Get Started with Mapping Toolbox

Analyze and visualize geographic information

Mapping Toolbox™ provides algorithms and functions for transforming geographic data and creating map displays. You can visualize your data in a geographic context, build map displays from more than 60 map projections, and transform data from a variety of sources into a consistent geographic coordinate system.

Mapping Toolbox supports a complete workflow for managing geographic data. You can import vector and raster data from a wide range of file formats and web map servers. The toolbox lets you process and customize data using trimming, interpolation, resampling, coordinate transformations, and other techniques. Data can be combined with base map layers from multiple sources in a single map display. You can export data in file formats such as shapefile, GeoTIFF, and KML.


About Mapping

  • What Is a Map?

    A map is a representation of geographic data. Map data represents a set of geographic locations or properties.

  • What Is Geospatial Data?

    Geospatial data represents positions on the surface of a planet through ordered coordinate pairs or in matrix format.

  • Vector Geodata

    Vector geodata consists of sequentially ordered pairs of geographic (latitude, longitude) or projected (x,y) coordinate pairs.

  • Raster Geodata

    Raster geodata represents map data in matrix format.

  • Latitude and Longitude

    Latitude and longitude specify the position of a point on the surface of a planet. They are defined as angles between the point, the equator, and the axis of rotation.

  • The Shape of the Earth

    The Earth can be modeled with increasing precision as a perfect sphere, an oblate spheroid, an ellipsoid, or a geoid.

  • Map Projections and Distortions

    A map projection transforms a curved surface such as the Earth onto a two-dimensional plane. All map projections introduce distortions compared to maps on globes.