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Creating a New Project

Project is a file which is a record of the different layers, images, labels, colours and styles you set for viewing these. This Project will keep a record of these and other settings, so that the next time you open this project, all will be the same as the last time you saved the Project. A Project file will have a format of projectname.mwprj and is different from the data files you will have or create (shapefiles).

To create a new project, open MapWindow. This will start with a new, empty Project to which you can add data.

Project Settings


Modifying some of the default settings will assist you to use MapWindow projects later, and set the specifics of the project.

Once you have a Project open, click on [FILE]???then click on. [SETTINGS]. This will open the settings list. To alter a setting click on the right column of the item, then click on the drop down arrow, and select the item from the drop down list.

Set the following:

- Map Data Units ??? set to your preference for main data units

- Show Additional Units ??? can be left off, or choose different units, eg Lat/Long

- Show Map Data Units to True to show or False to turn off the Units display

- Leave File formats and Map Behaviour as default

- Project Projection ??? see section below

- Display Welcome Screen ??? Select True will show a welcome screen whenever you start MapWindow, including a shortcut to Projects you have used before.

Project Projection

Map Datum and Projection are particular aspects to GIS data. These tell the system where on the Globe the area is, and the best display for this. You will need to check the correct datum where you access your GIS datasets, or from your regional Natural Resource Management agency. Some datasets will be in global datum, and not projected.

There are two ways to set the correct datum and projection, either specify in project settings, or use an existing layer projection.

Use Existing Projection

If users have been supplied with map layers, some of these may have a projection set. The first layers that the user adds will be checked for projection data (an ESRI-style ".prj" file containing Well-Known Text (WKT) projection information). If a .prj file is found, the project will adopt that projection. This information can be viewed under the file/settings menu.

Specify Projection

If you know that the data you have been supplied is in the local projection, but this does not show as a .prj file, you can specify this in the Project Settings (see section above).

When the Project Settings list is open, in the Project Projection section;

- Category ??? select the appropriate category -

- Group - select the group your datum is in

- Name ??? select the regional projection (if relevant)

- Show Mismatch Warning ??? leave as True

- Use Projection Info ??? Select as True

When additional layers are added, if they are in the same projection, they simply load. If they are in a different projection or have no projection information, then the user is asked how they would like to handle the situation. The default is to set or reproject the new layer to the defined project projection. If the layer has no projection information, user may choose not to set a projection.

Loading an Existing Project

If you have previously created a project, or wish to use one of the sample projects supplied;

??? Click on the Project name in the [Open Project] list of the welcome screen if it shows, or

??? Click on [FILE] Click on [OPEN] or Image:image012.gif

??? Browse to the appropriate folder

??? Select a Project file (ends in .mwprj) and Click [OPEN]

NOTE - Several examples of project files can be found at C:\Program Files\MapWindow\Sample Projects\

Saving a Project

While working on any project, it is advisable to save regularly to guard against data loss and for later retrieval. When saving a project for the first time, it is necessary to provide a name and location for the project file. It is important to note that a saved project file does not contain any map data. The project file contains references to map data, as well as other information such as layer symbology.

??? Click [FILE] on the Main Toolbar, or the Image:image053.gifSave icon .

??? Click [SAVE]. If this is the first time the user has saved the project, the user will be prompted to provide a path and filename. Click the [SAVE] button

Adding Map Data or Layers to Projects

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This page has been accessed 3,052 times. This page was last modified on 27 January 2008, at 10:59.