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Alternative to Birdseye and/or Mobile Atlas Creator

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I was thinking about buying the Birdseye service until I read this thread:


Birdseye thread


Then I really got intrigued by the Mobile Atlas Creator You Tube video. So I downloaded MAC. Except it doesn't seem to be working on my computer, and a problem posted on their forum hasn't been answered.


Is there anyone out there with experience with MAC? How'd you get it to work? Is there any alternative to Bidseye and MAC to get some decent satellite imagery, like from Google Earth?





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The answer to the download problem is this (I wrote the developer on the website):


From: info@okmap.org [mailto:info@okmap.org]

Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 11:38 AM

To: 'Carl Fuglein'

Subject: R: Loading OK software


Hi Carl,

thank you for your interesting for OkMap software.

Please try to download and install separately Microsoft Framework 3.5 SP1.

Then after this installation retry to install OkMap.

Please tell me if you resolve (or not) your problem.


Gian Paolo Saliola


That worked. but be aware that it takes a long time before it shows any progress on the loading bar. I didn't even know it loaded - I just left it, hoping it would load, and the next morning it had loaded.

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I would like to hear about the OK Map if anyone has used it.


I finally loaded it, and it looks like it will do everything - even some stuff that I don't understand. Problem is that unless you're used to doing this kind of mapping, it's not very intuitive. I hate to read manuals because they bore me - I want a software that I can just jump right in and use. This is not that software. I've read some of the manual (on the website), but haven't gotten very far. I'm going to have to dedicate some time to this.


Anybody else use this software?

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I use solely MAC.


OK going from top to bottom, the settings I use are as follows:

1) For OS maps select Multimap UK OS Map from the map source drop down. (feel free to play with other options to see what is available).

2) For 1:25K at a reasonable resolution I use Zoom level 15.

3) I leave the Recreate/adjust..... box switched off.

4) Zoom (zoom wheel on mouse) and pan (right mouse button) until you can see the area of map you want.

5) Drag a box over the area you want.

6) Enter a suitable name in the name box

7) Click the 'Add selection' button

8) Select 'Garmin Custom Map (KMZ)' in the format drop down.

9) This step only needs to be done once as it will remember the settings:

a)Click the 'Settings' button

b)On the map sources tab, review and select the sources you want. (include Multimap UK OS Map for OS maps)

c)On the 'Map Size' tab select 1024. This is IMPORTANT if you don't want low res images.

d)Set the other settings to suit you.

10) Click on the 'Create atlas' button and in no time you'll have your map.

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I guess I jumped on the bandwagon too late for MAC (I read the current version does not contain access to all the maps?)


However, I was able to kind of sort of figure out a way to use Okmap (BTW, after playing with it, it IS a very powerful program, but the programmer is way to smart for the common man... however I won't complain about free and powerful). Here is what I did, I still have some tweaking as I can't seem to get the KMZ file I create to be drawn first, it draws on top of the other maps and covers them up. And also, I need to be able to create different zoom levels (since I create just 1 raster image, or one zoom level, it looks silly on the garmin at other zoom setting) Hopefully these are easy fixes.


Step 1: Obviously download and install OkMaps, it did pause for awhile for me as well, just have some patience (but it should not be more than a few minutes) and then run the program.


Step 2: Utilities -> Google Map Server

This interface is not very intuitive, until you use it. I clicked on "Sel coordinates" and you get a pop up with what appears to be the same information that you seen on the original screen, but for some reason it works this way (use the tabs to go to DMM or DMS for easier input)... enter a center coord and "Accept". The "Sel location" takes you to a geocoding pop up where you should be able to enter a town or maybe an address instead. It then converts the coords for you.


Step 3: You can now "Get image" but, I think this is a little confusing. Set your zoom level (I used 16), your source of map (Satellite for me), and the resolution is not really resolution it is more like map size. So if you only want a small area around your center coord as an image, choose 1024x1024 (I chose 4096x4096). You should now be able to click "Get Image". I am not really sure how the zoom and pan affect things after you "Get Image", but I just hit "Save map" and you save it as an .okm file or a native okmap's map.


Step 4: Create the KMZ

Utilities -> Map tiling, it will tell you to "Load a map", so do it by navgating to the .okm map you just created (should be an icon in the top left). It automatically broke the image/map down into 16 chunks (1024x1024 each), but I think you can hit the magic wand icon to do it for you if it did not. I used the defaults for KMZ, Jpg, and 75 quality... and then click on the triangle at top (real intuitive, right?) to save it as an KMZ. I then copied the KMZ to my custom map folder on my garmin and it showed right up (with the problems I mentioned).




I did get some black lines across my images at one time, but I did the process again and the lines went away (might have to close and open, but still FREE and worth it!!)... I don't usually use freeware, but this one has some really great potential if folks could start using it, maybe give the guy some feedback (and money if you are so inclined). :D

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