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Forestry GIS Tools

The following are desktop geographic information system and mapping tools that provide data visualization, query, analysis and integration capabilities along with the ability to create and edit geographic data. Forestry provides mapping solutions for ESRI ArcView versions 3.x as well as other simple mapping and data editing tools.

Download for authorized users

State of Wisconsin employees and external partners who cooperate with DNR programs can download the fGIS software.

Forestry GIS (fGIS) is a compact shapefile editing program, digitizer and GIS data query tool for Windows®. Designed for operational field managers like foresters and wildlife biologists, fGIS has essential tools tailored for precision mapping on a desktop computer.

Use fGIS to customize layered views including aerial photos and other imagery, draw map objects, query and search spatial data, annotate maps for printing and much more. The standalone program is unlimited, producing shapefiles and georeferenced images compatible with commercial software in an enterprise GIS framework.

How to use fGIS

fGIS users can:

  • Open and view georeferenced raster images including digital orthophotos and topographic maps in MrSID®, ECW, BIL, ADF, JPG, TIFF, GeoTIFF, BMP and PNG file formats.
  • Open and view vector data in ESRI® shapefile (SHP) and e00 files, AutoCAD DXF™, MapInfo® MIF, Microstation® DGN, DLG-O, TIGER2000/line and TatukGIS SQL (ttkls) file formats. An advanced R-Tree index system allows easy viewing of large (100+ MB) data files.
  • Create and edit point, line and area shapefile objects and their associated data attribute tables.
  • Copy and paste shapefile objects from one layer to another.
  • Designate the direction and distance of the next leg of a line or polygon with the COGO-like traverse tool. Directions can be entered in decimal degrees or degrees-minutes-seconds (handy for plotting deeds or laying out a field data collection route).
  • Split a polygon or line (including GPS tracks) into separate units by drawing a line with the split shapes tool. Area and perimeter attributes of forest cover type subunits are automatically updated.
  • Clip shapefiles to the boundaries of a polygon layer.
  • Merge multiple shapefiles into a new one.
  • Customize map properties including line width and color, area fills, label fonts and positions, image transparency, thematic rendering of data and more.
  • Measure areas and distances. fGIS reports distances and areas in English units (feet, miles and acres) and metric units.
  • Display data at user-specified scales.
  • View maps in 3D.
  • Map live GPS positions from any connected GPS unit with NMEA output (beta).
  • Extract georeferenced images of selected portions of a screen display.
  • Export part of a vector layer and save it as a new file.
  • Manage large data sets organized in dBase tables with the "Load Library Layer" utility.
  • Join dBase and Access tables to shapefile attribute tables.
  • Create point shapefiles from comma delimited text files with x|y coordinates.
  • Convert geographic WGS84 coordinate shapefiles to and from worldwide UTM zones and Wisconsin Transverse Mercator. Use the Minnesota DNR Garmin tool for transferring waypoint and track data to and from GPS units.
  • Print the map with three flexible output options. The Simple Print command will add a map title, subtitle, footer and the scale to the page. The Send Map to Word command will send an image of the view at a user specified resolution and scale to Microsoft® Word. A third option through the Export Image tool will send the map to a technical illustration/page layout module called Diagram Designer. You can add headers, legends, annotations and non-spatial symbols from template palettes in the Diagram Designer module.
  • Save WMF files for use in publishing programs.
  • Georeference scanned images with fGIS and other available freeware.
  • Buffer point, line or area objects at any designated radius or width.
  • Generate cruise points. Select an area object and fill it with either a random or systematic grid points.

For fGIS support

Wisconsin DNR staff and Wisconsin consulting foresters can contact John Wright for fGIS Support.