Screen Shots ADDED!!! SDak land use map (like the WY map)

Started by smith, January 02, 2009, 09:30:28 AM

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Dan Blomberg
Administrator - GPSFileDepot
GPS Units: Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMap 60csx, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 250W, ForeRunner 110, Fenix 2, Tactix Bravo, Foretrex 401
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QuoteThese are very nice. What procedure are you using to do them?

Thanks guys. I am putting together the entire source file with Global Mapper. I then assign my own attributes by adding an MP_TYPE hex value for everything I want to customize. Global Mapper's search and replace functions are great for this although I wish it had a bit more sophisticated searches like AND/OR.... but maybe I just haven't figured out how to do that yet?

I have been on a bit of a quest to figure an easy way to create pixmaps for the custom types. I am a WIndows newbie (Mac/Linux/Unix for many, many years) so I'm learning as I go. Have played around with IconXP and it's OK. There's also a freeware program called gfie which is handy for doing batch conversions. Ultimately I have ended up tweaking everything in a text editor.

But this gets really tedious, especially because you need to upload to the GPS and see what it looks like, tweak the TYP file, repeat. But this weekend I decided to take awhile and play around with the Mapwel program. I tried the demo sometime ago to convert a raster image and was not especially impressed. But now that I've spent some quality time with the software I have to admit... it completely blows me away. VERY impressive.

The custom types editor is terrific. Sure, I could wish for a few additional features, but it's really quite good. You can save type sets in their proprietary format or export them as text files and cut/paste them into your hand-built files. And you can do all that with the demo version for free even!

The limitation is that you cannot re-define Garmin's standard types, so that threw me at first because it's what I've been doing (necessary due to the limited number of available types. But Mapwel gives you a whole additional address range - like the marine maps - of types. When I pasted these into my hand built file and compiled with cgpsmapper, it didn't work though so I figured it was a limitation of the GPS.

Not so however - if you use Mapwel's own internal compiler, the custom types are rendered on the GPS just like they are in the Mapwel workspace. That is quite remarkable... and my test map compiles REALLY fast - about 10 seconds versus maybe 5 minutes with cgpsmapper. The demo version won't render the whole map, but I saw enough to convince me to get the full version.

Just now starting to use that, so maybe I will find some limits, but this sure appears to be a very impessive package. And if it works on my bigger maps, I suspect I will be done with cgpsmapper. If you haven't played with the software yet, check it out. I don't mind hand editing text files - have done it for over 20 years with vi under unix - but this program really makes it easier, and it renders the maps beautifully with the real textures on your screen.

Aside from the software aspects, I found a wealth of data on New Jersey's Geological Survey site where they have painstakingly traced shapefiles of the landcover for the whole state and classified them using a system called the Anderson Code.

I suspect many other states have this kind of info available too based on a quick search. Try using the keyword LULC (land use/land cover) when searching. I will start another thread with some screenshots later, after I get a little further with the current project. But I'm very psyched about all this (as you might tell from this long rant  ;D) now that I can speed up the process with Mapwel.