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Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

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Postby Jelf » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:04 am

The Gmap4 map viewer now has a detailed help file. http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf
Please take a look at the Quick Start section to get an idea of the kinds of things Gmap4 can help you do.

The topographic maps available via Gmap4 cover the USA at 1:24,000 (same as 7.5? quad) and Canada at 1:50,000. Below is a link to a map of the USA-Canada. Just zoom in on something that you want to see and when you find it then click the MyTopo button in order to see a detailed topographic map for that spot:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=36.385913,-95.185547&z=4&t=m

You can look at anything if you know the latitude/longitude.
Mt. Rushmore:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=43.877015,-103.45087

Yellowstone - Old Faithful:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=44.461721,-110.832396&z=14

What - You mean you don’t know the latitude/longitude for Pocket Lake, in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon? (A very neat spot BTW) Not a problem. Search using POGM (Plain Old Google Maps). When you find that which you seek:
Point to it ==> Right click ==> What’s Here? ==> Copy the latitude/longitude from the map search window. Then paste that latitude/longitude onto the end of a command to launch gmap4:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=45.174716,-117.274332

These topos are from the MyTopo (http://www.mytopo.com/) company. They scan the paper topographic maps and make their money by selling custom topo maps that you design. While there are not many websites (yet) displaying topographic maps from MyTopo, there are numerous sites that display topographic maps from Terraserver. If you are curious, here is how you can compare the onscreen quality:

1. Make your browser full screen.

2. In one browser tab, display the MyTopo Yellowstone - Old Faithful map from the above link.

3. Open another browser tab and go to http://mapper.acme.com/.

4. Enter these coords 45.174716,-117.274332 in the ACME search window and click Find.

5. Adjust the ACME zoom control so the tab is on the 4th crossbar from the top.

6. Click the ACME ‘Topo’ button to display the Terraserver maps.

The MyTopo and Terraserver maps should now have the same center and be the same scale. You can flip back and forth between your two browser tabs and compare the quality.
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Postby Jelf » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:05 am

The Gmap4 map viewer now has a detailed help file. http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf
Please take a look at the Quick Start section to get an idea of the kinds of things Gmap4 can help you do.

The topographic maps available via Gmap4 cover the USA at 1:24,000 (same as 7.5? quad) and Canada at 1:50,000. Below is a link to a map of the USA-Canada. Just zoom in on something that you want to see and when you find it then click the MyTopo button in order to see a detailed topographic map for that spot:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=36.385913,-95.185547&z=4&t=m

You can look at anything if you know the latitude/longitude.
Mt. Rushmore:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=43.877015,-103.45087

Yellowstone - Old Faithful:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=44.461721,-110.832396&z=14

What - You mean you don’t know the latitude/longitude for Pocket Lake, in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon? (A very neat spot BTW) Not a problem. Search using POGM (Plain Old Google Maps). When you find that which you seek:
Point to it ==> Right click ==> What’s Here? ==> Copy the latitude/longitude from the map search window. Then paste that latitude/longitude onto the end of a command to launch gmap4:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=45.174716,-117.274332

These topos are from the MyTopo (http://www.mytopo.com/) company. They scan the paper topographic maps and make their money by selling custom topo maps that you design. While there are not many websites (yet) displaying topographic maps from MyTopo, there are numerous sites that display topographic maps from Terraserver. If you are curious, here is how you can compare the onscreen quality:

1. Make your browser full screen.

2. In one browser tab, display the MyTopo Yellowstone - Old Faithful map from the above link.

3. Open another browser tab and go to http://mapper.acme.com/.

4. Enter these coords 45.174716,-117.274332 in the ACME search window and click Find.

5. Adjust the ACME zoom control so the tab is on the 4th crossbar from the top.

6. Click the ACME ‘Topo’ button to display the Terraserver maps.

The MyTopo and Terraserver maps should now have the same center and be the same scale. You can flip back and forth between your two browser tabs and compare the quality.
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Postby Jelf » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:52 am

Here's the latest Gmap4 update.

Gmap4 can now read Google MyMaps and display that data on the USGS 7.5” topo maps. Also the on-screen interface is cleaner and the Help file has been updated.

Here’s an example of a Google MyMap I made for a hike in the Washington State Cascades:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=mymap,109834417853835431586.00047bf3d013cf15e19f5

Every time you make a MyMap there is a unique ‘id’ code assigned to that map. Gmap4 uses that ‘id’ code to display your MyMap. All you need to do is enter the following command into your browser. Replace the xxx.yyy with the ‘id’ code for your MyMap. Also, be careful not to let any spaces get into this command:

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... ap,xxx.yyy

If you do not know the unique ‘id’ code for your MyMap then:
1. Display your MyMap
2. Click the “link” button in the upper right corner
3. Save the link and find where it says: &msid=
4. Copy your ‘id’ code. The ‘id’ code begins after the “&msid=”. If you are copying the ‘id’ code and get to a ‘&’ character, then copy everything up to (but not including) the ‘&’ character.

Finally, if you have a KML file then Google maps has a feature that lets you "import" that KML file into a MyMap. This is a very quick way to put a KML file online so you can view it on the detailed topographic maps that are available with Gmap4.
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Postby Jelf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:18 am

Gmap4 version 1.5.012 has just been posted. This free software adds detailed topographic maps (USA and Canada) to Google Maps and lets you view your GPS data on those maps.

Since this software runs entirely online, there is nothing to buy, nothing to download, nothing to install. When you use Gmap4 you should now see “6-26-2010 Update” in the lower left corner of your screen. If you click Actions ==> About, then it should say Version 1.5.012. If you do not see those things, then please clear your browser’s cache and try again.

This update (among other things) restores the ability to place your GPS data (KML and GPX files) online as Google Documents. This feature advances state-of-the-art for Google Documents and is unique to Gmap4.

To see the full list of what is new or changed, go to the Gmap4 homepage and click What’s New.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

Updated pdf ‘Help’ file with clickable links: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

Here is a sample map that includes information from three data files:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=google,0AUba9Qv1W8-rZGQzd2I0cmRfNDZkM3c3em5kNA&ll=47.382544,-120.917587&t=t1&z=11

Enjoy,
Joseph Elfelt
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Postby Jelf » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:45 am

Do you have any .TPO files from the National Geographic TOPO software? Gmap4 version 1.7.x can now display those files. Often the USA/Canada topographic maps displayed by Gmap4 (provided at no cost by www.MyTopo.com) will be superior and/or more current than the NG topographic maps displayed by the TOPO software.

You do need to place your TPO or other data file online before it can be displayed by Gmap4. The easiest/fastest way to place a TPO file online is via Google Sites (free). Don’t be shy. You will find hand-holding-step-by-step instructions in the Gmap4 Help file.

Here is the general recipe for building a URL to display a TPO file with Gmap4 (do not include the quotes, this is not a real link):
'http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=t2&q=htpp://url_to_your_file.tpo'

Below is a link to the Gmap4 homepage. Check out the 'Examples' button and Quick Start section of the 'Help' file.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

If you run a website where people file trip reports you could consider allowing Gmap4 to run in an iframe. Your users could include a 100% free interactive map with their GPS track and waypoints along with the rest of their trip report. The app has a liquid design and will look decent down to 400px by 400px. For examples: Search the Trip Report forum at http://www.nwhikers.net/ for 'Gmap4'.

Enjoy,
Joseph
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Jelf » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:10 pm

Yesterday I posted version 1.8.1 of Gmap4. New things include:
Search (Click Menu ==> Search)
Place one icon on the map via a URL parameter (&icon=)
Print via your browser

Gmap4 homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html
Check out the menu links for:
What’s new
Examples
Help

Search the Help file on “(New)” to find details on the new stuff.

To the best of my knowledge the Search - List feature is unique to Gmap4.

I’ve been getting feedback on the way that the new search feature works and will be tweaking that feature to make it more user friendly.

Looking ahead, I’m roughly 75% done writing/testing the code that will add the ability to do trip planning. You will be able to click the map to add draggable waypoints and/or routepoints and/or trackpoints and then download a GPX file with that info. The ability to display an elevation profile (feet/meters) will be included.

Enjoy,
Joseph
Last edited by Jelf on Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby visentin » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:12 pm

Thanks Jelf !
Have you seen the recent update of SP with the managing of GPX files on Google maps ? I tried to convince Matt (SP maintainer) to try to interface it with the Mapping Support maps; the idea is not burried but not in the priority list either... Maybe you could exchange with him about technical issues and convince him this could make a real plus to SP ?
otherwise I came across another tool the other day:
http://www.geocontext.org/publ/2010/04/ ... 3782221303
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Jelf » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi visentin,

Yes, just today I saw what Matt is doing with GPX files.
I do have some thoughts on the technical issues and will share them with Matt.
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Jelf » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:49 am

Gmap4 has been updated to version 1.8.3

The present-day magnetic declination for the map center is now always displayed in the lower right corner. This value is produced using software from http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/IAGA/vmod/igrf.html combined with data from http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/back.shtml.
Since the magnetic declination is always changing, the older value printed on maps can be wrong by several degrees.

I also updated my links page to show (1) reviews of Gmap4 and (2) sites that are already using Gmap4 to produce online interactive maps.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_links.html

Finally, if you are interested in the search feature and/or print feature, please check the ‘Help’ file (and use the Table of Contents) to be sure you have seen the most recent info on those features.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

The link below will display a world map. To test-drive the search feature click Menu==>Search.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... 5&t=t1&z=2

Enjoy,
Joseph - Gmap4 author
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Jelf » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:10 am

Gmap4 has been updated to version 1.9.1 dated January 17, 2011. This version adds support for UTM coordinate grids. All UTM support in Gmap4 uses the WGS84 datum. This UTM support works worldwide. For more info on UTM coordinates see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_ ... ate_system

(Pay back time: When you visit other outdoor-related forums, please do a search and see if Gmap4 has been mentioned. If not, it would just take a moment for you to pass the word along. Also, are you doing the social network thing? Consider saying something nice about Gmap4.)


Here’s a map of Grand Canyon Village with a UTM grid.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &coord=utm

To toggle UTM support on and off, click Menu ==> UTM On/Off. If UTM is ‘on’ then Gmap4 gives you UTM information in three ways:

1. A UTM grid is displayed. This UTM grid is displayed on both the MyTopo topographic maps (USA and Canada) and the standard views (aerial, etc) provided by Google Maps.

2. The lower right corner of the screen will always show the UTM zone and UTM coordinates for both the cursor and map center.

3. You can get the UTM zone and coordinates for any point on the map by right-clicking that point.

Things to keep in mind

You can build you own map links by using URL parameters. If you want your map to appear on the user’s screen and already have UTM turned on, then add this URL parameter: &coord=utm

Here is a comparison:
With UTM on
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &coord=utm
With UTM off (default)
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... k.kml&t=t2

If you zoom out far enough then you will not see a UTM grid. Instead you will only see vertical red lines which mark the edges of the UTM zones.

UTM grid lines that are near the edge of their zone often appear curved when displayed using the map projection used by Google Maps. The grid lines in the adjoining zone will curve in the opposite direction. For example, the next map is centered near Lake Tahoe. The red line marks the edge of adjoining UTM zones. Double click each side of the red line (this changes the map center) and watch the UTM grid lines change. The grid lines are calculated based on the UTM zone that contains the center of the map.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &coord=utm

Some MyTopo topographic maps already have a UTM grid printed on them. Caution! Some of those printed grids are based on the older datum NAD27. Those older grids will have a uniform offset from the grid displayed by Gmap4 which is based on datum WGS84 . For example: Here is a map showing part of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area in Washington State where the MyTopo maps have a UTM grid based on the WGS84 datum. Click Menu ==> UTM On/Off and you will see the faint UTM grid printed on the map:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &coord=utm

By contrast, here is a map showing part of the Yosemite Valley area in California, where the MyTopo maps have a UTM grid based on NAD27. Note the uniform offset between the two sets of grid lines.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &coord=utm

Usually (but not always) the different zoom levels use a different scale for the UTM grid. To learn the grid scale, compare the cursor coordinates (lower right corner) as you point to adjacent grid lines. If you want to know the zoom level, right click the map.

Maps with UTM grid lines can be printed.
File ==> Print Preview

If you know of any other map viewing software that can display the MyTopo topographic maps along with a UTM grid, I would enjoy knowing about it.

Future UTM improvements

There are different methods for putting labels on the grid lines. I am pondering what will work best.
Another possible improvement is to let the user change the line width, color and/or spacing.
Other ideas?

Next Gmap4 update

Bad news: The ‘Search’ feature of Gmap4 no longer works very well for placenames. This feature uses Google’s ‘geocoding’ service on the backend. OK, I admit it. Gmap4 was pushing the envelope in its use of that service. Whoops - Google pushed back. Guess who won? I will add a second search tool that is designed to work well with placenames.

Good news: The existing ‘Search’ feature of Gmap4 still works fine for searching on (1) anything related to addresses including names of many settlements that no longer exist and (2) any reasonable way to write a latitude/longitude pair.

Finally, if you find Gmap4 to be useful I hope you can take a moment and do some ‘pay-back’ by letting other people know about it.

Enjoy!
Joseph - Gmap4 author
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Jelf » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:17 pm

Yippee!
Thanks to Matt, anyone can now include an interactive map in their post.

Here's an example and instructions:
tutorial-how-to-embed-an-interactive-map-in-your-post-t57227.html
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Jelf » Sun May 08, 2011 5:06 am

I just promoted Gmap4 from version 1 to version 2.

Little reason: I added support for viewing the set of topo maps that used to be known as Terraserver and now are known as Microsoft Research Maps. Click the map type button in the far upper right and select “US Topo”. You can really see the quality difference compared to the MyTopo maps.

The US Topo maps often load a bit slow. Part of the reason is that each map tile must be re-projected on-the-fly in order to match the map projection used by Google Maps. I added support for these maps in case they show old (abandoned?) trails that are not on the MyTopo maps.

Big reason: This update introduces a new text file format that makes it super easy to produce maps. For a quick look, scroll down a bit on the Examples page: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_examples.html

This new file format is so easy that middle school students can quickly learn how to produce maps.

In addition to the maps on the ‘Examples’ page, here’s another example for those that would like to learn about this new text file format. This map shows the lower Mississippi River valley. Click the “i” icon near the upper middle for an interesting story.
To turn the symbol labels on/off click Menu ==> Labels On/Off.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... 9&label=on

Here is the data file that produced the ‘Mississippi’ map:
https://sites.google.com/site/gmap4file ... change.txt

Maps produced with this new text file format can include:
* Many different kinds of symbols (i.e. markers/icons)
* Lines of any color and any width
* Balloons that appear when symbols are clicked
* Links in the balloons
* Clickable photo thumbnails in the balloons
* And more

Did I mention that this is truly easy?

For the details, you can search the Help file on ‘delimited’. Or just go to page 32 in the 5-6-2011 version of the Help file. http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

Homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

Enjoy.

Joseph
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Josh Lewis » Sun May 08, 2011 6:35 am

Good work you got here, but I gotta admit I still like mytopo more. 8)
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby visentin » Sun May 08, 2011 7:41 am

Mytopo, unless I missed something, is only the Google maps. Nothing special !
Using the only google maps in my opinion wandermap.com remains the most intuitive to use on the net.
But Jelf's tool is real hiking topo maps (1/50 000 with leves lines, or similar scale), Josh, have you noticed ? You who live in the US and hungry of mountain adventures, you should be interested :)
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Re: Free full screen topo maps & display GPS track

Postby Josh Lewis » Sun May 08, 2011 7:06 pm

What do you mean? I am interested, not sure if you have seen any of my mountain pages, but all of them (or at least most of them) use Joey's map displayer in a iframe. :) As for the details, from what I have seen I see more details in my topo, plus a little bit of shade and such. Example when looking at Golden Horn I saw no trails leading up to even the famous Cutthroat Pass on USTopo, while on Mytopo it shows up just fine. Is there something I'm missing? :wink:
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