Blue Marble Monthly: GeoTalks Speakers Announced




NEWS  |  Speakers Announced for Blue Marble GeoTalks

Mark your calendar for March 21. The agenda for GeoTalks, Blue Marble’s free online conference, has been finalized and includes Daniel Fagerman from LiDAR USA, who will share his adventures uncovering Mayan ruins in Mexico; and Michael Frings from MFBI Technologies, who will talk about the use of 3D and terrain analysis in the optimal placement of outdoor advertising. The day-long agenda also includes the latest news from Blue Marble, tips and tricks, and lots more.


Turkana Basin

FEATURE  |  Mapping the Turkana Basin

In a blog entry, archaeologist Antonio Kuilan writes about how he used Global Mapper to create high resolution digital elevation models of the Turkana Basin — an area that has produced “key hominin fossils that shape the understanding of our human origins.”

“It is my opinion that what makes Global Mapper powerful is not only its collaborative design team, but their focus on listening to the real-world GIS experiences and needs of scientists, researchers, and other users.”


LiDAR data

VIDEOS | Blue Got Mail

Billy Noble, Applications Specialist at Blue Marble Geographics, answers questions that come into the technical support inbox. In this video, Billy demonstrates how to maintain the colors of a point cloud when converting it from a LAS format to a GeoTIFF in Global Mapper.


Global Mapper

PROJECTIONS  |  What is Maintenance and Support?

Global Mapper is in a constant state of development. Chances are, some of the tools that you are currently using have already been modified or improved by Blue Marble developers. To make sure that you have access to these updates when they are released and to make sure you can call on the technical support team should questions arise, you’ll want to be on board with the Maintenance and Support plan. What exactly does this entail?



LiDAR data in Global Mapper

COMING SOON  |  Top Five New Features in Global Mapper 20.1

For a minor release, version 20.1 of Global Mapper promises a veritable plethora of powerful new features and functions. In this pre-release preview, we showcase five of the most interesting new tools including a zoom function in the profile view and a proximity search for LiDAR points. Look out for an announcement about the availability of the 20.1 release in the next few weeks.



DID YOU KNOW?  |  Global Mapper Getting Started Guide

Do you consider yourself a Global Mapper novice? Or maybe you just need a helping hand with the basics before jumping headlong into a more involved project. Fear not; help is at hand. Tucked conveniently into the Help menu is the concise Global Mapper Getting Started Guide. This is your indispensable assistant covering everything from navigating the interface to saving a workspace.



Where in the World Geo-Challenge

It’s amazing how much you can learn pulling together the five locations for the monthly Geo-Challenge. Cape Horn is not on the mainland of South America? Really? Mongolia looks like an inverted Racoon… if you squint and use your imagination.

The first randomly selected entrant among those who successfully recognized these and the three other locations in January’s challenge is Dante Arturo González Salas from Dante González Consultoría en Hidrología e Hidráulica in Mexico. To see how well you fared, click here and to take a shot at January’s challenge click the link below.


See complete terms and conditions here.

EVENTS  |  Training in Orlando, Denver, and Ottawa

At the time of writing, there are still a few seats available for the Global Mapper training class in Orlando, Florida from March 12-14. If a trip to the Sunshine state is not possible, how about Denver, Colorado from April 9-11 or Ottawa, Ontario from June 11-13. Three days learning how get the most out of Global Mapper is a worthwhile investment that pays dividends in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Additional training locations for 2019 include:

Orlando  |  March 12 – 14, December 3 – 5

Denver  |  April 9 – 11

Ottawa  |  June 11 – 13

Perth, Australia  |  July 16 – 18

Sydney, Australia  |  July 23 – 25

Calgary  |  August 13 – 15

Houston  |  October 8 – 10

Top Five New Features and Functions in Global Mapper Version 20.1

Interim releases of Global Mapper typically offer the Blue Marble development staff an opportunity to fine-tune some of the functionality that was introduced in the most recent major release. While the upcoming version 20.1 release includes its fair share of performance improvements and code tweaks, it also offers a surprising collection of new tools covering everything from the Digitizer to scripting. With the release just a few weeks away and the final edits being applied to the underlying code, we take a sneak peek at some of the more significant additions.

Using the new Zoom tool in the Path Profile View.

Path Profile Zooming

The importance of Global Mapper’s Path Profile tool has grown immensely since the introduction of the LiDAR Module. While it is most commonly used to render a cutaway view of a terrain layer, it also displays a cross-sectional view of points in a point cloud and can used to edit or delete selected points. New in version 20.1 is the option to zoom in the profile view – a function that ensures that even the most densely-spaced points can now be individually identified and selected.

Profile Legend

Continuing the theme of improvements to the Path Profile tool, a new option has been added to more clearly define the individual surfaces when rendering profile lines for multiple layers. A legend, which can be placed anywhere within the Path Profile window, shows each line style along with the corresponding surface layer. This is particularly useful when visualizing and analyzing multiple layers representing change over time.

Selecting a default projection.

Default Projection

Global Mapper’s projection management is universally acknowledged for its simplicity. Load any layer and the inherent projection parameters associated with the layer define the display projection. Each successive layer is then automatically reprojected on the fly to adhere to this system. No questions asked. Change the display projection and each exported layer will ultimately include these new projection parameters. In Global Mapper 20.1, an even simpler approach to projection management can be enabled with the assignment of a universal default projection. With this new configuration setting, a specified projection will be automatically applied when creating or importing any new layer.

Gaps between areas before applying the new “Close Gaps Between Adjacent Features” function
The areas after applying the “Close Gaps Between Adjacent Features” function

Vector Gap Closing

When creating abutting polygons, Global Mapper’s snapping functionality helps ensure that the features’ shared vertices are a perfect match, without overlap or gaps. When importing external files, however, such precise geometric integrity is not always the case. A new Digitizer tool available in version 20.1 can be used to automatically correct these errors. The “Close Gaps Between Adjacent Features …” function allows a maximum distance threshold to be established allowing the boundary lines to be perfectly matched.

The “Select LiDAR by Distance” tool can be used to select a particular point type within a defined distance of a feature

LiDAR Proximity Selection

A common use case in point cloud or LiDAR analysis is the detection of encroachment, and a new point selection option in the LiDAR Module provides this functionality to Global Mapper users. The “Select LiDAR by Distance” tool can be used to specify a particular point type (such as powerline), a distance threshold, and a target point type (such as high vegetation). In this case, running the search will highlight vegetation points that are encroaching within a defined distance of powerlines. This tool can be applied in many other workflows and includes the option to detect points within the proximity of 3D line features instead of points.

What is Maintenance and Support and How Does it Affect Me?

Global Mapper TrainingChelsea E | Projections
Global Mapper open on a laptop in a training course conducted by Blue Marble Geographics’ applications specialists. Maintenance and Support, along with the knowledgebase, videos, and self-guided training, allows users to access the expertise of Blue Marble’s experts.

If you have purchased Global Mapper and/or the LiDAR Module in the last two years, you have heard from our sales team regarding Maintenance & Support (M&S). But you may find yourself wondering, “What is Maintenance and Support and how does it affect me?”

The “Maintenance” Part – Keep your version of Global Mapper up-to-date

Longtime users know that, with every purchase or upgrade of Global Mapper includes a year of technical and licensing support. This support, along with our knowledgebase, videos, and self-guided training, allows users to explore and experience all Global Mapper has to offer. With customers in mind, we updated our support model in summer of 2017 with a 12-month M&S plan that begins on the date payment is received for an order. M&S now includes all version releases of the software within that 12-month period, allowing customers to utilize the most current version of Global Mapper.

The “Support” Part – The Blue Marble Tech Team is here for you

In addition to providing users access to the most current version of Global Mapper, M&S also includes the unparalleled technical and licensing support we are known for offering. Our technical team is ready to answer any questions you might have, from format questions, to complex workflow scenarios, in a timely manner. Technical Support is not a substitute for training. We offer many training solutions both in person and virtually. For more information please visit .

Maintenance and Support Renewals and License Structure

This M&S model also provides customers with the option to renew their support every year. Some of you will likely have received emails from us in the past few months letting you know that your support has ended, and explaining how to renew your subscription. Please contact the sales team with questions about the renewal option, coverage period, or how to purchase additional licenses.

I’m sure many of you are thinking that since Global Mapper has a perpetual license structure, “How will Maintenance and Support affect that model?” Rest assured it will not affect your license. However, the level of support that you receive is directly related to the status of your M&S. If your M&S is out of date, Blue Marble’s technical and licensing support teams may be unable to assist you.

Blue Marble strongly encourages you to stay up-to-date with M&S, so that you have access to the best software we have to offer. Staying current guarantees the highest level of software support and service, and that you are receiving the latest software fixes and enhancements.

In the coming weeks Global Mapper 20.1 will be released. Are you eligible to use all the great features and enhancements the new release has to offer? Users with current M&S coverage will need to download and license this version of Global Mapper. If your M&S is out of date or if you have questions about the status of your Global Mapper license, please contact

Where in the World Geo-Challenge – February 2019

View the form at Google Forms >

Where in the World January 2019 Answers

How Well Did You Do?

Name the island – Hainan Island

Haiman Island












Name the country – Mongolia













Name the capital city – Praia













Name the cape – Cape Horn












Name the lake – Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair