MapInfo Pro V12 – What’s New

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Another year, another summer, and that means it’s time for another launch of the latest version of MapInfo Professional. There has been a lot of work put into the cartographic output in this iteration of the very popular mapping application. The headline change that people will notice is the improved labelling and more intelligent scale bar.


The idea behind this new and improved labelling option is that if MapInfo Professional can automatically place more labels for you nicely on the map then that is less time required to manually change labels. It ties in nicely with the current Six Traits of a GIS Professional that PBS has been working on recently. Less time spent working on labels give you more time to add value to your business.

Some of the new capabilities in v12.0 are on display in the screen shot below.

Comparison of labeling street maps. The map data in these screen shots is MapInfo StreetPro UK. © TomTom BV.

1) A new Auto Position option offers better placement for labels along a polyline.

2) Layers can be prioritised for labeling. In this map the motorway and major road layers are a higher priority than the neighbourhood roads. Note that more of the green and tan roads are labelled and the labels for these roads are on the road centreline.

This dialog box is found in Layer Control. It is used to set the priority of layers for labelling.

3) An option to use a second column or expression for abbreviations is now offered. In this map the neighbourhood road layer has been set up such that an alternative label that eliminates the suffix of the street name (i.e. “road”, “place”, “crescent”, “street”, etc) is used. If the full label does not fit then an abbreviated version is tried.

4) A new Auto Position Label within Region option provides smarter positioning of region labels.


In addition to labelling features, the second are of cartographic output where MapInfo Professional v12.0 has made substantial improvements is to the scale bar functionality. A smart automatic sizing option makes scale bars quicker and easier to create. The appearance of the scale bars is also improved with better use of space, the option for transparent backgrounds and smarter use of decimal numbers.

The option to use automatic sizing means that MapInfo Professional will adapt the size of the scale bar to “nice” round numbers. In the example above, instead of drawing a scale bar to the fixed size of 4 centimetres (representing 1.539 kilometres), the scale bar will be drawn to represent 1 km on the map.


As many of our users are already big fans of FME, we are happy to learn that Pitney Bowes have added Safe Software’s Quick Translator into MapInfo v12. This means that you can now work with more formats, including KML and ESRI Geodatabase and ArcSDE formats. As the full FME Quick Translator interface is now included, you can see detailed feedback of your translation when you import data into MapInfo.


Another point to note for our customers who have server-based licences is that v12 will require you to upgrade your licenced server utility software, to help you better monitor the use of you seats of MapInfo. Upgrading is a painless and entirely FREE operation, and you can find out all you need to know about the LSU here.

The latest version of MapInfo really is worthwhile looking at. For anyone working on maps regularly you will notice how much quicker you will now be able to publish polished maps, giving you the chance to get more work done on other things!

@ 2013 

About Gamma 

Gamma is a Location Intelligence (LI) solutions provider; we integrate software, data and services to help our clients reduce risk through better decision-making. Gamma was established in 1993 and was the first company to develop LI for the private sector in Ireland. The company has expanded to become a global provider of cloud-hosted LI systems, micro-marketing solutions and related services.