When you start using MapInfo Pro, you quickly realize you need somewhere to store the data you are capturing. I often see users using the Cosmetic layer to store custom data about the business. The better way is to create tables to hold your data. And make one table for each data type instead of mixing them into a single table.
By separating your data into multiple tables, you can control what data you want to view on your map. You can also more easily run queries on your data, and control how to style the data in a map using a global style for the layer or through a thematic map. The table structure, with this I mean the columns in your table, will also be more "lean" if you don't mix different data types. And having your data separated into multiple tables gives you also better control of the draw order in the map.
Creating New Tables
Let me run you through the process of creating a new table, and give you a few tips on the way.
From the Table tab, you can access the New Table control which helps you make a new table.
First, you will be asked how to show the new table once it has been created. You can show it in a browser window, open it into a new map window, or add it to an existing map window if you already have one open.
Next, you can control how to create the table structure. You can create a new structure from scratch, or inherit the structure from an existing table. The latter is only possible if you have another table open. In the image below, I have no tables open so the Using Table option is disabled as I can't inherit the structure from another table.
If you have other tables open, you can pick one from the list Using Table, see below.
If you chose to inherit the table structure from an existing table, the New Table Structure dialog will hold a list of columns from that table. I chose to create a new structure so the New Table Structure dialog comes up all empty.
A table needs at least one attribute column. Column names may not hold spaces or special characters besides the underscore (_), and they can't begin with a number. An Extended Table in MapInfo Pro can now have up to 999 columns. That's probably enough for most use cases.
Click on Add Field to add a new field. Now give it a name and select the Type for the column. Some column types also require you to specify a width. That's the case with the Character and Decimal column types.
MapInfo Pro supports these Column Types:
Now click on Add Field again, give it a name, and select a type. Do this until you have added all the necessary fields, or columns, to your table.
Peter Horsbøll Møller
Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
Precisely | Trust in Data