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Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2010, 01:27:08 PM »
Muchas Gracias, Jelf...I love it. Exploring some more on the matter.
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2010, 10:02:19 AM »
Buenos d?as from the Pacific Northwest.

Yesterday I posted version 1.8.1 of Gmap4.  New things include:
   Search (Click Menu ==> Search)
   Place one icon on the map via a URL parameter (&icon=)
   Print via your browser

Gmap4 homepage:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html
Check out the menu links for:
   What’s new
   Examples
   Help

Search the Help file on “(New)” to find details on the new stuff.

To the best of my knowledge the Search - List feature is unique to Gmap4.

Enjoy,
Joseph

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 05:41:18 PM »
Gmap4 has been updated to version 1.8.3

The present-day magnetic declination for  the map center is now always displayed in the lower right corner.  This value is produced using software from http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/IAGA/vmod/igrf.html combined with data from http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/back.shtml.
Since the magnetic declination is always changing, the older value printed on maps can be wrong by several degrees.

I also updated my links page to show (1) reviews of Gmap4  and (2) sites that are already using Gmap4 to produce online interactive maps.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_links.html

Finally, if you are interested in the search feature and/or print feature, please check the ‘Help’ file (and use the Table of Contents) to be sure you have seen the most info on those features.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

The link below will display a world map.  To test-drive the search feature click Menu==>Search.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=38.259207,-16.760195&t=t1&z=2

Enjoy,
Joseph

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 05:47:59 PM »
Great stuff, Joseph! I used it in planning for my last Big Bend trip.

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2011, 02:07:59 PM »
Jelf...welcome to the board. I have not yet tinkered with it, but question: Can it also work with coordinates fed from the Mexican side?. Logic dictates no, but it does not hurt to ask. Homero

Gmap4 hablas lat/lng and utm coordinates worldwide.
WGS84 datum.
You can search worldwide on any reasonable way to write a lat/lng (Menu ==> search)

Gmap4 is a worldwide app.  The only limitation is that the detailed topographical maps only cover the USA  and Canada.  Of course you can look at Google's Terrain view for Mexico.

Below is info on a UTM update I just posted
- - - - -

Gmap4 has been updated to version 1.9.1 dated January 17, 2011.  This version adds support for UTM coordinate grids.  All UTM support in Gmap4 uses the WGS84 datum.  This UTM support works worldwide.  For more info on UTM coordinates see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Transverse_Mercator_coordinate_system

(Pay back time:  When you visit other outdoor-related forums, please do a search and see if Gmap4 has been mentioned.  If not, it would just take a moment for you to pass the word along.  Also, are you doing the social network thing?  Consider saying something nice about Gmap4.)

Here’s a map of Grand Canyon Village with a UTM grid.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=36.059592,-112.139836&t=t2&z=14&coord=utm

To toggle UTM support on and off, click Menu ==> UTM On/Off.  If UTM is ‘on’ then Gmap4 gives you UTM information in three ways:

1.  A UTM grid is displayed.  This UTM grid is displayed on both the MyTopo topographic maps (USA and Canada) and the standard views (aerial, etc) provided by Google Maps.

2.  The lower right corner of the screen will always show the UTM zone and UTM coordinates for both the cursor and map center.

3.  You can get the UTM zone and coordinates for any point on the map by right-clicking that point.

Things to keep in mind


You can build you own map links by using URL parameters.  If you want your map to appear on the user’s screen and already have UTM turned on, then add this URL parameter:  &coord=utm

Here is a comparison:
With UTM on
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4/helpfile/Stafford_Creek.kml&t=t2&coord=utm
With UTM off (default)
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4/helpfile/Stafford_Creek.kml&t=t2

If you zoom out far enough then you will not see a UTM grid.  Instead you will only see vertical red lines which mark the edges of the UTM zones.

UTM grid lines that are near the edge of their zone often appear curved when displayed using the map projection used by Google Maps.  The grid lines in the adjoining zone will curve in the opposite direction.  For example, the next map is centered near Lake Tahoe.  The red line marks the edge of adjoining UTM zones.  Double click each side of the red line (this changes the map center) and watch the UTM grid lines change.  The grid lines are calculated based on the UTM zone that contains the center of the map.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=39.115536,-120.208437&t=m&z=8&coord=utm

Some MyTopo topographic maps already have a UTM grid printed on them.  Caution!  Some of those printed grids are based on the older datum NAD27.  Those older grids will have a uniform offset from the grid displayed by Gmap4 which is based on datum WGS84 .  For example: Here is a map showing part of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area in Washington State where the MyTopo maps have a UTM grid based on the WGS84 datum.  Click Menu ==> UTM  On/Off and you will see the faint UTM grid printed on the map:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=47.47229,-120.80588&t=t2&z=14&coord=utm
By contrast, here is a map showing part of the Yosemite Valley area in California, where the MyTopo maps have a UTM grid based on NAD27.  Note the uniform offset between the two sets of grid lines.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.736733,-119.568449&t=t2&z=14&coord=utm

Usually (but not always) the different zoom levels use a different scale for the UTM grid.  To learn the grid scale, compare the cursor coordinates (lower right corner) as you point to adjacent grid lines.  If you want to know the zoom level, right click the map.

Maps with UTM grid lines can be printed.  File ==> Print Preview

If you know of any other map viewing software that can display the MyTopo topographic maps along with a UTM grid, I would enjoy knowing about it.

Future UTM improvements

There are different methods for putting labels on the grid lines.  I am pondering what will work best.
Another possible improvement is to let the user change the line width, color and/or spacing.
Other ideas?

Next Gmap4 update

Bad news:  The ‘Search’ feature of Gmap4 no longer works very well for placenames.  This feature uses Google’s ‘geocoding’ service on the backend.  OK, I admit it.  Gmap4 was pushing the envelope in its use of that service.  Whoops - Google pushed back.  Guess who won?  I will add a second search tool that is designed to work well with placenames. 

Good news: The existing ‘Search’ feature of Gmap4 still works fine for searching on (1) anything related to addresses including names of many settlements that no longer exist and (2) any reasonable way to write a latitude/longitude pair.

Finally, if you find Gmap4 to be useful I hope you can take a moment and do some ‘pay-back’ by letting other people know about it.

Enjoy!
Joseph - Gmap4 author

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2011, 10:53:21 PM »
I just promoted Gmap4 from version 1 to version 2.

Little reason:
  I added support for viewing the set of topo maps that used to be known as Terraserver and now are known as Microsoft Research Maps.  Click the map type button in the far upper right and select “US Topo”.  You can really see the quality difference compared to the MyTopo maps.

The US Topo maps often load a bit slow.  Part of the reason is that each map tile must be re-projected on-the-fly in order to match the map projection used by Google Maps.  I added support for these maps in case they show old (abandoned?) trails that are not on the MyTopo maps.

Big reason:
  This update introduces a new text file format that makes it super easy to produce maps.  For a quick look, scroll down a bit on the Examples page:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_examples.html

This new file format is so easy that middle school students can quickly learn how to produce maps.

Maps can include:
  *  Many different kinds of symbols (i.e. markers/icons)
  *  Lines of any color and any width
  *  Balloons that appear when symbols are clicked
  *  Links in the balloons
  *  Clickable photo thumbnails in the balloons
  *  And more

Did I mention that this is truly easy

For the details, you can search the Help file on ‘delimited’.  Or just go to page 32 in the 5-6-2011 version of the Help file.  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

Homepage:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

Enjoy.

Joseph

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2011, 03:57:06 PM »
I just promoted Gmap4 version 2.1.4 from testing into production.  Some of the new features are described below.  For a full list of the changes in this version please see http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_whats_new.html

Remember, Gmap4 lives in the cloud and does not require you to download or install anything.  Anytime you view a map with Gmap4, you automatically will be using the most recent version.

The big news is that you can now strap on a personal jet pack and fly around in 3D anywhere in the world.  (The Gmap4 ‘Search’ feature is a useful way to zip you to the spot where you wish to begin flying.)

You can fly at low altitude over any map that has a GPS track and see the world in 3D.  No sweat, no bug bites, no blisters.

All you have to do is download the Gmap4 ‘Help’ pdf file dated September 12, 2011 or more recent and search for ‘Tips for flying’.  Anyone can quicky and easily learn to fly with just a mouse by taking a quick trip through flight school by reading those tips.  Those tips will show you how to fly over the John Muir Trail in California starting from the summit of Mt. Whitney.

Gmap4 ‘Help’ file:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf

In addition, the ‘directions’ feature has been re-written.  Right-click the map and then click either ‘Direction from here’ or ‘Direction to here’.  After the route appears, you can drag it to make changes.  You can build a Gmap4 URL that will open with the directions panel displayed and the destination filled in.  This will be useful for helping people obtain directions to a meeting spot.  Search the Gmap4 Help file for ‘Tips for using directions’.

Also, information on how to donate has been added to the ‘Action’ menu and the Gmap4 website.

Enjoy!

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2011, 06:11:14 PM »
Jelf, thank you for this most useful tool!  I was able to use it to locate a very hard to find slot canyon in New Mexico last year.  I will definitely visit the donate link.  Any chance of a smartphone app for this tool?
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2011, 01:46:38 PM »
Jelf, thank you for this most useful tool!  I was able to use it to locate a very hard to find slot canyon in New Mexico last year.  I will definitely visit the donate link.  Any chance of a smartphone app for this tool?

Sadly there are not enough hours in the day to fulfill all  of life's obligations and also crank out a smartphone app.  But I do plan to produce further Gmap4 updates as time allows.

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Offline Terlingua Express

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2011, 06:01:23 PM »
I am currently running the following browsers.

Google Chrome 13.0.782.220 m
Mozila Firefox 6.0

With the exception of your site and help files, everything else loads up as a blank page....all map links, same thing.

Any idea what to look for, as the problem?

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2011, 11:03:14 PM »
After the September 12th update to Gmap4 I heard from a handful of people that this new version gave them a blank screen and nothing else.  For most people the new version worked fine but for an unfortunate few it did not.  I want to thank those that spoke up.  After all, when things work fine for me, I have no way of knowing that they do not work fine for you unless you tell me.  The best way to reach me is to e-mail through my contact page:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_contact.html

Late today I updated the Gmap4 code.  If you click Menu ==> About then you will see the date  September 14, 2011 (or later).

If you are still having trouble viewing maps with Gmap4, then I have a favor to ask.  In addition to updating the code I also put together a short list of easy things that you can try to get the latest version of Gmap4 working on your system.  Here’s the favor:  Please download the latest copy (dated September 14, 2011) of the ‘Help’ file (http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_help.pdf) and search that file for ‘tips on flying’.  Near the end of that section you will see a heading that starts “Background...”.  That section gives you a peek under the hood and suggests several easy/quick things you can do to try and get the current version of Gmap4 working on your system.

Some of those suggestions have worked for others, so I hope if you are having problems that you take a few minutes and give them a try.  And if nothing else works, then the last suggestion gives you a link to the prior version of Gmap4 which does not include the new ‘Earth’ feature which seems to be the source of most of the problems.

But since being able to fly over your GPS track (or any other data file) in 3D is easily the coolest feature in Gmap4, I most certainly hope you are able to convince your system to run the current version of Gmap4 so you can waste as much time as I have flying here and there.  It’s addictive but - hey - you’ve been warned.

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2011, 09:01:32 AM »
Gmap4 has been updated to version 2.1.6 dated September 17, 2011. 
Homepage:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

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.

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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Offline jave

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2011, 10:19:25 PM »
Enjoying the Gmap4 on safari.  Yes there are caves; Mexican freetail bats are hanging out in the one on the left just before you get to Laguna Meadows.  As you drive in from Persimmon Gap you can spot one a mile to the east which has some art.

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Offline Jelf

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2011, 06:44:57 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

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

Here are two links with more information if you are curious how this works:
http://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/geolocation/
http://support.google.com/gmm/bin/answer.py?hl=en&cbrank=2&cbid=-13t9fywlvvabr&ctx=cb&answer=39894&src=cb

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.php?findme=on&coord=off

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.php?ll=44.461721,-110.832396&z=14&t=t2

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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Offline RichardM

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Re: Gmap4 - An enhanced Google Map viewer
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2011, 08:14:23 PM »
However, your desktop/laptop location will likely not be very accurate since in many cases only your IP address will be used.
It says I'm in my next door neighbor's front yard. :icon_lol:

This is still by far my favorite free online mapping tool. :eusa_clap:

 


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