Idrisi32, developed by Clark Labs, is an innovative and functional geographic modeling technology that enables and supports environmental decision making for the real world. With the introduction of Idrisi32 Release 2, Clark Labs reaffirm their commitment to providing affordable access to the frontiers of spatial analysis and to advancing their role as an educational and research institution dedicated to geographic inquiry and understanding.

Overview What's New In Release 2 Modules in Idrisi32
UNITAR Workbooks CartLinx Global Change Data Archive
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CartaLinx is used to create coverages, consisting of the spatial definitions of features in vector format and associated attribute values files. These data are then typically exported to a GIS either as entire coverages or as a series of map layers. For example, CartaLinx might be used to develop a spatial frame of property parcel boundaries along with an attribute database recording the address, owner, area, property valuation, area and primary land use of each parcel. One might then choose to export land use and property valuation map layers to a GIS. Alternatively, one might wish to display and analyze the contents of a coverage using CartaLinx directly.

In building a topological map, CartaLinx accepts data from a variety of means. The most common is the use of a digitizing tablet. CartaLinx supports over 300 digitizing tablets using the Virtual Tablet Interface (tm) (VTI) developed by Digitizer Technology Company. With the use of a digitizing tablet, it is possible to encode the spatial positions of features on a map by tracing or pointing to their location on an existing hard copy map.

CartaLinx also supports the use of the mouse as a coordinate input device. Most commonly this is used only in the editing of features already digitized. However, CartaLinx also has the ability to work with an airphoto or satellite image backdrop. The mouse can then be used to trace or point to features visible on the image, and thereby to enter them into the frame. Additionally, CartaLinx accepts input in the form of Coordinate Geometry (CoGo) bearing and distance measurements -- ideal for metes and bounds records.

Finally, CartaLinx can accept input from any Global Positioning System (GPS) device capable of outputting NMEA1 format data records over an RS-232C cable connection. Using such a setup, it is possible to treat one's automobile (or boat, or airplane) as a digitizing device, and thereby to drive along the course or boundaries of features.

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CartaLinx uses a full topological editor/digitizing system with capabilities for:

  • automatically building vector topology (connectivity between nodes, arcs and polygons)
  • automated generation of polygons and assignment of ID's by means of polygon locators (label points)
  • insertion, deletion or movement of nodes, arcs or arc vertices
  • real-time projection/datum transformation of digitizer and GPS input data to meet mapping reference system specifications
  • feature filtering and extraction to new spatial databases based on feature attributes (filter) or location (clip)
  • While CartaLinx is primarily intended as a spatial data builder, it also has significant analytical and mapping capabilities, including:
  • relational database query support, producing custom maps based on specific feature attributes
  • support for mathematical modeling, creating new derivative data fields using mathematical operations on existing fields
  • interactive feature inquiry, instantly displaying attribute data for any feature by simply clicking on that feature
  • real-time route monitoring using GPS with an image backdrop
  • text placement with scale-sensitive sizing
  • full printer output support


CartaLinx has extensive import/export capabilities including:

  • reads and writes ArcView Shape, ArcInfo Generate, MapInfo MIF and IDRISI vector files
  • reads and writes Access and xBase database files
  • reads US Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS), Digital Line Graph (DLG), Vector Profile data files and selected Ordnance Survey (UK) NTF 2.0 formats
  • georeferenced raster bitmaps supported in Idrisi, BMP, TIF, DRG, JPG, TGA, CLP, PNG, DCX, PCX and WMF formats
  • full geodetic-quality projection and datum transformation
  • over 400 reference systems supplied including all US UTM and State Plane zones

Optional Hardware:
The Virtual Tablet Interface (VTI) digitizer tablet driver from Digitizer Technology Company supports over 300 boards (click here to download a .pdf of the list.). VTI drivers are supplied with single license copies but must be purchased separately with site licenses.
Global Positioning System (GPS) with Serial Interface and NMEA output

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