6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 10, 2010 4:46 PM by bush46

    GIS and FileMaker Pro



      GIS and FileMaker Pro




      I would like to know if I can somehow display GIS maps in a layout of my FileMaker Pro 10 (Windows) database.  At this stage I just need to know if it is possible for FileMaker to retrieve GIS data (a simple map showing positions where animals have been sighted) and which GIS software I would need to use (i.e. is ar there any GIS programs that FileMaker coordinates well with).  I have searched everywhere, but have only found information on how to embed/link to google maps, but I would like to display my own custom-made maps which will update as new animals are sighted.  Please let me know if this is somehow possible in Filemaker Pro 10.



        • 1. Re: GIS and FileMaker Pro



          Thank you for your post.


          FileMaker Pro 10 does not link to any specific GIS software package.  However, if the GIS software can either save as images or post the map to the web, then FileMaker Pro can either import the image into a Container field, or a Web Viewer can display the information from the web.  Since you mention "custom-made maps which will update as new animals are sighted", the latter looks like a better option.  This way, the web information is updated in one place.  Otherwise, you'll have to export to an image file format, and then have FileMaker Pro insert that image file into the Container field.


          If you need clarification for any of the above steps, please let me know.



          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: GIS and FileMaker Pro

            In 2007 I had some success interfacing FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced with Manifold GIS (at ~$600 an excellent value for money in my opinion. However, there may be free GIS packages that can do what you want).

            Basically, my FMP database had point data with coordinates. The FMP database published its table(s) using DataDirect ODBC driver so that these tables were visible/accessible/linkable from within Manifold GIS that created dynamic drawings, maps and layouts based on the data in FMP tables. I could change data in FMP and a refresh data menu command in Manifold GIS would update the corresponding map.

            Also the instant web publishing capability of Manifold meant that I could display the manifold map in a web viewer in FMP. Though I did have an issue with the updating of the map in the FMP web viewer (or a web browser). The map did not update as I expected. Unfortunately I did not pursue it further at the time. I think it had some thing to do with restarting of the IIS that I was not familiar with at the time. Also, while Manifold GIS could easily read data from FMP, FMP could not read the ODBC driver of Manifold and crashed when I tried to link it to tables in Manifold.

            By the way, the two way read/write worked much better between Manifold GIS and MS Access and even MySQL but I was more familiar with and wanted to use FMP.

            • 3. Re: GIS and FileMaker Pro
                 If FMP could enhance its Cntainer field to be able to store 'geometry' then there are many GIS users who would love to use it.
              • 4. Re: GIS and FileMaker Pro



                Thank you for the additional information.


                As far as the enhancement to the Container field, this is better served by posting this to our Feature Suggestion web form at:




                Although I could easily copy your posts and paste them into the form, there are additional questions asked that only you can answer.  In addition, Product Development and Product Management monitor these suggestions, and they like to hear from customers.


                Advice: When entering the suggestion, please just don't say "Add this feature."  Explain what you are trying to do, how this will help your efficiency/business, and give some additional uses.  Real-life examples tend to garner more attention.



                FileMaker, Inc. 

                • 5. Re: GIS and FileMaker Pro


                  My questions are similar:

                  I have a set of legacy apps in FM, and want to Web Enable them, and then call a control (or at least an object) to create a map, then save/paste it to a field in FM...is this a workable solution?

                  Also, what is the security like? Is is based on Windows Authentication (we are windows xp...)

                  and finally, can I script to access an oracle database, query to a csv and then import to FM?


                  Clarence L. LambGIS Manager UniversalPegasus International, Inc.4848 Loop Central Drive, Suite 137Houston, Texas 77081Office 713.357.3101Main 713.425.6000clarence.lamb@universalpegasus.comwww.universalpegasus.com


                  • 6. Re: GIS and FileMaker Pro

                    If you have MapInfo GIS installed on the same PC then in a FileMaker Pro container field you can right-click (or use a script if automating) and 

                    - Insert Object > Create New > Object Type: MapInfo 10.0 Map. (FMP searches for and lists compatible applications)


                    Double-clicking the object enables some basic MapInfo commands to be available within FileMaker Pro.


                    You can open and style multiple MapInfo tables (map layers) and display them as a map within the container.


                    You have basic MapInfo map tools: Pan, Zoom in, Zoom out, Information, and Drag Map Window buttons.


                    Right-clicking on the map in the container gives you a pop-up menu: Layer Control..., Change View..., Previous View, and View Entire layer...


                    The MapInfo related menus available are:


                    Edit > Copy (copies the displayed map to clipboard)

                    View > Toolbar, Legend (available when you have a thematic map)

                    Table > Open, Close, Close All

                    Map > Find, Layer Control, Create Thematic Map..., Change View..., View Entire layer..., Options..., Redraw window



                    I will find out more about this and post back.