Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps. F

Post by Joseph » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:38 am

Gmap4 has been updated to version 2.1.6 dated September 17, 2011.
Homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Reminder: Since Gmap4 lives in the cloud (1) you never have to download or install Gmap4 and (2) you are always automatically using the latest version of the code. But if Gmap4 does not seem to work then please clear your browser’s cache and try again. To see the Gmap4 version number you can click Menu ==> About on any map.

This update fixes the ‘blank screen’ problem that some users experienced after the September 12th update. If you experienced that problem, then please try Gmap4 again.

In order to use the new 3D ‘Earth’ view, your computer system needs to have the Google Earth browser plug-in installed. The Gmap4 code now checks to see if your system already has this plug-in installed. If your computer system does not have this plug-in installed, then you will see a message telling you that and a link to Google where you can download the plug-in if you decide to install it. If you decide to install the plug-in, please follow the instructions in that message. You need a broadband connection and a reasonably modern computer to use the 3D ‘Earth’ view.

Also, your security software might ask you to give permission before this plug-in will work.

If you decide to not install the plug-in, simply close the message window. You can continue using all the other features of Gmap4 except the ‘Earth’ view.








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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:47 pm

Gmap4 has been updated to version 2.2. The full list of changes is posted on the Gmap4 “what's new” page (see hompage link below). Here are some highlights.

First, Gmap4 can add labels to Google maps. The labels are built from the waypoint names in your file. Your existing maps will work with this feature, except KMZ files are not yet supported. Labels can be styled with your own HTML and CSS. The following link displays a GPX file that is hosted at Topofusion and displays with labels turned on. http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... 2&label=on" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

To open Gmap4 with labels turned on, include this parameter in your Gmap4 URL: &label=on
To toggle the labels after a map is displayed click Menu ==> Label On/Off

You can style the labels with your own HTML and CSS. This label feature works with all the file formats that Gmap4 can read except KMZ files. Label support for KMZ files will be added in a future update.

Below is an example of a map I made with fancy labels. Note that (1) each label is clickable and (2) when you shift to an aerial map view then the labels acquire a solid background so the text does not disappear in shadows on the aerials. This map uses a delimited text file that is hosted at Google Sites.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... 3&label=on" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Second, a number of features have been added to the delimited text file format that Gmap4 can display. The section of the Gmap4 Help file titled “Delimited text files - Some details” has been completely re-written and now starts with a series of example maps that will let you rapidly learn the basics. If you want the most control over your map, this is the file format to use.

Third, the internet security features of Gmap4 have been enhanced. If you look at a file that causes Gmap4 to display a security-related message on your screen and you think that message is a ‘false positive’, then please go to the Gmap4 contact page and send an email. Include the URL to the map (Menu ==> Show map URL) in your email.

Fourth, Gmap4 can now display files that include a '?' character in the URL for the file.

For more information please see the Gmap4 homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Enjoy!

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by East Side Hiker » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:54 pm

This really is great information.

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:13 pm

The Gmap4 production code is now version 2.3. This is the first version that includes special features for smartphones and other mobile devices.

1. Gmap4 can now find your location on the map. This service will use some or all of:
* Your IP address
* Cell towers
* Wi-fi hotspots
* Any GPS chip in your phone or other mobile device

Simply open any map in your phone’s browser and then select Menu ==> Findme. You can try this right now on your desktop/laptop just to see how it works. However, your desktop/laptop location will likely not be very accurate since in many cases only your IP address will be used.

You can also build Gmap4 URLs that will automatically run the Findme feature when the map opens. Simply include the parameter ‘findme=on’ in the Gmap4 URL.
Example: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?findme=on" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Since Gmap4 uses the Google maps Application Programming Interface (API), this feature only works if your phone’s browser is online to the internet.

Also, because Gmap4 is a web application, you do not need to download or install anything in order to use Gmap4 on your phone. To open Gmap4 on your phone:
A. Open your phone’s browser. (Remember, that browser has to be online.)
B. Do a web search for Gmap4 - the first hit should be the Gmap4 homepage
C. Select the link just under the homepage title. That link opens Gmap4 and displays a map of the world.
D. Select Menu ==> Findme

Of course you can save the Gmap4 URL as a bookmark in your phone’s browser.

Gmap4 does not save your location or report it to anyone. For more details, please search the Gmap4 Help file on ‘mobile’.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here are two links with more information if you are curious how this works:
http://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/geolocation/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://support.google.com/gmm/bin/answe ... 894&src=cb" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2. You can turn off the coordinates in the lower right corner

Turning off the coordinate display in the lower right will let you see more of the map. You can toggle that display by selecting Menu ==> UTM - LatLng - Off

To open Gmap4 with that display already off, include the parameter ‘&coord=off’ in the Gmap4 URL
Example: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &coord=off" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

3. Tweaking the mobile interface
Gmap4 is not a ‘native’ app for your phone. Instead, the exact same code that runs in the browser on your desktop/laptop also runs in the browser on your phone. Amazing! But this means my options for improving the interface when running on a phone are somewhat limited. What I can do fairly easily is add buttons. However, each button would cover part of the map.

Question: Are there any features of Gmap4 important enough that they should have their own buttons? One obvious candidate is the ‘Findme’ feature. Any others?

4. The MyTopo maps now display ads in one corner. That was not my idea!
For example, this map shows part of Yellowstone National Park:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &z=14&t=t2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Trimble Company now owns the MyTopo maps. As the 'price' for being allowed to continue displaying the MyTopo maps at no cost, Gmap4 must display Trimble's ad images when the MyTopo maps are on the screen.

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy
Redmond, WA

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Sierra Passes

Post by tomba » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:29 am

You can see Sierra passes on Gmap4, color-coded for difficulty.
They can also be seen on Google Maps. This page shows aplhabetical list of them, which makes it easy to find a particular pass.
Each pass contains a link to the corresponding area on the HST Map, that often has more information.
Data is primarily from Sierra Backpacker, with some more from Secor's book, from my experience, and from other sources. Each pass indentifies sources.

If you want to add more information, PM me with pass name, coordinates, difficulty (class), and description.
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:33 pm

Here is a tweaked version of Tomba's Sierra Pass map which uses the new high resolution topographic maps (no watermarks, no ads):
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... ord=latlng" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Gmap4 code has been updated to version 3.0. There are two new ‘big’ features that many people will find useful.

First, Gmap4 can now display a new set of very high resolution USA topographic maps that (1) are a better quality image than the MyTopo maps, (2) do not have heavy watermarks obscuring part of the map and (3) do not have any ads. The link below displays a basic map of the USA. Zoom in to your favorite area (or use the ‘Search’ feature) then open the menu in the upper right corner and select “t4 Topo High”.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... 75&t=m&z=4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You can also set the amount of hill shading you prefer to see on these new maps. Click Menu ==> Hill shading. And there is a new URL parameter (&hillshade=) you can use to set the hill shading in any Gmap4 URLs that you make.

A developer in California named Matt (http://CalTopo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) produced these new topo map tiles from data he obtained from the USGS. Matt is paying out of his pocket to host these new map tiles on Amazon’s cloud service. It is my great hope that the Gmap4 user community taken as a whole will be willing to make sufficient donations to pay its share of Matt’s Amazon bill. The Menu button on the map has a ‘donate’ link.

Matt’s high resolution topographic map tiles should cover the states show in green on the following index map. I think the states that are not done yet are FL, LA, MA, MS, NH, RI, SD, VT and WY.
http://nationalmap.gov/historical/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
As the USGS finishes high resolution scans (660 pixels per inch) for the remaining states, Matt will be processing that data into tiles.

The Gmap4 ‘Help’ file has more information on these new maps and also instructions for how you can report any problems you discover.

Second, Gmap4 now includes a trip planning feature called “Make a map”. You can now click the map to make waypoints, routes and tracks. You can download your work in a GPX file and then upload that information into many handheld GPS units. Of course you can also put your GPX file online and then make a Gmap4 URL to display your file. This feature works worldwide.

Gmap4’s implementation of this feature lets you:
* Click once and create both a waypoint and routepoint
* Edit any data field (including GPS symbol name) that causes information to appear on your GPS screen

“Make a map” quick start:
1. Zoom in where you want to do trip planning
2. Set the map view you want
3. Click Menu ==> Make a map
4. Click a few spots on the map. Distance in miles and kilometers is reported in the lower right corner.
5. Right click any point
6. Click “Download GPX file”
7. Right click the URL to the GPX file and save it on your harddrive
8. Load the GPX information into your GPS

Each click you just made on the map sets a draggable (click-hold-drag) waypoint and routepoint. This is the Gmap4 default for trip planning.

For more information on these features, please visit the Gmap4 homepage and download the current Help file. The sections that describe these new features are marked “(New)” in the table of contents.
Gamp4 Homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I welcome your suggestions for improvements and any bug reports.

Enjoy!

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by rlown » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:04 pm

Please explain the overlap with HST Maps..

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Russ,

There are a number of nice online map tools. The HST map and Gmap4 are two of them. There are also others. In broad strokes, all us map developers do some of the same things and some different things. By all means look around and find the tool that best suits your needs.

It is also possible that no one map tool will do everything you want and you will wind up using a couple different tools. After all, how many different kinds of pliers do you own?

To the best of my knowledge there are presently two sites on the planet that show you high resolution topographic maps with no watermarks and no ads. (MyTopo = medium resolution + watermarks + ads.) They are CalTopo.com and Gmap4.

HST is using very nice medium resolution scans from ESRI. Those maps are nice since they do not have any watermarks. Here's a comparison showing Pine Creek Pass. Even though Gmap4 now provides a higher resolution topo map, it could easily be the case that some of the special features available with the HST maps better suit your needs.

Pine Creek Pass - HST
ESRI topo map has an outdated UTM grid based on the NAD27 datum
http://www.highsierratopix.com/high-sie ... om=15&cat=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Pine Creek Pass - Gmap4
UTM grid based on WGS84 (default datum in handheld GPS units)
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.p ... &label=off" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Joseph

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by rlown » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:10 pm

i see advantages to both. combine them into one offering on the HST.

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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by tomba » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:48 pm

Yes, it would be great to combine information about passes in one place, available in a machine-readable format. The passes I mentioned above are in KML format, so in addition to Gmap4 and Google Maps, people can view them in Google Earth in 3D, or in any tool that understands KML format - perhaps in a GPS receiver (after converting to GPX format), in a map viewing phone app, in a map printout, etc. Other people can add value by building on top of this.
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