Basic Labelling Question

Tips and tricks for using Geocart 3
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willgreen
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:55 am

Basic Labelling Question

Post by willgreen » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:17 am

I've just purchased Geocart 3 in order to create maps of my travels. So far I'm pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to use. However, I've not been able how to get labels for populated places working.

I've downloaded Natural Earth's 1:10m raster and populated places:
http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloa ... ster-data/
http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloa ... ed-places/

I can successfully draw maps with them, but the populated places only show as dots. I've not managed to work out how to display text labels for them (as shown in the naturalearthdata.com example).

Thanks,
Will

daan
Site Admin
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:17 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Basic Labelling Question

Post by daan » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:53 pm

Hello Will. Glad you’re enjoying working with Geocart. You won’t, unfortunately, enjoy working with that particular aspect of it. Geocart does not read the metadata (in the .dbf side-car file) that comes with Shapefiles. This means it will not automatically label them.

Geocart’s labeling facility is entirely separate from Shapefiles. It’s described in the manual as Appendix F, Typesetting databases. Geocart ships with a few label databases within the Labels folder:
  • Nations labels.txt
    Oceans labels.txt
    US cities labels.txt
    US states labels abbrev.txt
    US states labels.txt
    World capitals labels.txt
    World cities detail labels.txt
    World cities simple labels.txt
You can construct your own as well.

We recognize Shapefile labels need to be honored. We’re mulling a strategy for that that works within the existing label facilities. We won’t have anything to announce for awhile. Apologies for the weakness.

Happy mapping!
— daan

willgreen
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:55 am

Re: Basic Labelling Question

Post by willgreen » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:38 pm

Thanks for the reply. It would be great to see this added to a later release.

In the meantime I'm wondering if one approach would be to convert the data from .dbf to the format used by Geocart.

Thanks,
Will

daan
Site Admin
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:17 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Basic Labelling Question

Post by daan » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:55 pm

The main problem is that there is no standardized structure in the .dbf file as it pertains to geographic information. At a lower level, it is just a dBASE database, but what gets stored in it and the meaning of what gets stored in it, is largely undefined by the Shapefile specification. There may be de facto standards; those are what we would look into supporting.

Best,
— daan

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