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Wasmer Consulting - NMPlot - User's Guide - Exporting Plots to a Geographic Information System

NMPlot User's Guide, Chapter 17: Exporting Plots to a Geographic Information System

NMPlot allow you to export plots to a Geographic Information System (GIS) in the following formats.


Use the AutoCAD DXF format as a last resort, only if no alternative is available. DXF is a poorly-documented format, which results in different applications interpreting the same DXF file in different ways. You can expect fewer problems using another format, such as ARC/INFO Shapefile.

Export to GIS Dialog Box

To export a plot to a Geographic Information System (GIS), follow these steps.

  1. Choose Export to GIS from the File menu. The Export To GIS dialog box appears.

  2. Format - Select the GIS format that you want to use to export the plot. Press the Properties button to display the GIS Export Options dialog box, which allows you to set the export options associated with the selected format.

  3. Output Filename(s) - Specify the name(s) of the file(s) that the exported plot will be written to. Depending on the export format, more than one file may be created. You specify a base file name. The names of all output files are constructed from this base name by changing the extension and/or adding a suffix.

    At the bottom of the box labeled Output Filename(s), the files that will be created are listed, based upon your current selections for the export format and the base file name.

    Select the method used to specify the base file name. You have two choices.

    • Create based on current document file name - The name of the plot (.nmp) file you are exporting will be used as the base file name.

    • Create based upon this file name - Type the base file name in the box provided. Press the Browse button , located to the right of the text box, to display the Open File dialog box, which allows you to browse for the file.

GIS Export Options Dialog Box

Use the GIS Export Options dialog box to control how a plot is exported to a GIS.

The GIS Export Options dialog box is a Multiple Page dialog box. See Multiple Page Dialog Boxes for more information. The pages on this dialog box vary, depending on which GIS format you selected.

Coordinate System Page

Use the Coordinate System page of the GIS Export Options dialog box to select the coordinate system that coordinates are exported in.

Choose Export in the default coordinate system to use the primary grid's coordinate system.

Choose Export in the following coordinate system to specify a coordinate system. See Coordinate System Control.

Level of Detail Page

Use the Level Of Detail page of the GIS Export Options dialog box to control how much background map detail is exported.

Many background maps specify a minimum scale at which various features should be displayed. As you zoom in on such a map, additional detail is displayed. The intent is to prevent excessive detail from cluttering a plot when it is displayed at a small scale. See Background Map Formats.

Use the Level of Detail page to control how NMPlot uses this recommended scale information when you export a plot to a GIS. You have two choices for how NMPlot determines how much detail to export.

Contours Page

Use the Contours page of the GIS Export Options dialog box to control how contours are exported.

Most GIS formats allow attributes to be associated with objects. When exporting contours in one of these formats, the contours' levels are associated with the contours as attributes.

The DXF format does not support attributes. However, it does support named layers. If you check this box, NMPlot will export each contour in a separate layer. The name of each of these layers is created by taking the contour layer name and appending the contour's level to it.


This page appears on the GIS Export Options dialog box only if you are exporting to a GIS in AutoCAD DXF format.

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