Along with its excellent documentation and on-line Youtube video tips, the Caliper support team has been very helpful to me in resolving any technical issues and providing other datasets to support a consulting project. Besides the robust toolkit under the hood, the bundle of free data and the flexibility of the program as a spatial data conversion engine are very helpful to me as a planning consultant working with so many users of other GIS products. With Maptitude, I can build a project using many types of data and output the project files in virtually any format desired by the user. It's like having the Google language translator for spatial analysis and mapping applications!
If a project uses some of the proprietary data layers from NavTech, a watermark is automatically printed on any map using these data layers and cannot be surpressed in the map set-up.
Although the product works great as a spatial data converter to read & write to & from many data formats, it does not yet support ESRI ArGIS .gdb format unless you has an ArcGIS license installed along with Maptitude.
The ease of use, the value of the product and supplied datasets and the quality of the technical and data support provided by the company and the user community makes Maptitude an unbeatable package for all kinds of spatial data analysis. I used to challenge college interns trained in ArcGIS to use Maptitude on various planning projects and, after taking the quick tutorial and working through the assignment, they unanimously preferred Maptitude over ArcGIS. The program cures many problems with ArcGIS datasets and ought to be used by every ArcGIS user to ensure toplogical integrity with every shp file in their library!
I have used Maptitude in regional and local urban planning applications, such as land use and land cover mapping, geocoding homes and businesses, emergency incident calls and other location-based data; emergency response time analysis for fire & rescue operations, The program has always helped the client visualize the spatial patterns inherent with these data and understand the impact of service changes, whether it means redefining service territories, school districts or political representation districts. Most recently, I have used the program to:
- locate properties on septic systems and correlate the distribution of septic drainfields to local waterways with bacterial contamination to determine where septic tank pump-outs or other maintenance may be needed, and
- perform buffer analysis on hi-resolution land cover data to identify the extent of potential riparian forest gaps to improve surface and stream water quality through reforestation efforts.
Of these latter two applications, the septic system project has helped define the need for public financial assistance to promote proper septic field maintenance & operation to improve water quality. The buffer analysis of riparian land cover has helped advance am EPA project to promote forest retention as a national water quality strategy to protect important estuarine environments like the Chesapeake Bay.