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Mercator @ Braco Graphics

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#1
syncwess

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I was a new user for Mercator @ Barco Graphics software. I want to know what this software can do and how good it is to do map publishing. I search in internet about this software but I cannot get any information about it. Either this software can do analysis or 3D map? How to do hill shade with this software?

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I was a new user for Mercator @ Barco Graphics software. I want to know what this software can do and how good it is to do map publishing. I search in internet about this software but I cannot get any information about it. Either this software can do analysis or 3D map? How to do hill shade with this software?


Mercator is currently developed/marketed by Star Informatic. There's some information here: http://www.apic-eads...k/mercator.html

Perhaps the people at Star would be able to help you better (although star.be seems to be down at the moment).
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
pghardy

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I was a new user for Mercator @ Barco Graphics software. I want to know what this software can do and how good it is to do map publishing. I search in internet about this software but I cannot get any information about it. Either this software can do analysis or 3D map? How to do hill shade with this software?


As Hans says, Mercator is now owned by Star, so they would be your best source of information. However a bit of history may help with context:
  • Barco was originally the Belgian-American Radio Corporation (1930s) and grew and diversified into a variety of electronic and high-technology fields. One of these was visualisation and printing, and in the 1980s they built some very large and precise laser-based imagesetters - devices that could plot onto big sheets of film.
  • These devices were used particularly in the packaging industry, and Barco developed graphics software that would manipulate vector graphics data, and convert it to raster for output onto film.
  • In particular, their software could do selective masking - suppressing one colour in specific vector areas, and also do color combination. This was a unique selling point in the days when everyone else used the PostScript imaging model of 'last colour wins'.
  • The software ran for many years only on DEC VAX minicomputers, but later parts of it moved to Unix workstations, and then to PCs.
  • They also had interactive graphics editing workstations which made good use of the Barco precision monitors and provided excellent WYSIWYG
  • People in the mapping industries (in the UK it included Ordnance Survey, George Phillips, the AA, the Admiralty, the RAF) started using Barco imagesetters, and Barco wrote a layer of software on top of their standard graphics package specifically to help with mapping styles, which they called Mercator.
  • This was not a GIS, and it was usually used as a graphical backend to a more geographical application and database - often Laser-Scan LAMPS (of which I was the architect - so why I know about this!).
  • in 2001 Barco split up and sold the printing and packaging part to a scandinavian plotter hardware company (ESKO), and Mercator went with it.
  • More recently, Mercator was bought by the Belgian Star group (who own the APIC GIS), and they have been integrating Mercator with their software through a shared Oracle database.
So, to summarise for your original question - Mercator itself cannot do much analysis or 3D mapping (it's a cartographic finishing system), but it's usually used in conjunction with another GIS which can.
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Paul Hardy
ESRI Europe (phardy@esri.com)

#4
Kartograph

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Interesting!
Reminds me of the way Rascon came to be.




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