Blue Marble Geographics

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Blue Marble Geographics
Industry GIS software
Founded Maine (1993)
Headquarters Hallowell, Maine, U.S.
Key people
Patrick Cunningham (President)
Products Geographic Calculator, Global Mapper

Blue Marble Geographics is a developer and provider of GIS software products focused on data translation. They provide software products and services for working with GIS data in different formats and for addressing the unique challenges associated with Geospatial data.

Blue Marble's focus is on highly accurate mapping as evidenced by their new product line and services offering including applied geodesy training,[1] consulting and software development.

Blue Marble is a member of the Open Geospatial Consortium and TechMaine.[2]


Geographic Calculator[edit]

Blue Marble's first software product, the Geographic Calculator,[3] was developed in 1992 and released in 1993. The Geographic Calculator is a coordinate conversion library with a database of coordinate mathematic objects including projections, coordinate systems, datums, elipsoids, linear and angular units. The tool is primarily used to translate map coordinates from one system to another. The Geographic Calculator quickly grew in popularity over that first decade and has maintained its reputation as the best coordinate conversion solution on the market. In 2004, the underlying GeoCalc library was re-written and in 2007 a new version was released as the Blue Marble Desktop.

2013 saw a rebranding of the Blue Marble Desktop back to the Geographic Calculator.[4] Blue Marble incorporated all of the functionality of the Blue Marble Desktop including the Geographic Transformer, Translator and Spatial Connect products into the new Geographic Calculator. This did away with the confusing versioning and introduced an easier-to-follow annual naming convention with one or two service pack updates between releases.

The all-in-one interface of the Geographic Calculator enables users to complete a number of geodetic and geospatial transformation functions on various types of data in the same interface with unmatched accuracy and accountability. The enterprise collaboration tools such as workspaces and network folders enable consistency and repeatability of highly accurate data translation across your organization.

Global Mapper[edit]

Global Mapper is a geographic information system (GIS) software package currently developed by Blue Marble Geographics that runs on Microsoft Windows. Global Mapper handles both vector, raster, and elevation data, and provides viewing, conversion, and other general GIS features. Global Mapper has an active user community with a mailing list and online forums.

In 1995 the USGS was in need of a Windows viewer for their data products, so they developed the dlgv32 application for viewing their DLG (Digital Line Graph) vector data products. Between 1995 and 1998 the dlgv32 application was expanded to include support for viewing other USGS data products, including DRG (topographic maps) and DEM (digital elevation model) and SDTS-DLG and SDTS-DEM data products.[5] The development process is described in detail in the USGS paper titled 'A Programming Exercise'.

In 1998 the USGS released the source code for dlgv32 v3.7 to the public domain. In 2001, the source code for dlgv32 was further developed by a private individual into the commercial product dlgv32 Pro v4.0 and offered for sale via the internet. Later that same year the product was renamed to Global Mapper and become a commercial product of the company Global Mapper Software LLC. The USGS was distributing a version of the software under the name dlgv32 Pro (Global Mapper).

Blue Marble acquired Global Mapper, LLC at the end of 2011.[6] Mike Childs, the original developer of Global Mapper, continues to work for Blue Marble as a lead developer.

In 2013, Blue Marble released a major version update to Global Mapper that also introduced the new Global Mapper LiDAR Module.[7] The Global Mapper LiDAR Module offers optional enhancement to base Global Mapper application and provides numerous advanced LiDAR processing tools (e.g., automatic point cloud classification, automatic extraction of buildings, trees, and powerlines, cross-sectional viewing and point editing, custom digitizing or extraction of 3D line and area features, etc.).

As of 2017, The latest version of Global Mapper available is v18.1.[8]

On June 22, 2016 the Global Mapper Mobile was released for iOS Devices[9] and Android Beta on May 9th, 2017.[10]

Company history[edit]

Blue Marble Geographics was established in 1993 and was originally located in Gardiner, Maine.[11] The company founder retired in 2003 and Patrick Cunningham took over as President, adding employees and re-focusing the product offering over the next few years. In 2008, they received the Governor’s Award for technology company of the year at the TechMaine technology awards showcase.[12] Blue Marble is one of a handful of geospatial or GIS software companies to come out of Maine in the nineties. The company's founder studied at the University of Maine at Orono and like other well known GIS companies from Maine, its roots are tied to the surveying and forestry programs of the University of Maine. After years of growing, the company has moved its home office to Hallowell, Maine.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Applied Geodesy Training". Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  2. ^ TechMaine.
  3. ^ the Geographic Calculator
  4. ^ Blue Marble Software Rebranding
  5. ^ "U.S. Geological Survey - Spatial Data Transfer Standard". Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  6. ^ Deveaux (2011-07-30). "BLUE MARBLE GEOGRAPHICS | Leaders LLC". Leaders LLC. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  7. ^ Gakstatter (2013-09-23). "Global Mapper V15 Released with Extension Interface and Powerful New LiDAR Tools  : Geospatial Solutions". geospatial-solutions. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  8. ^ "Global Mapper 18.1 Released with Improved 3D Viewing, New Fly-Through Visualization Tools, and Expanded Format Support". Monde Geospatial - Geomatics | GIS| Remote sensing| GPS | Surveying | ArcGIS | QGIS. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 05/23/2017.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ "Global Mapper Mobile Now Available for iOS Devices". Sensors and Systems. 2016-06-22. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  10. ^ "Blue Marble Releases Beta Version Of Global Mapper Mobile For Android Devices". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  11. ^ "BBB Business Review for Blue Marble Geographics". BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  12. ^ "Blue Marble Geographics Receives Top Honors at TechMaine Awards Gala". Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  13. ^ "Blue Marble Geographics buys larger Hallowell building to support GIS tool sales growth". Mainebiz. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°13′49.50″N 69°46′32.00″W / 44.2304167°N 69.7755556°W / 44.2304167; -69.7755556