V6.6 New Features

  51st Release

V6.60 Release Notes

Highlight Features: Native Windows TNTatlas

Real Time Simulation with OpenGL and DirectX

   Goto V6.60 Release Notes 

Transparent Direct Use of Popular Formats. [hereafter referred to as "direct use"]

In V6.50 of the TNT products you could make a link to, and then use, other external geodata file formats in the TNT products (for example TIFF and GeoTIFF files). In V6.60, when you select a supported external geodata file in any process, these links are now automatically made. You simply navigate to the external file using the Object Selection dialogs and then display, edit, and analyze the geodata in that original format, just as you would any other object in a TNT Project File. Projection, datum, data type, and other on-the-fly changes will also be handled transparently, just as with a TNT object contained within a Project File.

When you select one of the supported external geodata files for direct use in this fashion for the first time, the TNT process being used will automatically create a "stub," or link, Project File for it. The original external file is not altered in any way and still maintains its name, extension, original structure, and location. The link Project File contains all the other things that the TNT products need to make direct use of the external file. For example, if the external file is a raster, then the pyramid layers, histogram, georeference, and other subobjects will be created for it as necessary.

Creating this Project File to define the link when you select the external geodata file for the first time usually takes only a few seconds. Thus, using an external file in a TNT process is more or less a transparent operation. The next time you use the file in any process, it finds and uses the previously created Project File that defines the link. This link file is a Project File that is saved in the same directory as the external geodata file. It will have the same name as the external file but with the extension .rlk (for RVC link) instead of the usual Project File extension of .rvc. If the media containing the external file is read-only, such as a CD or a read only network source, then the link file will be created in the cache directory on your local drive.

The following formats can now be transparently linked and used in TNTmips, TNTedit, TNTview, TNTatlas, and TNTserver.

  • ESRI’s shapefile (line work and table).
  • MapInfo’s TAB file (line work and tables).
  • ER-Mapper’s ECW file (Enhanced Compressed Wavelet).
  • Lizard Tech’s MrSID file (wavelet compressed).
  • TIFF/GeoTIFF file (all types).

Now that this procedure is in place, other supported external geodata formats with appropriate structures could be added: ERDAS .IMG, NITF 2.x, CADRG, and so on.

Point Density to Raster.

This is a new process to convert discrete sample points in a vector object into a density raster. It functions like a specialized version of the inverse distance surface fitting process.

  • Points can be selected by a query.
  • Each point can be weighted by its attributes.
  • The influence of each point can be defined by the radius of a circle around it.
  • Raster properties can be defined (e.g., cell size).


  • NTF raster, vector, and attribute files. • GeoSPOT image format.
  • MrSID compressed image files. • IDRISI32 raster format.
  • ECW compressed image files. • ILWIS raster = MPR format.
  • ERS-2 image formats.

Import and Export.

  • ECW compressed image files.

Modifications to Import/Export

  • ASTER images from HDF format.
  • MODIS images from HDF format.
  • Optionally retain empty rasters upon import of ENVI rasters. Empty rasters seem to be needed so that ENVI can keep track of hyperspectral spectral bands that are not labeled.
  • Import a GeoTIFF file as a TIFF file (ignores added information).
  • Prompt for projection parameters for ER-Mapper files if they cannot be identified or are not available.
  • Add option to select decimeter units when importing DEM rasters from revised SDTS format.
  • SML scripts can now import from compressed rasters.
  • Source languages (non-English) are now preserved for imported DXF files, maintained for internal operations on them in TNT products, such as editing, and for subsequent exports.


A contrast enhancement can now be defined within the mosaic process using the Raster Enhancement Tool window. This enhancement can then be applied to all the layers during the mosaicking. In this situation, mosaic creates a linear contrast table for the output image to ensure it will have the matching contrast in Display and other processes.

Input rasters, especially DEM derived from topographic maps, may not overlap and have small, narrow strips of underlap. Mosaic now provides an interpolation option for use in gap filling in situations where the gaps are only a few cells across.

  • Specify that the mosaic cell size and map parameters match a reference raster.
  • Orient view to selected output projection.
  • When a contrast match is made to a reference raster, copy this contrast to the mosaic.
  • Control point georeference subobjects optionally merged for mosaic.
  • Snap crosshairs to cell center as an option.
  • Display and manually enter line and column values for position of crosshairs.
  • Save root mean square error table to a text file.
  • Save a snapshot of the view for printing.


  • Routes can be saved to a vector object for further analysis wherever routes can be computed (such as in the Network Analysis process, SML, …).

Hough Transform.

The forward and reverse Hough transforms can now be applied to an image. Use it to explore for any repeated line or point patterns in an image.

  • A forward transform displays in a sinusoidal format representation of repeated line patterns in the image (e.g., dominant fault orientations) or collections of points falling on parallel lines or circular boundaries.
  • Areas on the sinusoidal Hough transform diagram (i.e., its display as a raster) can be interactively selected. The inverse transform then highlights these features in the display of the original input image.

Legends and Mattes.

Any and every group in a layout can now have bounding boxes and a background fill. Use this feature to create a map’s neat line (boundary), a legend box, a legend background, a transparent matte background for any group, and other special effects.

  • Specify border line thickness and color for multiple lines.
  • Choose from a variety of color frames such as inset or raised, rounded, and others.
  • Design a unique border using a CartoScript.
  • Select a solid or graded (gaussian) drop shadow and its thickness.
  • Fill the background with a solid or transparent color.
  • Fill in a color spectrum varying across the group in gradient or radial fashion.

Tutorial Materials.

Completely new tutorial booklets in PDF form can be downloaded at any time from microimages.com for a preliminary review. However, they do apply to V6.60 of the TNT products. To avoid confusion, booklets that have only been revised and updated are not posted for download (to replace current versions) as they correspond to V6.60. These revised versions will be on your CD and will replace those available for downloading when V6.60 is shipped.

New Booklets.

  • Using TNTatlas for X Windows (operations manual in preparation in booklet form).
  • Using TNTatlas for Microsoft Windows (operations manual in preparation in booklet form).
  • Geospatial Applications in Precision Farming.
  • Analyzing Terrain and Surfaces (expands and replaces Modeling Watersheds and Land Surfaces).
  • Modeling Watershed Geomorphology (expands and replaces Modeling Watersheds and Land
  • Flying with TNTsim (in preparation).

Major Revisions.

  • Writing Scripts with SML (revised completely and expanded to cover tool scripts, macro scripts, and creation of windows/dialogs with more sample scripts).
  • Mosaicking Raster Geodata (to support many changes and modifications to process).
  • Designing Electronic Atlases (expanded with new ideas).
  • Managing Geoattributes (expanded to present more features).
  • Style and Translation Guide (expanded to provide guidelines for use in translating booklets).


Almost all the 62 tutorial and related booklets have been translated into or recreated in a tutorial format for the following languages: Japanese, Korean, Turkish, and Thai. Contact the MicroImages dealer in these nations to obtain these materials.

Translations of the most important booklets (Displaying Geospatial Data, Navigating, …) are available or underway for French, Spanish, Finnish, Dutch, and Italian. This is a big job, so additional translators are being sought in these languages and any other. Check at microimages.com where you download the English versions of these booklets for the latest list of translated booklets available in PDF format for your language.


Image Interpretation in Geology, Third Edition, by Steve Drury. This textbook is now shipping with a TNTlite 6.4 CD that also includes associated Geology sample exercises and geodata. You can order it online from Blackwell (blackwell.com for £29.95), Barnes and Noble (bn.com for $70), Amazon (amazon.com at $70), and Nelson Thornes (nelsonthornes.com at £31.50).

Language Interface Kits.

  • Italian. A revised language interface kit is available.
  • Serbian. A new language interface kit is being prepared

Almost all other languages are current with V6.50 and will promptly be updated and posted for downloading for V6.60.

Reference Manual.

The HTML version of Online Reference Manual has been replaced by an Adobe PDF version. A detailed index is now included for this manual and all tutorials, which were already in PDF format. Acrobat 5.0 provides the ability to perform a global search of this index for all the documents they cover. Selecting any item of interest located by a search will immediately open the manual or specific tutorial to that 1 page. These Acrobat searches can now be performed from the Help menu in the TNT products. If you have not already installed the PDF document selected in a search, you will be prompted to do so or to insert the original V6.60 CD.

Real Time Scene Simulation

TNTmips 6.6 provides for all platforms a new menu process for creating 2 new kinds of raster objects in a Project File. These terrain and texture objects are used for optimal real time scene simulation in TNTsim. Every TNTmips 6.6 operated on a Windows platform can install and operate V6.60 of TNTsim using these new objects. TNTsim is a Windows product but could migrate to MAC, LINUX, and UNIX, as all these have support for OpenGL, whereas DirectX is a Windows-only rendering process.


  • Design criteria for acceptable frame rate performance is set at 500 MHz processor and 128 Mb of memory.
  • Use either OpenGL 1.1 or DirectX 8 for rendering frames (both come with Windows).
  • Toggle between OpenGL and DirectX during operation.
  • Each frame is now equivalent in quality to those previously created in a TNT 3D static perspective view window.
  • Good frame rates with almost no texture sparkling.
  • Resize simulation window during operation (area of window directly affects frame rate).

Optimizing Input.

  • Select elevation and image raster objects in TNTmips and produce new terrain and texture raster objects in a Project File.
  • Double click on these particular Project Files to autostart TNTsim using their contents.
  • Specify any new output cell size and convolution (i.e., use oversampling).
  • Select area of input elevation or image raster to control common area created in output raster objects.
  • Outputs null cells where values in either input raster do not exist or are null.
  • Oversampling (smaller cells) with convolution minimizes blocky effects of subsequent viewing of large foreground pixels.

Terrain Server.

  • Terrain object is loaded into real memory at startup (it is small compared to texture).
  • Smooth terrain (triangle formation) rendering at high frame rates.
  • Automatically increases terrain detail (densifies triangles) at each point in view as it is approached.

Texture Server.

  • Uses 1 compute thread to read texture from hard drive and 1 thread to render the OpenGL or DirectX frames.
  • Uses pyramid layers and tiles for fast access of frame to frame changes in texture read from hard drive.
  • Loads texture tiles to rendering engine with "look ahead" algorithm.

Setup Panel.

  • Use tab panels to minimize clutter.
  • Select performance characteristics.
  • Toggle performance readouts on in view, on in menu bar, or off.
  • Pick type of control device (mouse, keyboard, joystick) and actions of controls.


The FREE "Stand Alone" TNTatlas for Windows (TNTatlas/W) is nearly at parity with TNTatlas for X (TNTatlas/X). It is ready for use in the wide distribution of your geodata and atlases. Clients using TNTatlas to publish geodata with either public domain or restricted contents confirm that TNTatlas is the most advanced means of doing this in areas where Internet access is not available, reliable, or fast enough. Only those significant features added since the release of TNTatlas/W 6.5 are noted here.

New features common to both TNTatlas/W and TNTatlas/X.

All new linked formats can be included, without alteration, in an atlas structure including shapefiles, MrSID and ECW wavelet compressed rasters, TIFF and GeoTIFF rasters, and MapInfo’s TAB files (line work and tables).

Select a single object or a layout not included in the published atlas for temporary use in any supported operation including viewing, for sketching, as GPS background, and so on. This object can be in a Project File, linked to a Project File, or in one of the new auto-selectable, direct viewing external geodata formats (e.g., MrSID, ECW, shapefile, TAB, or GeoTIFF).

Select a feature in the view such as a polygon (zip code area, soil type, city boundary, agricultural field, bounding map name, …) and compose a URL that starts a browser to retrieve information about that feature from the web site specified in the URL. Use this to associate static geodata in the TNTatlas on a CD or a TNTserver with dynamic information from the web for the selected feature (e.g., the local weather image).

  • Use attributes of a polygon to compose a URL request.
  • Use computed fields in the URL.
  • Display a list to use to select from multiple web sites, each associated with a different URL.

Examples. For the selected soil type polygon in a view, pop-in a selection list to choose to open a browser to retrieve the local weather (sends zip code of polygon to a weather radar site), for the detailed soil characteristics (sends soil type identity to USDA site for characteristics list), to automatically download a DOQ or DEM (sends bounding map name), and so on.

Additions to TNTatlas/W

  • Use the autorun file on CD to automatically present startup info, load TNTatlas/W from CD, and start the associated atlas.
  • Double click on an atlas icon to autostart TNTatlas/W and the associated atlas.
  • Use tabular views and related table management capabilities.
  • GeoToolbox is available for field sketching and saving into a CAD object.
  • Full TNT symbology supported.
  • Toggle between the LegendView layer selection or a Windows-like cascading layer selection (this option not available in TNTatlas/X) .
  • Key features now being added are GPS tracking and selection by query.

Operation Manuals.

  • Getting Started Booklet entitled Using TNTatlas with X Windows provided for distribution with TNTatlas in printed or in Adobe PDF format.
  • Getting Started Booklet entitled Using TNTatlas for Microsoft Windows is in preparation for similar use.

TNTclient 2.0.

  • Queries and forms (including input constraints and pick lists) to get input from the end user are now selected and downloaded as part of the HTML client.
  • Creating a unique user-defined query in a panel provides many new and improved features, such as presenting pick lists for selecting any layer and its associated tables and fields for insertion into the query string.
  • Frame Control icon permits synoptic locator window, title area, and panels to be turned off and on.
  • Measurement tools are now fully implemented in HTML code.

TNTserver 2.0.

Handles atlases with objects used as linked files including shapefiles, MrSID and ECW wavelet compressed rasters, TIFF and GeoTIFF rasters, and MapInfo’s TAB files (line work and tables).

Layouts used by any or all atlases can be automatically cached in memory and held there whenever the server is restarted.

Many new additions are being inserted into the server’s log files on its operational status. These include records of which atlas was used, what action was taken (zoom, navigate, new view, …), how long it took, which server computer was used, errors, and so on. These are important statistics to have so that an atlas, its contents, the server hardware, and other aspects of an online atlas can be monitored and used as feedback for improvements.

Users are now assigned a temporary, random, arbitrary visitor ID number for the duration of their client session. Their individual identity is not recorded, but this temporary ID allows their activities in the atlas for a given session to be tracked, logged, and correlated. In this fashion the activity on the site and its popular actions can be monitored.

TNTclient 3.0 (in addition to features added in V2.0).

Provides new Remote Geodata Entry panel for drawing, editing, or submitting point, line, or polygon elements to an atlas layer. It allows the end user to select an active layer for remote sketching or editing. It presents icons for the end user to save work locally, load local work, submit all elements, delete points in an element, and clear the work area.

Selecting this new panel presents a login panel for end user’s account number and password to control access and permissions.

The end user can select a layer to be accessed for Remote Geodata Entry as authorized by their account and password.

Points, lines, and polygons can be drawn on the view with the same HTML defined element tools as in the measurement panel. The elements sketched into the view can be submitted as created. Multiple elements can be created and saved onto the end user’s hard drive in SVG format. When saved locally they can be reloaded into the TNTclient for future use or used in some other application or for a later submission. The Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) format was just adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a standard component of XML.

Creates a form for the entry of attributes into a record associated with the new or existing element in a vector layer. The form uses data entry defaults, constraints, and pick lists sent from the server.

TNTserver 3.0 (in addition to features added in V2.0).

This version adds support for Remote Geodata Entry.

An existing and already populated vector layer can be selected for Remote Data Entry.

Client with appropriate permission and identity can submit points, lines, and polygons via the TNTclient for the selected layer or delete existing elements from it.

The definition of the fields in the associated table in the selected vector object for the potential or selected point, line, or polygon element is sent to the client. It contains the default or existing entries for the new or selected element, constraints, and pick lists needed for the client to create the data entry form.

To avoid contention or conflicts between multiple concurrent end users, the server locks the local geographic area being used for possible remote element creation and entry or editing. The size of this geolock is set by the site manager (e.g., 1 by 1 mile). It is released automatically after a time set by the site manager (e.g., after no action for 3 minutes). It is released and reset when the geoarea of the user’s view is changed in the TNTclient. Sequential user actions during a session are correlated with the random ID assigned to the user (e.g., to determine that the specific user is still active and, thus, to reset the timeout clock to maintain their geolock).