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This guide shows the user how to configure and use the Hotlink tool within MapInfo Professional 8.5 to link to ILIS Land Search. This allows the user to perform ILIS enquiries from within the GIS environment.


ILIS (Integrated Land Informaiton System) provides easy access via the internet to a range of information about land and property in the Northern Territory. The data available covers the cadastre, land titles, land valuations, land use, planning and development assessment, building control, land administration and land acquisitions for Government purposes.

Please note this document is relevant to government and external users, as ILIS is available on the public internet to subscribing users. More information about ILIS for non- NT government users can be found here.

This guide explains how to launch an ILIS land search directly from MapInfo, as easy as performing a traditional identify.

MapInfo Professional 8.5 has the ability to link objects in map windows or records in browser windows to an associated file or URL. The type of file could be a bitmap, a MapInfo Professional workspace, table, or MapBasic program, an executable or any type of file whose extension is associated with an application installed on your system.

This guide is broken down into two sections:

  1. The first section covers how to make a map object active, this allows the features to be 'hyperlinked'
  2. The second section covers how to use the MapInfo HotLink tool in a map window or a browser window.

Making Map Objects Active

When a map object is linked to a URL or file, the object becomes an active object. Clicking on an active object with the HotLink Tool will launch the associated URL or file.

To link objects to a URL or file:

1. Add the table to a new or existing Map window. Make this Map window the active window.

2. Choose Map > Layer Control. The Layer Control dialog box displays.

3. Highlight the layer whose Hotlink options you want to set and press the Hotlink button. The HotLink Options dialog box displays.

4. Note: The HotLink button is disabled when a thematic, grid, raster or cosmetic layer is highlighted.

5. Click the Filename Expression drop-down list and choose ILIS_LINK.

Note that the ILIS_LINK attribute is available on the cadastre as of Feburary 2007. It provides a unique URL to ILIS for every current parcel in the NT.

6. Choose Labels & Objects.

7. Select the Save options to table metadata check box to restore these HotLink options automatically the next time you use the same table in a Map or Browser window.

8. Click OK.

Using the HotLink Tool

HotLinks in MapInfo can be created within both a map window and a browser window. The two topics below shows how to create HotLinks in both instances.

Using the HotLink Tool in a Map Window

The HotLink Tool allows you to launch a URL or file associated with an active object by clicking on the object or its label. This is the easiest way to perform an ILIS search from MapInfo.

Note: The HotLink Tool is available for Map windows containing at least one active layer. A layer is active if it is selectable or editable and its HotLink options have been set (in particular the Filename Expression).

To launch a URL or filename using the HotLink tool:

1. Click the HotLink button  (lightning bolt) in the Main toolbar.

2. When the cursor is positioned over an active object, the cursor becomes a pointing hand holding a lightning bolt . The link associated with the       active object displays in the Status Bar.

3. Click on the object or label to launch the associated URL or file.. you should see a land search of the parcel you clicked on !

If multiple objects exist under the point where you click, then a popup window appears containing a list of the selectable objects. Choose the object whose link you want to activate.

Using the HotLink Tool in a Browser Window

The HotLink Tool is available in a Browser window when the table being browsed has HotLink options stored in its metadata. If a field expression in the table matches the HotLink Filename Expression, then the text in that browser field is drawn underlined and the HotLink Tool button is enabled. Clicking with the HotLink Tool on the underlined text will launch the URL or file specified by the text. This method is for information only, most users will prefer to link to ILIS from the Map Window as described above.

To use HotLink in a Browser window:

1. Make sure the HotLink Options are saved in the table metadata (see Making Map Objects Active).

2. Open the table.

3. Choose Window > New Browser Window.

4. Select the HotLink Table.

5. Scroll over to the column that contains the URLs.

6. If the HotLink Filename Expression is a table field name, then the corresponding text in the browser field will be underlined.

7. Click the HotLink Tool button.

8. Click the underlined text in the browser field to launch the URL or file specified by the text.

As always, any questions please contact GIS Support

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