Interface Overview

When you initially open a Cartographica map the Map Window appears. Main Cartographica Window shows that window with a map already loaded in it. This window is the centerpiece of Cartographica and where most of the work is done. In the figure we have shaded various sections of the window for purposes of explaining the layout and function of each of the sections.

Main Cartographica Window


The Toolbar at the top of the window provides access to often-used functions in Cartographica.
As with all toolbars on the Macintosh, it is optional and may be hidden, resized, or changed by using the Toolbar Button in the upper right corner of the window or View > Customize Toolbar…

Layer Stack

The layer stack shows the list of all layers in the map document and provides an easy way to re-order layers, change styles, and show or hide individual layers.
The selection in the Layer Stack provides guidance to the Map View and Data View as to which data is selectable.

What do the little triangles mean in the layer stack?

You may see a warning triangle in the right side of the Layer Stack. If this happens, click on the triangle to find out more about the problem is with the layer, and potential fixes. The most common cause of the warning triangle is a layer that has no valid CRS.

Map View

The powerhouse of Cartographica, the Map View shows your geospatial data in context with all of the visible layers.

Data ViewThe Data View is used to show and edit data for the vector layer selected in the Layer Stack.
ZoomThe Zoom area is used to control and display zoom information about the Map View. The Zoom Dial can be used like a slider to zoom out (slide up) or zoom in (slide down). Below the Zoom Dial is the Zoom Factor Box which shows the percentage zoom in effect right now. Typing a new value in this box will change the zoom level directly.
Advanced Filters

The Advanced Filters area is not always visible, but once you have started performing a filter operation (using the  Filter box in the Toolbar), it will pop into view. Advanced filters provides for boolean operations so that you can search and filter on more than one variable at a time.

Utility Windows

Cartographica uses Utility Windows (sometimes called palettes) that float above other windows in order to provide access to more information about the current context. The content of these windows is synchronized to the current Map Window, so if you have more than one Map open, they will change when you switch back and forth between the Map Windows. Each of the Utility Windows is accessible via the  Windowmenu.


The Measurements Window provides information about the position directly underneath the cursor or the current selection when dragging. See for details on how to bring up and use the Measurement window.

Measurements Window
Layer Info

The Layer Info Window provides information about the layer currently selected in the Layer Stack. Changes made in this window affect the data in the selected layer.

Layer Info Window

The Legend Window provides a quick reference to all of the layer styles in the current Map. 

Legend Window
Image Viewer

The Image Viewer Window provides an enhanced view of any pictures referenced by a feature using the Picture item in the Style window.

Image Viewer Window
Selection Info

The Selection Info Window provides a concise view of all selected objects. On the left is a list of all features currently selected and the layer that they belong to. On the right is the information about the selected feature.

Selection Info Window
Point Data

The Point Data Window provides a detailed of all points in geometry of the selected feature. On the left is a list of all parts (all geometries have at least one part if they have any points). On the right is a list of all points in that part. Point information may be edited manually in this window. It is important to remember that all coordinates in this window are in the layer's coordinate system, not in the map's coordinate system.

Point Data Window

Selection Summary

The Selection Summary Window provides a statistical summary of a single column of the selected objects.  The Column drop-down determines which column's data is summarized for the selection.  

Selection Summary Window

The Uber Browser

The following items are shown inside of the Uber Browser window. The Uber Browser provides a single location to choose from built-in and user-saved symbols, palettes, bookmarks, and other items that are used across all maps. Since Cartographica supports drag-and-drop to do many things, it serves as the starting point for dragging into other windows. Each tab in the Uber Browser will be described separately in this document, as the tabs themselves are where the content lies, however each is accessed through the Uber Browser, which can be shown by using  Window > Show Uber Browser.

Each tab is described below:


The Symbols tab provides access to all built-in and user-defined symbols in Cartographica, for use when changing styles for point layers. For more information, see Point Styles

Symbol Tab

The Lines tab provides access to all built-in line styles in Cartographica, for use when changing styles for line layers and outlines in polygon layers. For more information, see Polygon Styles.

Lines Tab

The Patterns tab provides access to all built-in and user-defined pattern swatches in Cartographica, for use when changing styles for polygon layers. For more information, see Polygon Styles.

Patterns Tab

The Bookmarks tab provides access to all built-in and user-defined geographical bookmarks in Cartographica, for use when navigating and exploring in the map window.

Bookmarks Tab

The Palettes tab provides access to built-in and user-defined color palettes that Cartographica can use for vector and raster data. This window provides for selection of palettes as well as creating and editing them. 

Palettes Tab