-BIWEEK: U.S. Bi-Weekly CompositeAVIRIS HyperspectralBMP: Microsoft Windows BitmapCADRG: NIMA Compressed ADRGCCRS: Canadian Centre for Remote SensingCDED: Canadian Digital Elevation DataCIB: NIMA Controlled Image BaseCLEMENTINE Spacecraft DataCOQ: USGS Compressed Ortho QuadCTG: LULC Composite Theme GridDEM: USGS Digital Elevation ModelDEM GTOPO30: GTOPO30 Global DEMDISIMPDOQ: USGS Digital Orthophoto QuadDTED: Digital Terrain Elevation DataECW: ER Mapper Enhanced Compressed WaveletENVI HyperspectralEPPL7ER-MAPPERERDAS GIS/LAN and IMAGINEERS-SAR: ERS-1 and ERS-2 Synthetic Aperture RadarGAC/LAC: AVHRR Global Area Cov.GEOSOFT-GRD and GXFGEOTIFFGGR: Generic Georeferenced RasterGIF: Graphics Interchange FormatGRASSHDF4-Generic: Hierarchical Data Format Version 4 GenericI2SPS: IIS Photo ScienceIDIMS IDIPSIDRISI, IDRISI 32ILWISR: ILWIS Raster MPRINGR-Type-9: Intergraph Type 9 Bi-level RLEIRS Super Structure (LGSOWG)JERS1: NASDA JERS-1 CEOS radarJP2: JPEG-2000 JP2JPEGJPL-SAR: JPL AIRSAR and TOPSAR radarLANDSAT-CCRS: (Can. Centre Rem. Sens.)LANDSAT-NLAPSLANDSAT7-HDF: LANDSAT7 ETM in HDFLASER-SCANLVT film recorderMACPAINT: Macintosh MacPaintMICROBRIANMODIS-HDF: EOS MODIS in HDFMRLC: Multi-Resolution Land CharacteristicsMRSID: Multiresolution Seamless Image DatabaseNEXRAD RadarNITF, NITF2.1: NIMA National Imagery TransferNTF-DTM: UK National Transfer Format 2.0PCI: PCI Image FormatPCXPHOTO-CD: Kodak Photo CD FormatPNG: Portable Network Graphics


    Vector Import FormatsARC-COVERAGE, E00, and GENERATEARC-SHAPEFILE: ArcView ShapefileATLAS-GIS 3.0 AGF/AIF and BNADATABASE: Database table recordsDCW: Digital Chart of the WorldDLG-OPT: USGS Digital Line Graph OptionalDMDF: Digital Map Data FormatDXF: AutoCAD Drawing eXchangeGEOSOFT-XYZGRASSGSMAP: USGS GSMAP FormatMAPINFO Internal, MIF, and MMIMOSS: Map Overlay & Statistical SystemNTAD: National Transportation Atlas DatabaseNTF-VECT: UK National Transfer Format 2.0POLAR: Polar coordinateSDF: Spatial Data Framework (Japan)SDTS: Spatial Data Transfer StandardTEXT: 2D (X,Y) and 3D (X,Y,Z) pointTIGER: Census Bureau TIGER/LineTYDAC: Tydac SPANS VEH/VECVPF: Vector Product Format

    CAD Import FormatsARC-SHAPEFILE: ArcView ShapefileATLAS-GIS 3.0 AGF/AIF and BNACGM: Computer Graphics MetafileDGN: MicroStation/Intergraph DGNDMDF: Digital Map Data FormatDXF: AutoCAD Drawing eXchangeGSMAP: USGS GSMAP FormatMAPINFO Internal, MIF, and MMIMOSS: Map Overlay & Statistical SystemSDTS: Spatial Data Transfer StandardSIF: Standard Interchange Format

    Database Import FormatsASCII textdBASE III/IV & FoxProINFO databaseMAPINFO Attribute FileMIPS-EXTERNAL (DOS MIPS)ODBC: Microsoft Open Database ConnectivityR:BASETNT-TEXT: TNTmips text fileTYDAC-ATTRIB: SPANS Attribute File

    Supported Import Formats

  • Importing Geodata

    page 24

    Advanced Software for Geospatial AnalysisI


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    MicroImages, Inc. publishes a complete line of professional software for advanced geospatialdata visualization, analysis, and publishing. Contact us or visit our web site for detailed prod-uct information.

    TNTmips TNTmips is a professional system for fully integrated GIS, image analysis, CAD,TIN, desktop cartography, and geospatial database management.

    TNTedit TNTedit provides interactive tools to create, georeference, and edit vector, image,CAD, TIN, and relational database project materials in a wide variety of formats.

    TNTview TNTview has the same powerful display features as TNTmips and is perfect forthose who do not need the technical processing and preparation features of TNTmips.

    TNTatlas TNTatlas lets you publish and distribute your spatial project materials on CD-ROM at low cost. TNTatlas CDs can be used on any popular computing platform.

    TNTserver TNTserver lets you publish TNTatlases on the Internet or on your intranet.Navigate through geodata atlases with your web browser and the TNTclient Java applet.

    TNTlite TNTlite is a free version of TNTmips for students and professionals with smallprojects. You can download TNTlite from MicroImages’ web site, or you can orderTNTlite on CD-ROM.


    lossless.........................................6lossy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

    database... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,17-20dBASE.........................................................17DLG............................................................10DXF........................................................16E00...............................................................13ECW... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8extract

    from CAD....................................15,21from database....................................20from raster.....................................6,20from vector..................................12,21

    GeoTIFF...................................................8GIF...........................................................6,20JP2.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8JPEG......................................................5,20

    linkingto CAD............................................15to database.......................................17to raster..............................................7

    MapInfo MIF........................................15metadata................................................22MrSID.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8raster................................................3-9,20SDTS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10shapefile.................................................11simple array.............................................9text, ASCII...........................................3

    import to database......................18-19import to vector...............................14

    TIFF...........................................7-8,20TIGER.................................................12TNTlite, object size limits



    Before Getting StartedWelcome to Importing GeodataCommon Import ProceduresImport a Raster ObjectImport JPEGImport TIFFImport Georeferenced TIFFLink to ECW, JP2, MrSID, or TIFFImport Simple Array

    Import a Vector ObjectImport SDTSImport ArcView ShapefileImport TIGERImport Arc/Info E00Import Points from Text file

    Import a CAD ObjectLink to MapInfo MIFImport DXF

    Import a Database ObjectImport dBASEImport ASCII data (1)Import ASCII data (2)

    Meeting TNTlite Object Size LimitsRaster and Database ObjectsVector and CAD Objects

    Incorporating MetadataSupported Import FormatsIndex and Product Information