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Gps Visualizer: A Web-based Mapping Tool


gpsvisualizer
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(I posted this message a couple days ago in the "GPS Units and Software" forum, but it occurs to me that this might be a better spot for it, so please pardon the redundancy if you've seen this already.)

 

GPS Visualizer -- http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/ -- is a free web-based program that takes your GPS data and generates customizable maps or profiles in standard browser-viewable SVG format.

 

Here's some of what makes GPS Visualizer so useful:

  • It's free. (But donations are warmly welcomed!)
  • It accepts a wide range of input file formats, including, of course, geocaching.com LOC files. Both tracks and waypoints can be plotted, and you can plot multiple sets of data on a single map.
  • Geocaching waypoints are clickable and take you back to the relevant page on geocaching.com.
  • You have a wide range of choices for background maps, including:
    • 30-meter Landsat imagery for the entire world
    • Street-level maps for Europe and the U.S.
    • Aerial photos and USGS topo maps for the U.S.
    • Excellent digital background maps for Canada

    [*]The maps are interactive: labels can be moved or removed, and the backgrounds' position and opacity can be adjusted.

    [*]It's platform-independent (works great on both Mac AND Windows), because it runs on-line.

    [*]The output is in the form of vector drawings (SVGs) that can be scaled to any size and/or edited in a program like Adobe Illustrator.

    [*]The owner (that's me) is responsive to problems and suggestions for improvement, at least when I have time to work on it.

Again, the URL is: http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/

 

Have fun, and please let me know if there are any problems.

 

Adam Schneider

http://adamschneider.net/

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(One ongoing glitch is that the high-quality digital Canadian maps are unavailable, but that has nothing to do with my server.)

That's real sad - they were excellent. What type of source maps are you looking for - maybe we can find an alternate.

The data I was using before was from the National Topographic Data Base (NTDB) by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) -- and I was getting it straight from their server. Now, when I try to send a request, it returns some kind of database error that suggests they're having software or hardware problems at the moment. I hope it's just temporary problems, because those NRCan maps, for all their slowness, are wonderfully detailed and amazingly accurate.

 

I sent a message to the guy in Sherbrooke who's supposed to be the contact person for their map server, but I haven't heard anything. Keep your fingers crossed.

 

In the meantime, of course, I'd welcome any suggestions of alternate sources for Canadian maps. (And don't suggest the "Toporama" site, because that won't work; it doesn't let you specify coordinates to generate images on the fly.)

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One problem I seem to have with Visualizer - and it's a great tool, btw - is creating a map for two waypoints close together. No matter how I adjust the Margin:, Show waypoints: and Single-point map width: parameters, it draws a thin rectangular box with one waypoint at the top and the other at the bottom. If only a single waypoint is entered, a normal map is displayed. The only workaround I've found is to create additional waypoints to define the map perimeter.

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No matter how I adjust the Margin:, Show waypoints: and Single-point map width: parameters, it draws a thin rectangular box with one waypoint at the top and the other at the bottom.  If only a single waypoint is entered, a normal map is displayed.  The only workaround I've found is to create additional waypoints to define the map perimeter.

"Single-point map width" is never considered if there's more than one waypoint.

 

What you need to do is specify a very large "margin" and a relatively small "maximum dimension." For instance, let's say you have two points that are more or less at the same latitude, so you've been getting a skinny horizontal map. If you make the max. dim. 100 and the margin 200, your points will be 100 pixels apart, but the overall map will be 500 pixels wide and 400 pixels high -- which is probably closer to what you wanted.

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