Bit Map is first to write to ESRI File Geodatabase Format

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Bit Map is first to write to ESRI File Geodatabase Format

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 07 Dec, 2022 1:39 pm

As promised, the just-released Bit Map version 9 can write ESRI file geodatabases (create and update). As far as I know, it is the first iOS app (and possibly the first smart phone app) to be able to do so. File geodatabases may not have much significance to casual mapping/navigation users, but this data format is a big deal for GIS users, especially those who use ESRI's dominant ArcGIS platform.

This latest update also makes it much easier to convert your data between formats both when duplicating data sets on-device, and when sharing/exporting data sets. No need for a round-trip to the Settings view to change the output format now.

Also notable is that you can now split a track line (and related track points) into two lines (and two sets of related points) at a vertex/point. This is super useful for managing tracked bushwalks' data! There is no longer any need to export to a desktop GIS, hack about with the data, then re-import to achieve this.

Bit Map is an advanced mapping, navigation and GIS app which can use a vast array of online map services and offline spatial data formats. (It is available for Apple devices only, and keeps most of your settings sync'd across multiple devices.)

For more information, the Bit Map home page is at and says stuff like:

Bit Map is the original custom map navigation app, being first to provide navigation with arbitrary offline maps in 2009.

Rebuilt from scratch for version 7, Bit Map now supports a variety of online vector and raster map services including WFS, WMTS, TMS and XYZ/OSM-compatible services, as well as several offline vector and raster data formats such as GeoPackage, Shapefile, File Geodatabase, GPX and KML.

Map images can be imported and used as map layers with 4 methods of georeferencing available. Existing georeferencing will be automatically used for some image types.

Bit Map can even produce beautiful web maps that are easy to use and automatically synchronise layers from your device to the web map after the layers are updated!

Bit Map is built on a true GIS foundation and can manage data in hundreds of different coordinate systems, projections and geographic datums. Layers with different projections can be displayed simultaneously in the same map.

Bit Map is still available for FREE on the first day of each month until the end of 2023. So, even if you don't want to use Bit Map now, download it for free while you can and then delete it. That way, if you do wish to use it in the future, you will not be charged for it again later on, when it is no longer available for free.

(I can't take credit for the ability to write to file geodatabases. It was all done in a recent update to the amazing open-source Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) which Bit Map uses for managing spatial data. GDAL also does a lot of the heavy lifting in the popular QGIS application.)
Son of a Beach
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Re: Bit Map is first to write to ESRI File Geodatabase Forma

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 07 Feb, 2024 10:54 am

Bit Map 10.0 was released on the App Store today ( ). The complete list of changes is below.

The main changes to this release are based around work-flows that I find useful as a bushwalker. In particular, being able to edit tracks more easily to, eg, split a recorded track into two tracks (eg, at a track junction), merge two tracks together, delete vertices from tracks (eg, for locations where I got lost, or wandered around to go to the loo, or have lunch, etc), or even to move vertices (not so useful for bushwalking, but a valuable GIS feature, nonetheless).

Some of this was possible in previous versions, but it was difficult and unreliable. I always ended up exporting my tracks to a desktop GIS, editing them there, then importing them back into BitMap. This is way easier in BitMap now, and I think it's unlikely I'll ever need to use a Desktop GIS to make these kind of modifications to my recorded walking tracks in BitMap now.

The other main change is that tracks are now recorded with 'M' coordinates (in addition to X, Y, Z coordinates). 'M' (or 'Measured') coordinates can generally be used for any 4th dimension the user chooses in GIS's, but are most often used for timestamps. And this is what BitMap now uses the 'M' coordinate for when recording tracks. This means that when you split a recorded track into two (eg, I often do this afterwards to separate a recorded track into two at a track junction), BitMap can use these 'M' coordinates to calculate the new start/stop times for each of the two new track segments, and of course to calculate the walk-time (stop minus start) of that track segment. Note that existing users will have to remove (or rename/archive) their Tracks layers in order for Bit Map to start storing M coordinates. It cannot add M coordinates to a Track layer that does not already have M coordinates. (An alert will offer people with an existing Tracks data store the opportunity to archive (rename) the entire Tracks data store at the first launch of BitMap after the upgrade.)

It's worth noting that splitting a track results in the loss of the "Distance Travelled m" data for that track. This is data that is accumulated for all of the points that the GNSS (GPS) detects while walking that track, not just the straight line distances between each recorded point that is actually stored in the track. So BitMap now displays another "Line Length" distance, which is the length of the actual track geometry as-recorded (excluding the non-straight-line variations between the recorded points). This length is calculated on demand and is always shown in the line details view. The old "Distance Travelled" value will be shown in addition to the line length only when available.

There is even a new view pane in Bit Map in which you can see a list of all points (or vertices) in a feature's geometry - including 'M' coordinate values. The M coordinate is displayed as both its actual stored value (seconds since 1/1/1970) and as a more human-readable date and time.

All Changes:

  • Select (vector) features by tapping them on the map view
  • Merge multiple selected line features into a single line feature (Pro version only)
  • Split selected line feature into two line features (at selected vertex) (Pro version only)
  • Move vertex of selected feature by dragging (Pro version only)
  • Delete vertex by double-tap on the vertex of a selected feature (Pro version only)
  • Delete selected feature(s)
  • Track Lines, Track Points and Waypoints coordinates include an ‘M’ (timestamp) coordinate (old non-M-aware Track layers should be archived/removed by the user to make way for new M-aware Track layers)
  • Track line details includes line length (in addition to travelled distance)
  • View all coordinates for a feature’s geometry (including Z/M, where they exist, M also displayed as formatted timestamp)
  • Creation of a new layer includes an option to select an existing layer to use as a fields/attributes template (when used in conjunction with copy/paste of layers/features this can be used to convert between points/lines/polygons)
  • Geometry type display names changed to more widely used names
  • Added header geometry and spatial reference system to Layer/Features table view
  • New Feature dialogue’s initial look improved
Son of a Beach
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