Openmtbmap big map Updates for 23. February 2012

Well a bit late, but better late than never the announcement for last Fridays map updates.

First of all, as promised I worked a lot on getting more and more maps with contourlines shipped. So now for the United States maps, there are pretty good contourlines without too many holes available - based on SRTM1 data. For Canada on the other hand - it wasn't so easy - and for right now the contourlines are only up to 60°north - so the Northern part of Canada does not yet have contourlines. I'll try my best to get contourlines out based on data published by the State of Canada - but it ain#t so easy.

Besides I added contourlines to Australia-Oceania (actually just 2 days after I had them finished, Jonathan from viewfinderpanoramas added a bunch of new data - so I redid them). I also created contourlines for Australia, and for New-Zealand separately, so one doesn't need to download the full Australia-Oceania contourlines or maps. Oh yes - New Zealand and Australia as separate maps is new too.

For Africa and separately for South Africa and Lesotho, as well as for South America and Central America I now also added contourlines. So besides Asia - contourlines are now available worldwide (as are maps) - for people who got an account on Velomap or Openmtbmap (well you need to donate to get one)...

Oh well I twice tried to create contourlines for all of Asia - but without lot's of handwork I won't be able to do so, and my Server twice ran out of memory - I think under 16GB it will be difficult to create them . Maybe I will sometimes in future give it another go - but for right now I'm not sure if I will ever offer contourlines for Asia... - though maybe I try to create some for the Himalayas...

On the other hand, as the maps got bigger and bigger, I though it's nice to be able to quickly change the layout of the maps. Now there is a new .exe that quickly guides you to change the layout. Just doubleclick it from the folder you installed your map too, or from the link on your programs/Start menu and you're done within 5 seconds to change the layout.


Then I thought - well Mapsource/Basecamp aren't really fast for creating maps for the GPS, and now mkgmap can create gmapsupp.img with address search too. So I put many (about 40 hours) into creating a very advanced and very failproof new batchfile (create_gmapsupp.img(_velomap)_with_mkgmap.bat) which depending on the input files offered asks you 1-5 questions to let you easily and very quickly create a gmapsupp.img for your GPS. If contourlines are present, it will ask you if and how you want to have them integrated (so both users of new generation or old generation GPS can choose if they want them integrated, and if they want to be able to switch them on/off separately from the maps or not). Also you are asked if you want to have an adress index generated or not. For users that have City Navigator maps installed, or people with low RAM a good option to turn off, for everyone else a good option to turn on. If you enable address search - then you are asked for free amount of RAM - so it should cater for old and new PCs... -- if it isn't enough RAM then it will simply rego without address search. And of course you can choose the layout.
 (if anyone can help me to change that batch as it is now from batch to an .exe executable, preferably based on NSIS - I offer you a free 25 year account on Velomap/Openmtbmap)


Well and as I worked through quite many nights last week to really improve the quality of the openmtbmap/velomaps I also corrected or improved some things on the maps themselves. E.g. check that there are not cities/places without names, that could disturb the search function, updated the layout of contourlines in Mapsource/QlandkarteGT/Basecamp layout to be not so dominating, and made some more checks to not have private swimming pools found in the POI section or search and integrate the key railway=dismantled...


So I thought, nice work and I can go into a relaxed longer weekend, when suddenly last week I got notified that the France map if fully installed to a modern (not older generation) Garmin GPS device could stop the device from booting. Such a thing never happened before and I spent at least another 15 hours on checking why and how it's possible this can happen. So far it seems to be related to maptiles having nearly no information - something that very rarely happens (actually worldwide only in some parts of France). The real bug is still a misery and noone on the mkgmap mailinglist got any real clue how and why this can happen. I solved it for now in two ways a) I try to have as big maptiles as possible and looked through every country if I can make the maptiles bigger (too big, and you get empty tiles because there are also upper limits) and what should hopefully make the bug impossible to reappear include some OSM ocean/sea objects, like ocean/sea names via POI, or very big navigation constructions. With that effort I hope, that even though the real reason could not be found - it will never happen again (note only the map of France if sent fully to modern GPS device was problematic).


So for next week I hope to find some time to update some more tutorials on the website, and also have some video tutorials. Beside I will try to make some things on the installer documentation better to read/choose.


Wow I think that's been one of the longest and biggest newsletter I've ever wrote - so I wish everyone who got down to here - a good start into a new week (and hope I find some more free time for sports again...)

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