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changing style of labels - how labels display on GPS

Started by RCinSTP, December 14, 2015, 12:10:57 PM

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I have a canoe map and each portage/hiking trail between lakes has a label.  In QGIS I can apply lots of style options to change the way the labels look but am using MapEdit to create the .img format map and I don't see any way to apply styles to the labels with MapEdit.  I'm using a custom .typ file which I edit with TYPViewer and I don't see any way to style the labels in the typ file either.


You can't change the font or use traditional styles like italic, bold, etc. This has been a Garmin gripe of mine forever. And fonts/sizes can be very different between different model Garmin units.

TypViewer gives you control of the available options though, so maybe you have missed that? Check the box that says Extended Labels. You will then have a dropdown menu for size and another for color. There's also an Invisible option, which can be very useful when you just want to show an object without a label cluttering up the screen.

Unfortunately, the effect of the Extended Label option is also very inconsistent between different Garmin devices, and of course Mapsource/Basecamp also display them completely differently. IIRC, on the Nuvi, the label size setting has no effect but it works properly in Basecamp and on my Montana. Choosing a label color results in something really ugly on the Nuvi.  :o


Thanks Boyd, I really appreciate the help. I looked at Extended Labels but I thought it did not apply to labels generated from the shape file.  I think that will work for me.  The map is only intended for hiking type devices so hopefully, the labels will work ok.

It's really unfortunate that the software is not What You See Is What You Get, because when you make a change to the map, then you have to make a new .img file and install it before you can see how the change looks.


Yes the workflow is awkward. But remember, as far as Garmin is concerned, you have no business making maps for their devices. They consider their format proprietary so all the tools we use have been reverse-engineered.

I use Globalmapper, and basically my workflow is

Edit source .gmp file in Globalmapper
Export as .mp file
Compile with cgpsmapper
Update .typ file with TypViewer
Rebuild mapset with MapsetToolkit
Check in Mapsource and Basecamp
Then, if it looks ok, I send it to the GPS

Repeat as needed. Can be tedious, especially since I'm very picky about how my maps look. ;)


I will check out Globalmapper.  I assume the labels are handled the same way, through the Extended Labels option in TypViewer?


It doesn't really matter how you prepare the data. In the end, it all goes through cgpsmapper and must conform to the limits of Garmin's format. Globalmapper is great, but expensive. They have a free trial version you can play with though.


Right now, the labels obscure the trails.  Reducing the size will help.  I assume it might be possible to set the labels for the Polyline hiking trails to only display when zoomed in, that might also help.
I need to study more about how to set levels for specific types of objects.


I think you're expecting more than Garmin's format can deliver. Setting the style to small won't hurt but it doesn't make a very big difference. You can control the zoom level at which an object will be shown, but not the level at which the label will be shown. There should be a zoom level menu setting on the GPS itself for that, but I see inconsistent results.

You can actually set the zoom level on a per-object basis if you want. That has not seen much discussion around here, but I use it quite a bit in my own maps. I process the .dbf from shapefiles with relational database applications I've developed. Among other things, this allows me to set zoom levels based on the length of a line or the area of a polygon. On my newest topo map, I used additional logic to control visibility. So if a minor road is in an urban area, it will disappear before a country road when you zoom out. I also show long unpaved roads at higher zoom levels. If you use a global zoom level setting for unpaved roads, then you get big blank areas out in the forest where there aren't any paved roads when you zoom out.

Globalmapper has a MP_BIT_LEVEL attribute that controls this for each map object. Don't know how it would be done in other software like GPSMapEdit.

I still like Garmin's vector format for many things, but if you are picky about the way maps are displayed, raster imagery gives you total control. Since they're just pictures, it really is WYSIWYG. :) But Garmin is a poor platform for that, smartphone apps are much better.