Tuesday, March 02, 2021

GTViewer for Windows Update


The next major update for GTViewer for Windows will be Version 20.  What happened to versions 16 through 19, you might ask?  Version 20 is such a significant update, there needed to be a clear distinction between the old and the new, so jumping to 20 made a lot of sense.   There is no release date yet for version 20, but a great deal of work has already been done to get it ready. 

What makes Version 20 different?  The development platform has been upgraded to the latest Visual Studio and all of the libraries used by GTViewer have been upgraded to their latest versions as well.  Here is a list of these changes:

  • Visual Studio 2019 v142 and Windows SDK v10.
  • MrSID raster libraries updated to version
  • ECW raster libraries updated to version
  • Coordinate System Library changed from ProLat to PROJ7.

GTViewer for Windows is now over 20 years old, and we have made an effort to support as many older and resource-limited computers as possible. But 20 years is a long time, and we want GTViewer for Windows to be well-positioned for the future.  Version 15 is by far the most stable and reliable version of GTViewer and will continue to function long into the future, but to support newer libraries and Windows features, version 20 will be the vehicle for future Windows development.

Version 20 will leverage some new features like:

  • 32 and 64 bit builds.
  • A more modern look and feel for the User Interface.
  • Customizable and Dockable Toolbars.
  • Larger and Higher Resolution buttons.
  • Tabbed View Windows.

New Look

Version 20 looks slightly different from previous versions of GTViewer, but care has been taken to make sure everything is still recognizable and in similar locations where possible.  

A great deal of time was spent experimenting with different User Interface styles (like Ribbon Bars).  While these other approaches had some definite advantages, they were too different from the original and may have been more confusing than helpful (which is something we want to avoid).  

The Tabbed View Windows will be a change, but we believe they actually simplify the views and are more similar to other modern-day applications.  

Also, there are many new icons that show up on the Menu (most of the commands), and these new icons can be added to the toolbars.   Even Query Types and Custom Applications can have icons to provide more information about what their function is.

Design Changes

 There are also some design changes to make GTViewer easier to use:

Session Graphics (Redlines)

  • The Color/Weight/Style toolbar has been incorporated into the Drawing Info panel that displays when using a drawing mode.
  • The Fill option has also been moved to the Drawing Info Panel for fillable elements.
  • A more sophisticated Undo/Redo is planned but has not yet implemented.
  • The Search Session Graphics Add-On app is planned to be implemented as standard functionality.

Display Control

The new Display Manager added to GTViewer 15, the original Display Filter, and the Raster Filter have all been merged to create a single more capable dialog for controlling the features displayed in the view.  

  • The new Display Manager is non-Modal and will update automatically as the view changes.
  • The Features in View tab has been updated to work with the GIS names instead of just Filter Names.
  • There is a tab for Categories, Presets, Toggles, Features in View, and Raster.

We are Still Taking Requests

There are several items to implement plus a whole lot of testing, but we are still taking requests for new functionality.

If there is a feature you would like to see in GTViewer version 20, please let us know.

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