Thoughts - Global Mapper, Mike and Excellent Customer Service
First about Global Mapper (GM) and why I use it. My work on islands is all about loading very large raster images (Landsat ETM+ mosaics). Each file is 100 to 300 MBs in size using MrSid format. Them is some big files! GM makes loading these very large files a snap. I select the file and it's loaded within seconds. I might add, properly georectified as well. Some of my projects require multiple Landsat images. No problem. I believe the largest file that can be handled by GM is up to 4 GBs.
Once I have the images loaded, I begin digitizing. Again, it's a snap. Digitizing in GM is precise and extremely flexible. After a brief learning curve, one is digitizing to their heart's content. Once the various layers of information have been created, the export choices are numerous.
Now my favorite part about the GM product - Mike. Mike is Global Mapper. I don't know if this is actually the case, but I visualize Mike working out of a small office. His phone isn't ringing, because he does all of his customer interaction via the web. He works daily with customers tweaking his excellent mapping program. Many times I read within the GM group that a customer wishes that something could be added, or a portion of the GM program adjusted, or a process simplified and most often within minutes to a few hours, Mike makes the change and posts the improved version of the program for all clients to retrieve. For this service, which is unparalleled in the industry, he charges nothing. He wants his product to be the best it can be and he knows that it is ultimately the end-user that is the best source from which to learn how to improve his program. If he can make the change, he makes it. If the change requires extensive programming, he makes the change more slowly, but he makes it. If the change is beyond his vision of what his program should be, he will provide you with a work-around or tell you straight that he isn't able to make the change. Mike does what every business should do - listen to the customer and respond quickly with a solution, not a promise of a solution, but a finished solution. Mike is the best!
I have other mapping software, but when I call them for answers, they want to charge me. If I work with them online, they give me happy talk about my question and they definitely do not make changes to their program in realtime. Most often, they tell me why something can't be done. Whereas, Mike just makes the change and provides the updated program to you.
All of you folks in charge of a product or service, LISTEN UP! Here is how Mike does his business and how you should - He reads your request. He answers your query. He adds to, changes or adjusts his program to satisfy your request. He makes the changed program available to his clients. All of this at no charge, and typically done the same day. And for his efforts, he has an extremely loyal and growing customer base.
That's good business! And that's why I continue to use GM.
PS - GM is still my favorite mapping product for my type of projects and Mike is still the greatest when it comes to quality customer service.