Cartographica 1.4

Welcome to Cartographica 1.4, the biggest advance in Cartographica since its initial release. This note details the exciting changes in the software. More information can be found on The Cartographica Blog.

Talking about 1.4

Cartographica 1.4 contains a wide variety of new features, user interface enhancements, performance improvements, and support for many new file formats.

As always, we welcome input from all of our customers and potential customers, through email to as well as via our web support site.

We would also like to encourage the sharing of opinion, feature ideas, and usability issues on our forums at our support site. This is the home of our knowledge base and is a good jumping off point if you run into problems or would like to make a suggestion.

Key Codes

Cartographica 1.4 uses the same keys as all previous versions of Cartographica. However, we have made some modifications to the verification system and therefore it is more important than previously to have your name and company name exactly as it was on license that you were granted either during the evaluation period or when you purchase the software. If you have trouble getting the software to recognize your valid key, please visit our lost key page and request that your key information be resent to you. This is the same information the Cartographica uses to determine the validity of your key and therefore if you put the information in exactly as it is sent to you, you should not have any problems.

If you do experience problems with the new key verification system, please let us know. We are performed extensive automated testing on this, we realize is a potentially irritating element of the software and we want to make sure that operates as smoothly as possible.

If you're running both version 1.4 and the prior version of Cartographica, newly verified keys will work appropriately with both.

Compatibility with prior versions of Cartographica

We've gone to great lengths to ensure compatibility both forward and backwards between versions of Cartographica. Map sets that are written with versions 1.4 should be readable with both versions 1.4 and 1.2.10. All map sets that do not contain WFS layers or grid layers will be compatible with versions back to 1.2.9. However, WFS and grid layers may cause crashes when loaded on version 1.2.9 and earlier. This forward/backward compatibility issue has been fixed with in version 1.2.10 (available from our Download page), which is recommended for environments where both versions are used.

Changes made to styles will generally be visible in version 1.2.9 and above, with the exception of the new style types for lines and the new pattern fill styles. If you load a layer containing those into 1.2.x, the new styles will be appropriately ignored. If, however, you save the files using 1.2.x, the line and pattern styles will be eliminated during the same operation, and you will have to re-add them. So, if you are using both 1.2.x and 1.4.x to write data, you'll want to stick to the older 1.2.x styles for lines and polygons.

OS Compatibility

Cartographica 1.4 requires Lion or Mountain Lion (10.7.5 or 10.8.1) or more recent in order to function correctly. We take the process of removing support for older versions of the OS very seriously, but there are many new features that we could not reasonably support on versions prior to 10.7. At this time, customers using OS 10.6 will need to remain on the 1.2 versions of Cartographica, which will be maintained for at least six months (May 30, 2013). This includes fixing of significant bugs, but does not include the introduction of new features. We will continue to test for basic forward and backward compatibility between the 1.2 versions and the 1.4 versions, for users in environments where both are in use.

Changes since 1.2.10

Document Management

  • Files imported by double-clicking or opening non-native files are now retained for re-opening under Lion
  • Files imported by double-clicking or opening non-native files now perform an automatic Save As when Save is used

Map View

  • Added support for Invert Selection which selects deselected items and vice-versa
  • Updated Find by Features with enhance search capabilities and allow use on same layer
  • Double-clicking on the ID column for a row will zoom to the feature in the map
  • Field data is now copied to the clipboard as tab-separated text for pasting into other applications
  • When pasting features copied from another layer, attempts are made to: reuse columns (including lengthening string columns), add the new columns, or add the new columns with new names
  • When pasting features to an empty layer, the feature's previous styles (if available) are given to the layer
  • Added bookmarking capability
  • Added support for grid layers
  • Explicitly setting scale now available in Map window and Map Layout window (for individual maps)

Layer Management

  • Clone Layer (option New Layer) creates a new empty layer with the same schema and style as the selected layer
  • Duplicate Layer (option shift New Layer) creates a layer with the same schema, style, and contents as the selected layer—basically like doing a Select All and Create Layer from Selection
  • Field names now change along with the Display name if possible. Possible means: not an external file, name is valid, reasonable length, allowed by layer. If any of these aren't met, the display field alone is changed. They can be brought back into sync by setting the display name back to the field name.


  • Added cluster (hot spot) analysis
  • Added support for Confidence Interval (ala Crimestat)
  • Added Voronoi Diagram creator
  • Added Find Contours to create contour lines based on raster data sets
  • Added spatial Join functions
  • Field Maps can now be duplicated using the Duplicate command from the pop-up or main menu, allowing things like a column for the count, another for the average, another for the min, etc.
  • Identify now works with lines being identified by lines or polygons
  • Identify operation may now be done with point identified by line
  • Intersection available for Poly vs Poly output as points or lines
  • Intersection of multiple geometry types now implemented and tested for (point+poly+line)
  • Trim Map command now trims to either the extent of or area of features including cutting geometries when necessary (and preserving ratioed information when marked)
  • Xor (symmetric difference) operation now available between layers of the same type (point and point, line and line, etc.)
  • Select with feature(s) can now be done on the same layer, with the caveat that a feature will never select itself.
  • Spatial joins can now be done on the same layer as the target, with the caveat that a feature will never match with itself.


  • Newly added points in the Point Data view are placed either at the center of the visible screen (if nothing is selected) or are created as a duplicate of the previously selected point (if a point is selected).
  • Vector editing accessory window now hides when Cartographica goes to the background.
  • Point window now reflects edit changes and can be used to edit features in Edit Feature mode. Previously, in Edit Feature mode, the point window reflected and acted upon the original, not edited, feature.
  • Added background color support to scale,legend,compass
  • Added support for snapping to edges or vertices of same or other layers when editing features
  • Added support for snapping to an invisible grid when editing features
  • Automatically reverse the direction around polygons that are incorrectly oriented (Must have CW outside and islands, CCW insides).

Map Layout

  • Added support for setting background text color for text, scale, legend, and compass areas in Map Layout using the document background control on the text style window.
  • Added control of borders in Map Layout view
  • Added support for 1-pixel "nudge" in Map Layout
  • Added support for user-specified Extent margin for Map Layout
  • Copy, Paste, and Duplicate now available in Map Layout
  • Double-click in Legend View now brings up detail popover
  • Full screen mode supported in Map Layout windows
  • Scale and Compass settings in Layout windows are now popovers instead of modal windows
  • Pasting a string into Map Layout now creates a text object
  • Undo is now supported for all attributes of all features in Layout documents
  • If a legend is synchronized, all layers show up with a '-' indicating they flow from the connected map. Once an item is unchecked or checked, it remains set until the Synchronize with Map command is used. Layers are still not visible if they aren't visible on the map. This mostly affects new layers added to the Map object after the Legend object is created
  • Added control over alignment to text views using the Text menu in the Edit menu


  • Added support for string, regular expression, and date libraries from Python in the formula interpreter. These are all merged into the globals, and thus don't require a module identifier to access them.
  • Custom symbols may now be added and deleted, with Undo
  • Date types are now supported for calculations
  • Default Styles may now be named
  • Every style in a style set may now hide its items. This replaces the previous "Hide non-matching styles" function. If you need to simulate that function, just set the default style to hide its items.
  • Symbol window allows users to add their own favorite symbols through drag-and-drop
  • Line Style well now available in Line and Polygon style windows
  • Line styles can be dropped on existing layers to change the line style
  • Line styles now have variable # of colors (0, stroke, fill, or stroke&fill) and are displayed in the style window this way. It provides a more consistent interface with the old way of doing it.
  • LineStyles are stored internally and in a Application Support sub directory
  • Pattern support in polygons added using the a pattern well
  • Added support for changing label alignment (affects the entire label)


  • Increase WFS compatibility with 1.0 and 1.3 version WFS servers
  • WMS Connections now try to default to 1.3 WMS
  • Parameters for WFS layers can now be changed with the Layer > Web Feature Layer Attributes... option

File Formats

  • Added support for HDF4/HDF5
  • Added support for ESRI File Geodatabases
  • Added support for GMT and NetCDF file formats
  • Added support for ACE2 DEM, ECRG TOC, SNODAS, GRASS ASCII Grid raster formats
  • Added support for MG4 Lidar raster format
  • Added support for highly-intelligent coordinate input. See documentation for details on all of the formats supported.
  • When importing table data, imports with coordinates can now keep items that don't result in valid coordinates
  • Table data without coordinate columns may be imported directly by checking "Import Non-Matching Data" is used in the coordinate geocoder tab and selecting no coordinates columns
  • Reasonable field lengths are now checked before changes are made. This includes making sure the file record length maximum isn't exceeded.
  • TAB sidecar files next to JPEG files are now used to determine CRS if they have that information.
  • Updated extensions for use with ARC Digitized Raster Graphics, DIPEx, DOQ, DOQ2, ELAS, ENVI, FujiBAS, Generic Binary, GSC Geogrid, Vexel MFF2, NLAPS, PC Raster, NetPBM, SAR CEOS
  • Features are automatically projected to the selected master layer when merging layers.
  • Fields not used in GPX files (such as non-existent link and src files) are omitted from the output
  • Quick Print now pays attention to the current filters (which can be disabled during printing)
  • Support for name,comment,description,src, and link fields in GPX files for tracks (previously name,comment,description were only available on routes and waypoints). Src and Link fields are now available for waypoints in GPX files.
  • If there are no fields in a layer, Cartographica will add a NUMBER column (len 6) named 'id' to prevent this from happening.
  • A user-specifiable limit to the number of retrieved features is provided in WFS
  • Basic filtering capability is through manual filter sets in WFS. Please consult the Using WFS Filters in Cartographica 1.4 support article about their use if you are interested.
  • Cancel is now available while loading Map Documents. If you cancel a Map Document while it is loading, the document must be saved using Save As… in order to save the contents.
  • Enhanced handling of empty date fields
  • Importing files through the menu command and drops now occur in the background
  • Multipoint objects can now be tested for distance (nearest point within the multipoint is the location)
  • Pasting vector data is now more intelligent and reliable, including the ability to re-project data on the fly when pasting into existing layers with different CRS
  • WFS retrieval now handles data and numeric fields correctly, mapping them to the right column names and types.
  • When JPEG files are dropped on Cartographica, the files are checked for sidecars (JWG, TAB) and the EXIF contents are verified when determining whether to open as a Raster Layer or as an EXIF-geocoded import.

Performance Improvements

  • Statistics calculations are performed in the background when preparing for Find Clusters...
  • Increase performance in loading GDAL/OGR imported layers
  • Performance enhanced for Date reading from Shapefiles
  • Performance enhanced for invalidating a lot of objects at the same time (deselect/select, as an example)
  • Performance enhanced for select by feature
  • Slight optimizations in KDM

User Interface Changes

  • Added drop-down menu to insert functions and placeholders in computed fields
  • Copying layers (or parts thereof) now maintains column information for presentation.
  • Enter(Return) is now required to start editing a layer name in the layer stack. Tab continues to the next focus area.
  • Fixed focus to be more clear around various views
  • Legend and Layer Stack previews will no longer grow ridiculously large if their line styles call for it.
  • Palette editor can now be collapsed to take no space if desired.
  • Split between editor and palette list remembered in Palette browser.
  • When changing page size or orientation in Map Layout, the window now resizes with the page.
  • A warning is displayed when reading Table data describing errors found reading data with expected types, including Coordinates.
  • Added more informative error messages when exporting maps
  • Added Lookup button in key window for finding existing key
  • Added warning message to text import detailing which fields couldn't be interpreted correctly
  • Added warning when before changing CRS for adding Live Maps
  • An error is now displayed if an attempt is made to create a column that would exceed the layer's storage capacity.
  • Change to new crash reporting window
  • Changed background of Map Layout window to the standard empty window background
  • Changing the column to be searched re-issues the search with the new column.
  • Checkboxes and Menus in the field mapping windows can be used in tandem (all selected rows are changed when you change one row).
  • Color Palette window state and location now saved
  • Display distance calculations as they complete in Cluster sheet
  • Documents that fail to open due to missing files where the Skip option is used will become untitled and must be saved using Save As. In previous versions, Skipping a layer would cause a "change" and was still eligible for Save treatment.
  • Documents that fail to open due to missing files where the Skip option is used will become untitled and must be saved using Save As. In previous versions, Skipping a layer would cause a "change" and was still eligible for Save treatment.
  • Double-clicking in the dividers between Map and Layer Stack or between Map and Data will collapse/expand the Layer Stack and Data areas respectively
  • Drag handles and new items are now fully visible in Map Layout
  • Edge snapper cursors change when you are within the snap distance
  • Expanded legend items are now remembered across window changes and application quit
  • Field length and precision are not editable on field types that wouldn't allow editing
  • Fixed pass-through of inspectors when using Raster Style Set window
  • When
  • Prompts for passwords now explicitly state when a password was rejected previously, as opposed to being prompted for something new.
  • Hide non-matching items moved to the Hide these Features style of the Default Style
  • Hitting the space bar with items selected in the map view causes a flash and highlight
  • If WFS layers error, you are now prompted to remove or edit the layer information
  • In KDM, when you choose Visible Map as the extent, the bounds of he KDM and the contents of the test features will be modified for what is visible on the screen at that movement.
  • In the Layer Info window, the field's name column is now called Field Name to show that it's the actual name (retrieved from and stored into files)
  • In the Layer Info window, the Name field is now called Display Name to show that it's just the display name
  • Layer previews now set and clear themselves in the layer stack at the addition of the first feature and removal of the last feature (respectively)
  • Legend layout objects now can automatically synchronize with the Map object they are pointed at
  • Legends in Map Layout windows now update immediately upon style changes
  • Map Info window is now updated as the documents change under it.
  • Map Info window now is handled correctly in full screen mode
  • Map Layout Text that is shown on a Zoomed page now looks right, even when editing
  • Map Layout views are now constrained to 1 px boundaries to make them a bit more predictable (positioning accuracy is now within 1/72" )
  • Map Layout windows now center the document in the open space if the window is larger than the page content
  • Measurement window coordinates now updated when scrolled even if the mouse stays still
  • Errors are presented when edited features would result in an invalid geometry
  • Move scale text so that it's always spaced above the line and centered
  • Multiple selection is now available in color palettes, but when dropping internally only the first one is used.
  • Network and other errors now appropriately turn on the error indicator in the layer stack (and turn it off when the condition is cleared) without having to click on the layer
  • New Columns are now automatically named FIELD<NN> where NN is the # of fields in the file.
  • No longer present un-actionable error message when inputting numeric data with too much precision
  • Predicate Editor now shows pretty column names instead of info.fieldname
  • Progress is shown while opening non-Cartographica document files through drag-and-drop or double-clicking
  • Prompt users directly with the geocoder options if the options aren't valid
  • There is a larger visual buffer around the scale area in the map view
  • Raster and Vector layers now import in the background.
  • Reduce minimum size of data area
  • Resize now uses a lazily created image when zoomed all the way out
  • Search columns are now saved to user preferences on a per-layer, per-document basis.
  • Selection is now preserved when removing filters
  • Selections are now saved across predicate changes
  • Splitter locations are restored when reopening documents
  • Style inspector windows now update when a style is copied between layers with drag & drop
  • Style windows are now transparent to Inspector windows, showing the contents of the current document
  • Symbol browser window state and location now saved
  • Text now pays attention to borders during resize
  • WFS Exceptions are now shown either directly or through the warning triangle
  • When changing the point layer to be counted in Count Points in Polygon, the default column name now automatically changes.
  • When dragging palettes to raster layers, the preview image is now updated.
  • When Map windows are resized, they now resize only the map portion, leaving the data and layer stacks the same size.
  • When style windows have focus, their layers are now shown in the Layer Info window.
  • When exporting Layers, the .shp extension is shown in the export window
  • Picture Path chooser now has Choose button and appropriate labeling
  • Saving as picture now appropriately warns for duplicate files and sets the extension correctly.


  • On 2011 and newer MacBook Pros, Cartographica turns off GPU switching by default to save power
  • Python interpreter is now 2.7.x instead of 2.6.x (another 10.7+ requirement)
  • Palettes may now be dragged in and out of the Color Palettes window for import and export
  • Address book geocode is now done through drag and drop of cards instead of a special menu item
  • Support for Full-screen mode on Lion and Mountain Lion

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed bug that would result in the wrong preview being shown for the default style when you first open the style window.
  • Fixed bug where layer names containing '.'s would be truncated at the last '.' when exported as shape files.
  • Fixed bug which could cause Key prompts to come up over top of each other
  • Fixed bug which could leak document resources after a Save window is presented
  • Fixed bug which would cause disembodied windows to show up during document loading after a crash (while being prompted to send crash reports)
  • Fixed bug in handling some WFS servers which would result in coordinates being reversed
  • Fixed bug which resulted in features that would be minimized out of existence by 1/10th of the buffer distance to be buffered incorrectly when a different map and layer CRS are in use
  • Fixed bug which resulted in scripted buffers always taking meter distances instead of the original or map CRS units
  • Fixed bug in distance to point calculations with multipart geometries
  • Fixed bug in WKT handler that would create a multipolygon for a polygon whose incoming shape had the outer ring first
  • Fixed bug that would prevent changing boolean values in the Data View
  • Fixed bug which caused points at zero latitude or longitude and lines along zero latitude and zero longitude to have incorrect bounding boxes and not draw correctly
  • Fixed bug where changes in georeferencing information that should change the visible map area in the view do not take effect until that layer is hidden and shown again
  • Fixed bug where clipboard was changed when a duplicate command was done
  • Fixed bug where you could drag out an object that is too small to use in a Map Layout window
  • Fixed bug which caused Project Map preview to be initially incorrect (not reflecting the current projection until changed)
  • Fixed bug which could cause certain fonts not to work as labels
  • Fixed bug which could result in no answer for a point vs anything distance tests
  • Fixed bug which would add double entries back when undoing add style
  • Fixed bug which would cause Cartographica to become unresponsive (although it would eventually finish) while reading non-Cartographica document files
  • Fixed bug which would cause large default point symbols to be cut off when drawing
  • Fixed bug which would result in a geometry that includes very,very small parts to be declared invalid because of multiplying large numbers with small differences.
  • Fixed bug which would result in Jenks distributions incorrectly determining the top distribution limit
  • Fixed bug which would result in omission of DBF file if there were no fields in a layer
  • Fixed crash which would occur when closing map with Raster Style window open
  • Fixed infrequent crash when opening new windows
  • OpenStreetMap copyright now shows up correctly
  • Points imported as undefined locations can now be edited with Edit Feature
  • Saving a tile database export (for CartoMobile) now succeeds in replacing an existing file
  • Text which is being actively edited in a Map Layout window is now saved when the Save command is used.


  • Added support for creating features using WKT strings in AppleScript
  • Added support for CRS viewing in AppleScript
  • Added support for Erase command in scripting
  • Added support for layer and feature selection in AppleScript
  • Added support for re-projecting layers in AppleScript
  • Added scripting support for the Union overlay command
  • Added support for changing and viewing labels via AppleScript
  • Added support for Identify overlay function to AppleScript
  • AppleScript now has access to CRS information for setting and reading
  • AppleScript now shows map documents as such and map layout documents as such
  • AppleScript now shows map windows as such and map layout windows as such
  • AppleScript version of the overlay Update command is now available
  • Be aware that although changing the display name in the Layers window will automatically change the column's data name (under most circumstances), that changing both via script will require separate parameter changes.
  • Buffer scripting now takes a list of features or a layer instead of requiring both to be present in order to buffer just a selection of features
  • Clip layer command is now available
  • CRS may now be created in AppleScript using 'make new coordinate reference system with properties {epsgCode: code}'
  • Find Differences Overlay command is now available
  • Intersection command is now available
  • Limited scripting control of Map Layout windows is now available
  • Switch to using UUID for finding layers by default in a document. This helps for changing the name or documents that have more than one layer with the same name, which previously were unaddressable.
  • Update scripting dictionary for most recent standard cocoa capabilities

Known issues

Version 1.4 has the following known issues:

1.4 has the following known issues:

  • Under 10.7, there is no visible focus box around the Map View
  • Grid labels not showing up
  • Grid label sample text can be edited– should just be able to change the text
  • WFS access is read only. No changes are saved to the server
  • WFS client retrieves too much data in some queries
  • WFS client requests data in WGS84 (CRS84)


Important Bing Maps notice

ClueTrust continues to include Bing Maps for both Geocoding and Live Maps for users covered by Maintenance. As of 7/1/2017, Bing Maps has deprecated the older API that we were using in prior versions of Cartographica. Thus, after 7/1/2017, Bing Maps will only be available on Cartographica 1.4.7+.

Future Compatibility

Coming with the release of version 1.5 of Cartographica, we are expecting to increase the requirements. The likely jump will be to 10.12, due to the visual language change, important OS features in that will allow us to support auto-save in a reasonable way, and the ability to provide scripting in Javascript in addition to AppleScript (see Apple's information on this expansion in the Javascript for Automation note. At this time, we are putting the 1.4 versions into critical maintenance only, which means that they will be receiving bug fixes for crucial bugs through 12/31/17. We will continue to provide access to the older software via our web site (as we have with versions 1.1 and 1.2), and will continue to provide support via our ticketing system to users with active support


Internal Help

Cartographica has the full manual presented as built-in help from the Help menu.


The most recent documentation is now available online Cartographica Documentation

Versions are also available in PDF format:

And in ePub format (for readers like Apple Books):

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