Example: Import Multiple MapInfo TAB Images

MapInfo TAB "table" format consists of multiple files, usually five files, referenced by a controlling .tab file. TAB format can result in drawings, labels, and raster images.   


For an example of importing a vector drawing from a MapInfo TAB format file, see the TAB, MapInfo topic.  In this example we will import images from TAB format files, importing from more than one set of TAB files at the same time.


TAB files that bring in images are usually nothing more than an image file in some typical image or raster format such as .bmp, .tif, .grd or similar.  The .tab file is basically a housekeeping file that points to the image file.



Launch File - Import and navigate to the folder containing the desired TAB files.  Windows will often attach an icon to image file types for applications that Windows thinks are associated with such files based on their three-letter extensions.   That doesn't matter to Manifold since Manifold will directly read any image, grid or other raster files that are associated with TAB files.


Click on several of the .tab files at once.  Each will be added to the File name box.   Press Import and all will be imported.


Two of the imported files resulted in an image and the image's table.   One of the imports resulted in two different images that both use the same table.  



Opening the ap15krect image we see the TAB referencing a .bmp image created an RGB image that shows an aerial photograph.   We have used the Layers pane to specify a blue background for the image so we can see the extent of the image.  



Opening the ft25demfill Image we see that one of the two images imported from the TAB referencing a .grd image shows a hillshaded terrain.   However, if we examine the content of this image using Style we see it is just a grayscale image where the pixels are simply colors from black to white and are not terrain elevation values.   



Opening the ft25demfill image we see that the second of the two images imported from the TAB referencing a .grd image contains terrain elevation data.   We launch the Style pane to color and to hill shade it.



We choose equal intervals as the method, we choose closest lower value for Fill, we specify 5 for the number of Breaks and then we press the Tally button.   We use the Altitude palette from the Classic palette submenu.   Press Update Style.




Without hill shading, the result is an interesting view, as if contours were represented by ranges of different color.



Next, we click the Options tab, we check the Use shading box, and we change the Z scale to 0.03, a value we know from experience will produce a pleasing hill shading effect.   We press Update Options.



The result is an attractive, immediately understandable display of the terrain elevation data as a hill shaded and neatly colored synthetic terrain.  Our choice of closest lower value for Fill provides a sharp color delineation of different ranges of heights in the terrain.    Suppose we wanted a more "natural" appearance?  To do that we could use interpolation for Fill.  



The above shows the display as it appears when we use interpolate instead of closest lower value.   We also use a Z scale of 0.05 in the shading above, to accentuate verticality a bit more.



The r4626 image imported from the TAB that referenced a .tif, is an image of a scanned paper map.



Zooming in to native resolution using View - Zoom to Native we get a better view.



Launching Style for the r4626 image shows it is a palette image.


In the examples above we have imported TAB files that in a single import operation produced an RGB image, a grayscale image, a raster image representing terrain elevation values, and a palette image.


TAB files will often import with correct projection information but might not do so depending on the vintage of the TAB file.   Be ready to gather any notes or metadata from the source of the TAB files that may specify the projection in use.   If need be, launch Assign Initial Coordinate System in the Info pane to specify the correct initial projection for the imported component.

See Also

Assign Initial Coordinate System


Reproject Component




Style: Palettes


MIF, MID  MapInfo


TAB, MapInfo


Example: Import Multiple MapInfo TAB Images