Mapinfo for Telecom - Part 3 (make table editable, create lines from points, create multi thematic map)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:29:00 AM Categories: Mapinfo
Rate this Content 4 Votes

Hello everybody, let's continue with our tips Mapinfo, with examples and applications for IT and Telecom.



To do this we see some more practical needs and situations found in daily work.

Note: All telecomHall articles are originally written in Portuguese. Following we translate to English and Spanish. As our time is short, maybe you find some typos (sometimes we just use the automatic translator, with only a final and 'quick' review). We apologize and we have an understanding of our effort. If you want to contribute translating / correcting of these languages, or even creating and publishing your tutorials, please contact us: contact.


Download Files

The Hunter SDK programs and codes are provided only for donators. In the tips section, however, all data can be downloaded for free, making it easier to follow explanations.

So, first download the sample files for this tutorial.




Making an Editable Table

When you import an Excel spreadsheet or a text file into Mapinfo, by default this file is 'Read-Only'. It ends up being a problem when you need to edit these data.


There are two ways to solve this problem.

The first is to save a copy of the 'read-only' table. Then you can work seamlessly with this new table.


The problem here is that you need to save a 'new' table.

Another way to solve this is at the time of importing the file, you know that it must be editable, so, mark the field that tells Mapinfo to open this file in 'read/write' mode.


That way you can edit it.


Creating Lines from Points (for example a 'Drive-Test' route)

Imagine the following scenario: You have a 'Drive-Test' of a newly built road, and consequently there is no data for it, not even in Google Earth it is updated. That is, you do not have the vectors of this road - or any other place like in this situation.

And then, how to get the street vector? That is, how to convert the points into a single line or vector?


A simple solution to this problem is to use the Mapbasic application 'Connect the Dots'. This application is available for free to download, including source code, at the site


It creates a polygon or polyline for the selected points with the mouse, in the order in which they appear in the table containing it. Download the program and run it.


Note: Because every Mapbasic application, you can set so that it is always available, or that it is available when you need it. We have seen how to do this using the Mapbasic Tools Manager, in the Tools menu, so there's no need to repeat here (read old previous tutorials if you need).

The program offers a range of options, such as creating 'Polygon' or 'Polyline', and delete the points to run.


After selecting the desired points, and clicking OK, our lines are created as expected.


You can now work with this new vector, including changing its attributes, as we did above, changing the color to red.


Creating Multi Thematic Maps (more than one variation)

The creation of thematic maps is one of the great tasks that we can easily do with Mapinfo. But what if we want to make a thematic map with more than one variation?

For example, take the table as shown below as an example for 'dropped calls (DROP)' and 'dropped calls% (DROP_P)'.


How can we represent the two indicators - at the same time - in the same map?

Let's learn how to create this interesting visualization of our data.

First, open the table normally, creating points for the coordinates available in the file.


Also, change the style of the symbols of our layer style to a more user friendly. In the 'Layer Control' - which can be accessed by clicking right on the map - select the layer 'sample_sites_dropKPI' (1), click on 'Display' (2). Then check 'Override Style' (3) and click on the symbol (4).


Set 'Font' and 'Mapinfo Symbols' (1), and 'Symbol' and 'Color' as shown in figure (2).


Okay, here is our starting point.


We then create the first thematic map using a variation of 'ranges' to 'dropped calls % (DROP_P)'.



To do this, open the menu: 'Map' (1) -> 'Create Thematic Map ...' (2).


In the next window, choose 'Type' as 'Ranges' (1) and 'Template Name' as 'Region Ranges, Default' (2). Click 'Next' (3).


In step 2, choose the table 'sample_sites_dropKPI' (1), and the 'DROP' field (2). Click 'Next' (3).


In the last step, click the 'Ranges' (1), to choose colors for the most representative styles.


For each style, give a meaningful color (eg red for the highest values, and blue (1) for minors).


That done, we have a good view.


But we can improve it, for example, showing the labels of each point. As the thematic map was created to 'DROP_P', we show that value.

Then again select the Layer (1), and click the 'Label' (2). Note: we have several options here, all about the format of our labels. We do various formatting changes as shown in the picture below.


Note that the view is better because we identify the specific value of 'DROP_P' for each point.


For example, we can easily identify which sites have the worst drop rate (in red).

But we continue because we can improve further.

We will now create a second thematic map, using the values of the absolute amount of 'dropped calls (DROP)'.

Create a new thematic map, choose 'Type' as 'Ranges' (1), but in 'Template Name' select 'Point Ranges, Sizes varying' (2). Click the Next button (3).


In the second stage of creation, choose now the 'DROP' (1).


And the final step, select the attribute 'Size' on 'Apply' (1). In 'Auto Spread by Style', choose 'Constant' (2).


Then we have the result, combining our two maps.


But we have two Indicators themed, and it is desirable that the label shows both. And how? How to show a label in Mapinfo using more than one column? Moreover, how can we show the name of the site?

For this, we learn a little more about Labels: the use of Expressions!

Using expressions, we can combine one or more columns to obtain a label, which is quite interesting in our case.

Reenter the label options window and choose 'Expression ...' (1).


Build words to display the site name 'name' and then Indicators 'DROP' and 'DROP_P', as shown below. Note that we use the function 'Chr $ (13) to insert a line break.


The final result, far more significant.


Several analysis and conclusions can be teken on the map. One: Although the sites 'AAB' and 'AAG' are 'red', or have the highest 'rate' of dropped calls, the biggest offender site of our network is acutally 'ADF' - we see this through the symbol size! Although it is green (low call drop rate), the size indicates a very high absolute number of drops!

Good, for today it's all. We hope you enjoyed, and thank you if you cn disclosure to your colleagues.



This was more of a tutorial series for Mapinfo Telecom.

Today we continue learning new tips to use Mapinfo: how to make an editable table, create lines from points (eg to transform a 'Drive-Test' route on street vector), and also how to create multi thematic maps, involving attributes of color and size of the symbols for different Indicators (alike DROP_P and DROP).

We hope you enjoyed, and until our next meeting!