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GPX tracks on tiles for APRSISCE/32

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  • Fred Hillhouse
    Greetings, Clive mentioned the other day an application called MAPC2MAPC. I downloaded and ran MAPC2MAPC. Very interesting! The price is reasonable too, about
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 29, 2012

    Clive mentioned the other day an application called MAPC2MAPC. I downloaded
    and ran MAPC2MAPC. Very interesting! The price is reasonable too, about
    $15US. I have not bought it so I get tiles with a jillion little red Xs on
    the tiles. Thank you Clive for the reference!

    First off, when downloading from the main site, I had a false positive from
    the local firewall. The author sent an alternate site.
    Main: http://www.the-thorns.org.uk/mapping/
    Alternate: http://www.sendspace.com/file/cat5py

    My interest was mainly event planning. Overall the product will do what is
    needed for events. As in most things, prep work will be the most time
    consuming. Another possible use would be to define a trip route. Since
    APRSISCE/32 does not do auto-routing for navigating, It would be as simple
    as following a line once the line is on the map. However, it would need to
    be done in segments (see Cons).

    It will use either a remote tile source (Mapnik and others) or a local
    A portion of a GPX track will be added to each tile.
    It saves them in a separate location locally so original tiles are
    Only the tiles needed, out of the entire block of tiles, can be saved if
    This is not just a "GPX on tile" application.
    Add SRTM to maps (tiles) as well.

    Track width maximum is limited to 4 pixels.
    Track hides everything underneath.
    Track would be nicer if it was transparent like a highlighter. Without
    highlighting, 4 pixels is probably enough.
    Tiles are fetched in a rectangular pattern. A track running diagonal across
    Colorado would cause every tile in Colorado to be fetched.
    It seems to not regulate tile fetching.

    Before even starting MAPC2MAPC some prep work is needed:

    GPX files need to be created before adding to tiles. This can be done
    several ways. I typically use GMAPtoGPX (link below) if the trip is road
    based. GPX files also be downloaded such as the 7700 point file in Florida.
    The number of points will have little effect. Making the GPX files may be
    the most tedious part of this process.

    Lotoja Classic (link below) as an example will be interesting. Check out the
    course and notice the different pieces of it. Not only is there a main
    track, there are side tracks. Take each section of the main route and create
    a GPX for it. I would use GMAPtoGPX for this task. There are side routes for
    vehicles, create a GPX track file for each of those. Combine all tracks into
    one GPX track file.

    Once all the GPX files are built, then MAPC2MAPC is started. First thing is
    to get the map needed. The map is based on the rectangular area the track
    covers. This is the reason for a overall track file. No tracks are on the
    map at this time. Once the base map is loaded, each track gets loaded one at
    a time. Cover and thickness can be selected. In this example, I would do the
    vehicle tracks first and then do the bike track. This way the bike track
    would cover the vehicle track when they are in the same location. Each step
    can be viewed.

    The last step is to tile the map. It will make a range of tiles. I worked
    from zoom 13 and selected 10-13 for tiles. At lower levels, some tiles will
    only have a portion of the map. This is not really a problem since only the
    area of the event is needed. I picked level 13 just to keep the tiles
    fetching to a minimum. The tiles are outlined and the user can select which
    tiles to save. You will have to move the resulting tiles to where it would
    be convenient to you and of course point APRSISCE/32 to them. It left them
    in a sub-directory under the directory the GPX files were located in.

    I did not try waypoints. For an event using APRSISCE/32, I would create an
    object for each place of interest and leave it at that.

    Overall, the package does most of what I would want. For the price, it is
    very reasonable. Personally, I think APRSISCE/32 is underpriced! But, I
    won't argue with the pricing structure. :)

    Using an imported GPX track into APRSISCE/32 can be interesting. I don't
    care much for automatic simplification since it usually doesn't give me the
    results I prefer. But without it, then loading just any old file with a lot
    of points may make the application slow to a crawl when the map is panned.

    Best regards,
    Fred, N7FMH

    PS. I have used this tool for about 10 years now to build GPX files:

    PSS. Example event: http://www.lotojaclassic.com/main/index.html


    From: aprsisce@yahoogroups.com [mailto:aprsisce@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
    Of Clive
    Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 18:56

    I suggest, Fred, that you look at MAPC2MAPC as it implies it can take a GPX
    file and do what you want.

    I wanted to take the same approach as James suggests but couldn't find a
    paint tool that would load more than one .png tile. In my searching I came
    up with what seems to me a workable approach with not too much manual work.

    I found a page on the OSM wiki called 'OSM Map On UI-View' which explains
    how to export a defined area from OSM as one file which can then be edited,
    I think I used jpg as file type & OZI as the cal (kal) instead of the
    suggested formats.

    Obviously there is a large choice of graphics packages you can use to add
    your info to the image.

    Although I've not gone this far yet the next step would be to use this image
    and it's calibration file with MAPC2MAPC to generate your desired OSM tile
    Myself, I use MAPC2MAPC to convert downloaded GB Ordnance Survey map images
    to OSM tiles. I prefer OSM for built up areas but don't think you can beat
    OS for rural UK.

    Apart from converting many map file formats this versatile shareware tool
    can be used with any map image and as long as you can define some
    calibration points generate calibrated map files in many formats including
    OSM in several zoom levels.

    An extreme example could be if your event organiser had a hand marked up
    route on their favourite paper map, it could be scanned, calibrated and a
    set of OSM tiles created for APRSISCE. The actual zooms levels you'd want to
    use would depend on the resolution/scale of the orginal. Of course you could
    mix the zooms using 'normal' OSM for larger area views with the scanned map
    for zoomed in local detail.

    BTW, to make OSM more useful for events don't overlook improving the base
    map itself for permanent features. Obviously you can't add event routes or
    temporary info to the real OSM but I've added buildings and enhanced service
    roads, etc. to help on events.

    73 de Clive, G0CHO
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