Tools Menu


The Tools Menu offers the following commands:

Zoom Tool

The Zoom command selects the zoom tool as the current tool.

To zoom in on a specific point, choose the [Zoom tool] from the toolbar or, [Tool/Zoom] from menu bar. A magnifying glass icon should appear on the screen. To zoom in, left click without dragging the mouse. The view is centered on where the mouse was clicked and will zoom in by a factor of two. To zoom out, right click without dragging the mouse. The view will zoom out by a factor of two, centered on where the mouse was clicked. You can also hold down the Ctrl key while right clicking to restore the view to the last zoomed view.

Alternately, one can zoom in to a user-defined rectangle by left clicking and then draging a box while holding down the left mouse button.

If your mouse has a middle button, you can hold it down and drag the map similar to the behavior of the Pan (Grab-and-Drag) tool.

Pan (Grab-and-Drag) Tool

The Pan (Grab-and-Drag) command selects the Pan tool as the current tool.

To change the center point of the image without changing the magnification, depress the left mouse button, drag the view to the desired location, then release the left mouse button to redraw the view at the new location.

If you just want to recenter on a new location without dragging, just click the left mouse button at the new desired location and the view will be recentered on that location (this provides the functionality of the old Recenter Tool).

Measure Tool

The Measure command selects the measure tool as the current tool.

To find the distance between along a path on the display or the enclosed area of a set of points, choose the [Measure Tool] icon from the toolbar or select [Tools/Measure] from the menu bar.

  1. Left click on the point to begin the measurement. Move the mouse, which will draw a line, to the point where the measurement should stop.
  2. Repeat step 1 until you have defined the entire path or area that you wish to measure.
  3. Right click the right mouse button and select "Stop Measuring" from the list using a left click. Notice that "Stop Measuring" and "Close polygon" choices are now grayed out. The measurement(s) will be displayed on the left side of the status bar below.
  4. In order to change measurements right click and choose a new unit using a left click. You may continue to change the measurement display by selecting different units. The distance will be displayed in kilometers, meters, miles or feet for a line, and in square feet, square meters, square miles, acres, or hectares for areas.

Note that if you place a point along your measurement that you do not want you can press Ctrl+Z to remove the last placed point in the measurement.

You can also save a measurement to a separate feature by right clicking and selecting "Save Measurement" from the list that pops up. You can then export these measurements to new vector files, such as Shapefiles or DXF, or modify them with the Digitizer Tool. There is also an option to copy the measurement text to the clipboard when you right-click.

If you have gridded elevation data loaded under the measurement, you can also calculate the Cut-and-Fill volume either within the measurement area or within some distance of the measurement line. To do this, simply right click then select the "Measure Volume (Cut-and-Fill)" option that appears. Selecting this option will display the Setup Volume Calculation Parameters dialog (pictured below), which allows you to set up the volume measurement.

On the Setup Volume Calculate Parameters you can select whether to measure cut-and-fill volumes within some specified distance of the selected line or within the specified area. If you are measuring along a line, you can specify the cut heights to use at each vertex individually or use the same cut (base) height for each vertex relative either to the ground at each vertex or relative to sea level. Whichever option you choose, the heights will be interpolated between line vertices to get a smoothly varying cut height. If measuring within an area, there is also an option to perform multiple cut-and-fill calculations between a range of cut (base) height values. If you choose this option the results will be displayed in a table at the end of the operation so you can see the results of each calculation.

Once you have your volume calculation setup and you press ok to calculate it, the volume of earth that would be needed to fill any space below the cut surface (fill volume) is reported along with the volume of earth that is above the cut surface (cut volume). After viewing the reported volumes, you have the option to save a new feature with the measurement values.

If measuring the cut-and-fill volumes within an area feature, you can also check the Find Area Cut Height Where Cut and Fill Volumes are Equal to find the approximate cut height where the same amount of dirt would have to be cut out as filled. This is useful for selecting a cut height at which no dirt needs to be hauled off or brought in. The optimal cut height will be reported as the break-even height with the other measurement results.

On the right-click menu in the Measure Tool are options to control how distances are measured and the paths are drawn. The following options are available:

Feature Info Tool

The Feature Info command selects the Feature Information tool as the current tool. This tool allows you to select vector features (areas, lines, and points) by clicking on or near them. Once selected, a dialog displaying information about the selected item appears.

To pick objects, select the [Feature Info] icon from the Toolbar or select [Tools/Feature Info] from the menu bar. Press and release the left mouse button near the objects(s) to be picked. Holding down the 'P' key when left clicking causes only area features at the clicked location to be considered. If left-clicking on a picture point with an associated image, by default just the image will be displayed, but holding the Ctrl key when clicking will cause the normal feature info dialog to be displayed. When an object is picked, it will be highlighted and a feature info dialog (picture below) will be displayed. Right clicking the mouse button cycles through each of the elements located near the selection point, displaying the information in the dialog box.

As you can see, you can view a lot of information about a selected object in the Feature Info dialog. The object's name, description, geometry information including length and enclosed area (when applicable), attribute value list, and map name, are all displayed. Buttons are also available allowing you to edit the selected feature's information and drawing style, marking the selected feature as deleted, as well as to copy all of the feature information (as text) and the feature itself to the Windows clipboard for pasting elsewhere, such as in a text editor or as a new feature in a running session of Global Mapper.

In addition, you can right click on any attribute value to see additional options specific to the selected attribute/value pair. You can copy the selected pair to the Windows clipboard, treat the value as a web URL and open that location in a web browser, or treat the value as a filename (either absolute or relative to the path of the source file from which the feature was read) and load that file either into Global Mapper or with the program associated with that file type in Windows. You can also choose to zoom the main map view to the extents of the selected feature.

If the selected feature has an attribute named IMAGE_LINK and the value of that attribute refers to a local image file, Global Mapper will automatically open that image in the associated application on your system, unless the Ctrl button was held down when you selected the feature. Likewise if you have an attribute named GM_LINK and the value of that attribute refers to a local file, Global Mapper will try and open that file in the current instance of Global Mapper as a new layer, unless the layer is already open or the Ctrl key was held down.

Clicking the Vertices button for line or area features displays the Feature Vertex List dialog (pictured below), which allows you to view, edit, and remove the individual vertex coordinates, including Z and timestamp values (if present) for the selected feature. The X and Y coordinates are listed in the native projection of the layer, and the Z coordinates will have the elevation units defined for the layer on the Projection tab of the Options dialog for the layer. You can also easily add per-vertex elevation values to features that do not already have them by pressing the Add Elevs button on the Feature Vertex List dialog. If timestamp values are present (like for a GPS tracklog), speed and bearing columns will also be displayed for each leg of the feature. You can also right-click on the vertex list for a feature with per-vertex elevations and choose the option to evenly spread the elevations to achieve a constant slope between the first and last elevation on the feature and also to replace any zero elevation values by interpolating between non-zero values. You can also add and edit per-vertex timestamps by right-clicking on the vertex list and selecting the appropriate option.

Path Profile/LOS Tool

The PathProfile/LOS command selects the 3D path profile/LOS (line of sight) tool as the current tool. This tool allows you to get a vertical profile along a user-specified path using loaded elevation datasets. In addition, registered users can perform line of sight calculations along the defined path.

To define the path along which to generate the 3D path profile, first select the path profile tool as your current tool. Press and release the left mouse button at the position where you wish to start the path. Move the mouse to the next position that you want to include in the path profile, then press the left mouse button again. Right click on the last location in the path profile to complete selecting points and display the Path Profile/Line of Sight dialog (pictured below). The Path Profile/Line of Sight dialog will appear displaying the 3D path profile of the selected path. Any points along the path that did not have elevation data underneath will be treated as an elevation of zero.

You can also generate 3D path profiles for existing line features by selecting the line feature in the Digitizer Tool, right clicking, then selecting the Generate Path Profile From Line option on the menu that is displayed.

The Path Profile/Line of Sight dialog displays the 3D path profile and provides several options related to the profile. A vertical scale is displayed on the left hand side of the profile window. The start and end coordinates of the path are displayed at the top of the profile window. If more than two points are in the path, the intermediate points will be marked in the profile window with a yellow dot. These intermediate points can be toggled on and off using an option available by right clicking on the path profile window. Also note that this dialog is resizable. If you have water display enabled on the Vertical Options tab of the Configuration dialog and there would be water along the path, that will be displayed as well.

Moving your cursor over the profile window displays information about the current cursor location along the profile, including the position and profile elevation at the cursor location. You can get information about a portion of the profile (a sub-path) by left clicking to start a sub-path definition, then left-clicking again at the end of your desired sub-path. Details about the sub-path, like length, elevation change, and slope, will then be displayed on the bottom of the profile window.

Right clicking on the profile window brings up an options menu allowing the user to change the start and end positions, select the units (meters or feet) to display the elevations in, configure display of the path profile, and display a dialog containing details about the path. These options are also available under the Options menu on the dialog.

The File menu contains options allowing you to save the path profile/line of sight data to a file. The individual options are described below.

The Save To Bitmap... option allows registered users to save the contents of the path profile window to a Windows bitmap (BMP) file for use in other applications.

The Save to BMP and Display on Main Map View option allows registered users to save the contents of the path profile window to a Window bitmap (BMP) file and then display that BMP at a fixed location on the main map view. This is the equivalent of using the Save to Bitmap menu command, then closing the dialog and using the File->Open Data File at Fixed Screen Location menu command in the main map view.

The Save CSV File (with XYZ and Distance Values... option allows registered users to save all of the coordinates and distances to that location along the path profile to a CSV text file. Each line in the text file will be formatted as follow:


The Save Distance/Elevation... option allows registered users to save all of the distances and elevations along the path profile to a text file. Each line in the text file will be formatted as follow:


The Save To XYZ... option allows registered users to save all of the positions and elevations along the path profile to a text file. Each line in the text file will be formatted as follow:


The Save LOS to KML... option allows registered users to save a 3D line of sight and, if selected, the Fresnel zone boundary lines, to a KML file for display in Google Earth.

Pressing the Line of Sight... button brings up the Setup Line of Sight/Earth Curvature dialog (pictured below), which allows the user to configure a line of sight calculation along the selected path. You can only perform a line of sight analysis if exactly two points are in the path profile (e.g. line of sight analysis cannot be performed on multi-segment paths).

The From Sight Elevation section allows the user to select the height at the start position (left side of graph) to use in the line of sight calculations. This height can be specified in either feet or meters above the ground or above sea level. The To Sight Elevation section provides the same functionality for the end position (right side of graph).

The Fresnel Zone Specification section allows you to have the line of sight analysis also check that a certain portion (the Percent Clear value) of the first Fresnel zone for a transmission of a particular frequency is clear. The typical standard is that good visibility requires that at least 60% (the default) of the first Fresnel zone for the specified frequency be clear of obstructions. If Fresnel zone clearance is being selected the specified percentage of the first Fresnel zone will be drawn on the line of sight analysis dialog as a dotted line underneath the straight sight line.

The Earth Curvature section allows the user to specify whether they want to take the curvature of the earth into account while performing the line of sight calculation. In addition, when earth curvature is being used, they can specify an atmospheric correction value to be used. The atmospheric correction value is useful when determining the line of sight for transmitting waves whose path is affected by the atmosphere. For example, when modeling microwave transmissions a value of 1.333 is typically used to emulate how microwaves are refracted by the atmosphere.

Selecting the Exclude Endpoints when Finding Minimum Clearance options causes the first and last 5% of the elevations along the profile to be ignored when finding the minimum clearance point.

After setting up the line of sight calculation in the dialog and pressing the OK button, the line of sight will be displayed in the path profile window (pictured below). Along with the line depicted the actual line of sight, the position and vertical separation of the minimum clearance of the line of sight will be displayed with a dashed red line in the path profile window.

Pressing the Cut-and-Fill Volumes... button brings up the Setup Volume Calculation Parameters dialog, allowing the user to perform a cut-and-fill volume analysis along the path using loaded terrain data. See the Measure Tool for more information on cut-and-fill volume setup.

Once you have performed a cut-and-fill analsyis, the cut line will be displayed on the path profile allowing easy visualization of the cut and fill areas along the path, as evidenced by the picture below.

View Shed Tool

The View Shed command selects the view shed analysis tool as the current tool. This tool allows registered users to perform a view shed analysis using loaded elevation grid data with a user-specified transmitter location, height, and radius. All areas within the selected radius that have a clear line of sight to the transmitter are colored with a user-specified color.

To perform a view shed analysis, first select the view shed tool as your current tool. Press and release the left mouse button at the position where you wish to place the transmitter. At this point, the View Shed Setup dialog (pictured below) will appear, allowing you to setup the view shed calculation.

You can also calculate views sheds at multiple point locations by selecting the point features at the desired locations in the Digitizer Tool, right clicking, then selecting the Calculate View Sheds at Selected Point(s) option on the menu that is displayed.

If you choose to perform view shed operations at selected point feature locations, the view shed calculation values will be initialized from attributes of that point feature. The values selected on the dialog will be used, except when one of the following attributes is present with a value to override what was selected on the dialog (this allows you to batch calculate view sheds at different locations with different parameters):