fGIS - Setting Layer Properties

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Layer Properties

The Properties menu in fGIS is accessed by double-clicking a layer name in the map legend/table of contents. (Note: You must exit the Edit mode before you can access the Properties dialog for a layer.)

fGIS and the freeware TatukGIS Viewer (both built with the TatukGIS DK) share similar property adjustment features. You are encouraged to read the TatukGIS Viewer Help PDF for additional information and examples about map properties. You might even want to experiment with fGIS project files in the TatukGIS Viewer, which offers a few different features. You can download a free copy of the viewer here.

  • The fGIS vector layer tabs offer extensive possibilities for adjusting the display of vector data. Following are basic purposes of each tab:

The first option you are likely to need from the Layer tab is Transparency. If you are adjusting the properties of an area object, reduce the transparency if you want to see through the object to layers below. You can also set the Area Fill Pattern (below) to transparent if you want the object's outline to show with no internal fill.

Minimum/Maximum scale sets the zoom levels at which layers display. The visibility checkbox lets you turn off a layer without deleting the layer from the table of contents.

In this example, layer objects will become visible when the scale is 1:15840 or larger and the area of the object is greater than 5 acres.

The Render tab is used for creating thematic maps (different colors, line width, labels, area fills, etc.) based on values of data associated with vector objects. See the TatukGIS Viewer Help PDF for details.

The center tab will be named "Area" for area objects, "Line" for line objects, or "Marker" for point objects. The sub-option tabs are used to set the basic color, line width, symbol or fill of a vector object.

If you wish to see through an area object, set the pattern to transparent. You can also set partial transparency through the Layer tab.

Click the lower check box for the object's theme to appear in the map legend under the layer name.

There are a couple ways to add symbols to your maps.

One is to create a point layer, locate points on the map, and then designate a symbol font or bitmap for the points through the fGIS Properties menu (left).

The other is to export an image of your fGIS map to a document, paint or illustration program where you can also add legends and annotations. (The draw function in Microsoft WordŽ is useful for annotating maps. Zoner Draw 3 and AutoRealm are a couple free drawing programs to consider.)

The Label tab offers many options for the appearance and location of text labels. Select a field (taken from an objects attributes table) to use for a label from the drop-down box.

Labels can have more than attribute listed and be more than one row high. The following text string in "Field", for example, will list the Stand Number, Primary Timber Type, and (on row 2) the Secondary Timber Type:


The text inside the brackets (e.g., <:STAND>) are attribute names from the object's data dictionary.

See the TatukGIS Viewer Help PDF for additional details.

The Chart tab can be used to create a pie or bar chart symbols based on an object's attributes. See the TatukGIS Viewer Help PDF for details (about 1.4 MB ― requires a live Internet connection).
  • The Properties menu for raster layers has two tabs: .

If you have two raster images that you'd like to blend, for example, load them both as layers in fGIS and set the top image transparency, contrast, etc. with the Properties tool. Here's an example of a grayscale aerial photo on the left, blended with a color elevation map (from 3DEM, with red/orange being the highest elevations) on the right. This combination was achieved with the raster layer/pixel settings shown below.

As with the Layer tab for vector objects, you can set the minimum/maximum scale at which an object will be displayed. You'll need to experiment with the Transparency and Addition values to get the best appearance.

The Pixel tab provides more raster adjustments as shown, allowing fine adjustment of raster images.

  • Comments can be added to the Layer Properties dialog and saved with the project or to the layer.ini file. (Layer Properties dialog > Layer tab > Info section).

  • For additional examples of layer.ini files, see the "ini" directory in the fGIS program folder. It includes "ini" properties for use in Wisconsin DNR Managed Forest Law (MFL) maps. Standard point, line and polygon display properties used for MFL maps can be loaded by making a layer active and using the function "Layer=>Load .ini".


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