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I believe dynamic scale bar and coordinates (grid) for map frame in map layout are BASIC things which Mapinfo (GIS software for thousands dollars) should allow me to do. To make it clear I am talking about separate scale bar in layout which is not part of map frame. Of course with possibility to have it automatically connected with map frame so when the change of map is made it also redraw the scale bar and coordinates around map frame (and/or grid).

But I don't see these options anywhere and after some searching it seems it is possible to do it simply and dynamic only with extension tool like Encom Discover for another thousands. Am I missing something?

1. Dynamic Graphic scale bar

In MapInfo Professional version 10.0 you can create a dynamic scale bar as part of your map.

Close, but... I don't want it as part of map window, I want it separate. Only thing which come to my mind is make the map frame bigger containing the place where I want scale bar and mask the rest around with white rectangles.

Any better idea for separate dynamic Graphic scale bar?

2. Coordinates and grid for map frame

- no default solution

- free mapbasic tool - from J.Wilcock called Layout Coordinate Grid - very close - allows to draw grid lines and place coordinates around frame. But it is not dynamic, also settings are basic, not many options, maybe having source code, it would be possible to extend it. At least for few more options and possibility to delete all lines and texts at once (again no group function for objects in layout) for redrawing.

Do you know any better way or free tool for coordinates and grid for map frame?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I am closing this one because Mapinfo really doesn't have anything better. The best way to solve this problem is to use Quantum GIS or Arcmap - both have very good tools for Dynamic scale bar and grid for map frame in layout. I hope we will get rid of Mapinfo in our company in future.

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Yes, the grass always seem greener on the other side, i.e. you are just facing new issues on other platforms. –  Uffe Kousgaard Jan 9 '13 at 11:29
    
Mapinfo Professional is maybe better for some data processing (not that I know of any). With version 11 it at least replaced terrible legend window with better legend designer, though forcing to rasterisation which ruins symbols. Anyway software which doesn't allow me to do dynamic scale bar and dynamic graticule in map layout (and many other totally basic things) is not professional mapping tool for 21st century. –  Miro Jan 10 '13 at 1:16
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If that single feature is so important to you, then you may have to look elsewhere. Personally I never use scale bars or graticules, so I wouldn't know if it is a weak point of MapInfo. Just remember there are easily 1000 of features in a GIS you can use for evaluation and focusing on a single one is very limited. –  Uffe Kousgaard Jan 10 '13 at 7:36
    
I produce many varying maps which has to have scale and grid - dynamic scale bar and graticule can save me a lot of time. I am talking about basic tools for map production. As I mentioned even the tool for such important thing as legend was crap and still is far from good. Mapinfo was once upon a time good alternative software but development got stacked in the last century and some small improvement from time to time is not enough. Not mentioning the "idea community" which supposed to work as "you can vote for it" but PBS doesn't react even for the most wanted topics etc. Painful experience. –  Miro Jan 10 '13 at 8:57
    
And not only time but mainly mistakes. Because when you have to manually always change it with every pan/zoom... + labeling is crap, thematic maps are crap, no grouping / aligning in layout, forget about grids without additional tools and many more... So maybe it is good for some data processing (as far as my experience go nothing extra to competitors) but it is definitely crap tool for producing professional looking maps. –  Miro Jan 10 '13 at 9:35
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