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  1. #1

    Default Map creation site

    I just discovered http://www.planiglobe.com/, a site which lets you generate maps of different areas.

    I had been looking for something like this for quite a while so I could generate maps I could include along with pictures in a trip journal. The issue with things like Yahoo Maps, MapQuest, as well as the mapping software I use with my Garmin GPS receiver is that they're all copyrighted and I have no license to redistribute those maps, so I couldn't legally reproduce the maps on my website.

    The planiglobe maps come with a quite generous license so you can do just about anything you want with them. (Click the "copyright/license" link on their page for details.)

    The maps really aren't as useful as Yahoo Maps or Mapquest in a number of ways:
    • Only major roads are shown; they don't have displays of every street
    • Roads are not labelled
    • The maps don't have a lot of the other features shown on Yahoo or Mapquest (e.g., parks)
    • The most "zoomed-in" size is still quite a lot larger than the highest resolution of Yahoo or MapQuest
    • You can add and label your own points on the map, but you have to have Latitude and Longitude for them (tip: see here or here for resources for finding coordinates)
    • You can only display individual points, not routes (though you can kinda-sorta make it show routes by plotting lots of individual points along the route--useful if you can dump such points from along your route from a GPS receiver, not so useful otherwise. But large numbers of points don't seem to be a problem; in a brief test I ran it handled ~250 points without any trouble.)


    Still, for all these limitations, I think it's absolutely great just for the fact that I can legally copy the maps and use them in my own trip reports on my own website.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Good to know

    Chuck,

    RoadTrip America is currently building (what we hope) willl be a really snazzy application that will combine and enable the creation of personal road trip journals, photo albums and a customized mapping program for our roadtrip community.

    As you know the mapping element is a bit tricky, because of the licensing issues, but we launch it, there won't be anything quite like it available on the web.

    Thanks for sharing the information about the program you found!

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    Sounds great--I'm looking forward to seeing what you've done!

  4. #4
    m.weinelt Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck C
    I just discovered http://www.planiglobe.com/, a site which lets you generate maps of different areas.

    ( ... )

    The planiglobe maps come with a quite generous license so you can do just about anything you want with them. (Click the "copyright/license" link on their page for details.)

    • You can only display individual points, not routes ( ... )

    We have now added an option to connect your points by a line (track mode). You can opt for plotting of lines and points, only lines or only points. This is done via the 'dim map layers' dialog.

    www.planiglobe.com is not a routing site (at least as long as we cannot afford Tele Atlas, Navtec, etc) but we will integrate TIGER data eventually.

    Cheers, Martin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Tiger?

    ...but we will integrate TIGER data eventually.
    What is TIGER data? I haven't looked at your application yet, but I will probably prepare a review at some point. Thanks for the update on this tool.

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by m.weinelt
    We have now added an option to connect your points by a line (track mode). You can opt for plotting of lines and points, only lines or only points. This is done via the 'dim map layers' dialog.
    That's great!!! Thanks so much!

    One thing I've noticed now is that if you want to plot a point without a label, you still need to put a comma after the second coordinate. If you don't put in that second comma, the point doesn't show up.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck C
    One thing I've noticed now is that if you want to plot a point without a label, you still need to put a comma after the second coordinate. If you don't put in that second comma, the point doesn't show up.
    I take it back--this isn't a bug, it's an undocumented feature. A point without a second comma doesn't show up as a point, but is accounted for in mapping the track. You can use it to do neat things like this:



    This was created with a set of hundreds of points mapping out a trip around Lake Michigan (all of those are mapped out in the track), but only the points where the 45th parallel was crossed had that second comma, so only those points actually show up as points.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Very, very interesting

    Chuck,

    Thanks for that cool tip and example -- I have got to try this program too. How long have you been using it? How long did it take you to get proficient?

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default

    It wasn't hard to use, but I was exporting data from my GPS receiver, so I already had lat/long. I did have to play with the data a bit in Excel to get it from the dd° mm.mmm' my GPS receiver exports it as to the dd.dddd° format that planiglobe needs.

  10. #10
    m.weinelt Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    What is TIGER data? I haven't looked at your application yet, but I will probably prepare a review at some point. Thanks for the update on this tool.

    Mark
    Sorry for being so late with my reply. TIGER data are provided by the US Census Bureau. We did not look closely at the data, but it is clear from various discussions and the documentation (http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/) that the resolution of the TIGER data is much better than the road data currently used at planiglobe. Wish there was something similar for Europe.

    Because of the open file policy in the US , American planiglobe users will enjoy better road data than the rest of the world once we set the data up for planiglobe. Navteq, TeleAtlas and the like is far out of reach for us.

    Cheers, Martin

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