Past requests, future action?

BillBBillB Global Mapper UserPosts: 126Trusted User
Further to this post,
it would help GM developers and users if there was a little more transparency about what is being worked on and what items are being resolved.

The main features we would like to see resolved or added have all been discussed before.  We have no idea whether these have any kind of priority with the development team - the task items appear to be a closed list...

1) Save Layer visibility in the Control Centre.

I wont go into the arguments again, but we regularly produce six (plus) different maps from the same data sets, based on layers being turned on or off.  The only way we can keep a record of these states at present is with a screenshot, assuming that the layer list even fits on the screen.  Archaic!

2) Name and Save 3D viewpoints

Without this, the 3D view is a bit of a toy - another way of looking at the data, undoubtedly useful, but not repeatable in terms of position, from one session to another.  So you can't set up a 3D view, close, open the next day, make changes to visible layers, terrain etc, and go back to that same view for comparison and export of JPGs etc.  This severely limits its usefulness as an analytical tool, as opposed to a "look, we can do 3D perspective" feature.

3) Generate rectangular area / crop boundary from centre point and width/height

4) (Not) handling variables in scripts

It's really surprising that this can be the case!

Would love to see or hear about any progress on these items.


Best Answer

  • samknightsamknight BMG Staff Posts: 88
    Answer ✓
    Hi Bill,
    I understand the desire for some insight and folks are always welcome to check in with us on feature development.  Long time users remember communicating directly with Mike and he'd crank out a fix or new widget within minutes in a hot patch.  He's still here as the lead developer on the project, and we actually still do that, we just have more of a support structure to help us scale to needs of a (rapidly) growing user base, and bigger plans in terms of development that are supported by a larger development team behind the product.  The daily build of global mapper is where those get rolled up instead of doing one-off builds the old way.  In terms of what we're working on and how we prioritize, it comes right from users.  At the last release for version 19.1 in February, we took a look at all the features we released under what we consider to be "significant" updates, and realized that everything on the list had come directly from user requests.  That wasn't by mistake, we have thousands of requests in our system, and one of the major factors in prioritizing them is based on the number of users requesting a particular feature, we actually wrote a new tool in house this year to help us isolate clusters of related functions that are high request items that have been hanging around on our wishlist.  Years ago we had to move away from the old "To Do" list on the forum simply because it was entirely unsustainable due to volume and now we manage requests in a true database.  For business reasons we've kept that offline, but we are always happy to discuss particular requests. 

    One of the easiest ways to check in on development is to use the request number if we've given you one, such as #11502 from your first item.  A quick note asking how's it going on that ticket and we can look it up and get back to you.  It's easiest for us if you email directly to the support team ( as a lot of folks like to use the forum with anonymous handles, so we aren't always able to look you up by name to find requests if you don't have a ticket number.  We actually hit 25000 last week, and there are not many in the system left that are less than 10000.  As you might assume, we don't go in consecutive order and those numbers span our entire set of products, as of this moment we have 2103 open requests for Global Mapper targeted for various future releases.  We often handle between 300-750 tasks in a given release depending how long our cycle is.  It's a balancing act for priorities, we're a very dynamic team, but we do have limits of how much we can do at once as a small company, so we do have to make hard decisions about what needs to get done first.

    So about your specific enquiries:
    1) Save Layer visibility in the Control Centre.
    Item #11502 is definitely one the older requests at this point, it's often come up for discussion.  It's remained as long as it has due to some architecture issues, as well as just not having particularly high request counts relative to other features that have made the cut.  We're looking at this again in conjunction with some other updates to the Control Center.  You don't need to make your arguments at all on this one, a lot of folks, including us, want it.  So without making promises, I'm hopeful this will be on our short term list.

    2) Name and Save 3D viewpoints
    This is item #17690 and #14185.  These had to take a back seat to some of the 3d optimizations we've been working on since the 18 cycle as we have changed out the guts underneath the 3D window.  The long and short of this is that it's a popular request that we've wanted to do for a while, it just hasn't made sense to implement from a development standpoint because of the sweeping changes to how we have been modernizing the 3D interface under the hood.  This is being reconsidered again for 20.1 since we are getting to a place where we can get it done right the first time.  This one I had already actually flagged for discussion as we begin the next cycle.

    3) Generate rectangular area / crop boundary from centre point and width/height
    This is unfortunately a prime example of something seemingly fairly simple that hasn't been a prioritized due to low requests for it.  I've just been through the whole thread again with yours and Kelly's feedback on it and I will make sure we give this a fair look.

    4) (Not) handling variables in scripts
    I believe BMGBob has patched up both of these, so feel free to give them a try and let us know how it goes.

    I hope this helps shed some light.  As always, please feel free to come to us with feedback, we really do try to put our users at the center of the process.

    Best Regards,
    Sam Knight
    Director of Product Management
    Blue Marble Geographics




  • BillBBillB Global Mapper User Posts: 126Trusted User

    Thanks so much for taking the time to create such a detailed and helpful reply.  It's great to have a little insight into the BM/GM development process.  I do appreciate that there's more to it than "ME FIRST!" ;)   It's also understood that you cant be completely open with the development priorities, and that's the way we want it - your success is our success.

    I'm delighted that the suggestions for items 1) and 2) have wider support and traction with you. 
    Item 3), I may be able to work around when I finish the script (and will share if I do).  But an option in one of your dialogs (eg range rings or other feature creation) would certainly be more elegant.

    Yes, BMGBob posted the patch to the variables after I posted my wishlist, so I will try that for item 3).  That update should help quite a few scripting users.

    As I said elsewhere, GM still gets my pound / dollar / yen, as the best value GIS bar none.

    Thanks again

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