Although GIS and other information technology systems continue to increase their range of out-of-the-box capabilities, there are still several general reasons to consider custom software development: automation of complex or repetitive tasks; creation of a customized application and interface; development of functionality that goes beyond what is available in the standard software; or integration of GIS functionality with other software components. GISmatters has the programming experience and GIS expertise to develop and deliver such custom solutions.

Customization: Label Placement

Overlapping (before) vs. stacked (after) labels
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One of the most difficult challenges in creating usable and effective maps is the placement of annotation - the names, labels, or values associated with features on the map. While very powerful and flexible label placement options have been built into GIS software, there are still situations where they fail to produce an adequate result, most often due to overcrowding of feature labels in dense areas.

The need to produce readable labels for very closely-spaced toxic spill sites led Toxics Targeting to have us develop a custom label placement algorithm to include in their map production process stream. Our C program filters their GIS-generated PostScript maps, repositioning the labels into readable blocks on the fly as the map data are passed from the GIS to a printable file.