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Author Topic: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?  (Read 4992 times)

hogrod

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Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« on: July 26, 2009, 12:28:27 PM »
I've been using the Wisconsin topo map available here with my Garmin city navigator maps for awhile, but recently tried the Transparent Illinois topo map & loved it.

I would really like to have a transparent topo map of Wisconsin(& U.P. of Michigan) now that I see how it works with city Navigator, as I wouldn't have to show/hide different mapsets just to see my topo maps & street maps on the same card.

Being new I have been searching the forum and reading the tutorials & making these maps seems like a very big project to get into. Makes me really appreciate all the work you guys have done. anyway I got to thinking why aren't all the states available as transparent maps too?

When making these maps they actually contain less data than the full maps(no streets or POIs), so it would seem that in the process of making the full state maps these topo/water data only maps could be made pretty easy.

Am I way off base here? Is there any reason there isn't more transparent maps available?   ???


maps4gps

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 05:18:26 PM »
I made a general topo overlay mapset available last summer/fall (to go with CN or the Ibycus mapset), but the host site died about 6 weeks later.  Oz offered to host it, but I started making 'full' topo maps for the central and eastern states since new Census data became available in December.
Not too difficult to create a seperate mapset with just the contour data, but Oz would have to decide on how many almost similiar data sets he wanted to host.  There are also issues with what the proper contour interval is and what to do where the source NED/DEM data is not capable of recreating the contours on the published USGS topo quads (which is the source for most of the NED/DEM data).
I have heard that CN does not have the GNIS (geographic/physical feature) POIs that are in the USGS GNIS files.  Also that CN does not have very good hydrography.  How does the hydro in IL work with that in CN?  There are also numerous issues with using the more detailed USGS NHD hydro data.
A few months ago, someone posted that more than one overlay mapset will not work,.  If the contour lines (+- GNIS POIs, hydro, etc.) were in an overlay mapset, that would prevent users from having their own overlay layer of trails, landownership, or other specialized personal data.
There is also (or was) an issue with the 'preview' map in MapSource for overlay mapsets.

I am now taking a break from 18+ months of acquiring and updating data, processing it and creating various mapsets.  The next release of Census (street) data will likely be in Nov/Dec. and will make most of the current mapset obsolete.  I was thinking of creating a 'base' mapset with roads for those who do not have CN, and an overlay mapset with contours and other data.  Oz, others, any thoughts. suggestions? 

Perry

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 07:22:59 PM »
<A few months ago, someone posted that more than one overlay mapset will not work>

Iíve had no problem with two transparent overlay mapsets on my 60CSx.  Maybe multiple transparent map overlays work fine with some GPSs and not others; or maybe that person had something messed up (which is so easy to do), or ???

I have Garmin topo 2008; a Washington topo; a transparent FS road with GNIS overlay; and a transparent overlay of trails; all loaded on the 60CSx.  Obviously I donít see both topos at the same time, but can turn map layers/sets on or off as I want.  I do see the features from both transparent overlays plus whatever non-transparent mapset is turned on.

maps4gps

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 06:12:30 AM »
Perry,
  Thanks for the info.  I did not get a chance to check it out, as all our computers 'failed' (1 mechanical and 2 windows) within a few weeks and a week after having the 'work-horse' computer restored, it developed the third mechanical issue in little over a year. 

hogrod

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 08:19:47 AM »
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Also that CN does not have very good hydrography.  How does the hydro in IL work with that in CN?  There are also numerous issues with using the more detailed USGS NHD hydro data.  I was thinking of creating a 'base' mapset with roads for those who do not have CN, and an overlay mapset with contours and other data.  Oz, others, any thoughts. suggestions?  
One issue with supplemental hydo data in an overlay used with a road basemap is the problem of the draw priority. Adding polys to an overlay can present problems:

EX: Everything in the overlay gets overlaid, so the hydro will cover the roads...

What has worked for some is to uses a custom .typ's for any added poly in an overlay.


I really liked how the Illinois transparent topo worked, but I did notice that with it active that bridges didn't show. Actually the newest versions of City Navigator have been adding allot of hydro data(at least in WI), they don't show the smallest lakes and streams, but a significant improvement over say a couple versions ago.

I would sacrifice the  good hydro data and use whatever City Navigator has for hydro data, just to have a nice topo transparent layer would be great! though I do like how the Illinois transparent map has the water data too.

Would it make sense for the custom mapsets on this site to contain streets, POI, and water data, then just to have a transparent topographic contour map that can be downloaded separately? That way people like me can just download & add the topo to their existing City Navigator maps & everyone else would have the advatage of being able to hide the topo mapset layer and have a nice clean street map for navigating?
With my idea above this would also eliminate the issue where bridges weren't showing up.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 05:55:29 PM by Indrid Cold »

maps4gps

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 11:16:18 AM »
Ditto on the overlay polygons covering the primary map.  In my first maps in Jan, 2008, I found that the 'base' data' needed to be in an overlay mapset so the geology info (contiguous polygons) would not cover everything else.  The term transparent is misleading as such a mapset functions as an overlay and is NOT transparent.  OZ previously mentioned that older GPSrs can not handle custom type files, so I am trying to stay with the basic Garmin types.

I had heard the POI's in CN were more cultural (resturants, stores, etc); the GNIS points are more physical (mountains, lakes, waterfalls, springs, etc).

If CN has improved hydro, then an overlay mapset of contours (or contours and GNIS points) sounds useful.  And a 'base' map with streets and hydro for those who do not have CN.  I was starting to add the base data (since Ibycus indicated he would not get to processing the Dec Census data until school was over this summer) when the host site died. 

An issue with just contour lines in an overlay mapset is that they will not display in MapSource until one is zoomed-in so that only about one quad/tile is displayed - and who can tell where they are from just looking at a few contour line.

maps4gps

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 04:14:41 PM »
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Would it make sense for the custom mapsets on this site to contain streets, POI, and water data, then just to have a transparent topographic contour map that can be downloaded separately? That way people like me can just download & add the topo to their existing City Navigator maps & everyone else would have the advatage of being able to hide the topo mapset layer and have a nice clean street map for navigating?

One way I was considering. However, I am sure those who wanted a full topo would not find downloading two datasets and selecting the same quads/tiles in MapSource very pleasent and would ask for a combined mapset.  I could also list variations by source of data, and including and not including certain feature type or other data not commonly included, but this would quickly get unmanagable.
Comes down to how many would find which option the best for them (and how much time the map author wants to spend on making and uploading 'variations' of the data).
I would be willing to go either (or 'all' major ways) - Oz needs to make the call on how many 'variations'' he is willing to host.

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 09:55:21 PM »
For now I'm willing to see what comes from this line of thought.

I do agree that we will need a replacement for the IbycusUSA map at some point since that data is going on 1.5yrs old.

My concern is new users: will they know which map to choose and install?
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maps4gps

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Re: Transparent Topo Maps, for every state?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 06:02:24 AM »
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... a replacement for the IbycusUSA map at some point since that data is going on 1.5yrs old.
Census is now doing yearly updates of 'TIGER'.  I expect the next about Dec.,2009; however with the 2010 census, there are reasons it could be early or late.