Bit Map 7.0 Released

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Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 02 Sep, 2021 2:47 pm

'Bit Map' has returned to the iOS app store at last, and version 7.0 has been released today. It can be found on the iOS App Store at:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/bit-map/id1560781471

(I think it should also run on AS Mac as well (but not Intel Macs), but I've not had an opportunity to test this yet.)

For those who don't know...

Bit Map was the first iOS mapping/navigation app to provide users with the means to use their own arbitrary maps on their iOS devices (in 2009). At the time, other apps only worked with maps that were specifically designed for the app, or with maps that were built into the app. With BIt Map, you can use any map image, such as a photo or scan of a paper map, and georeference it on the device, or use a raster image that is already georeferenced.

Bit Map was later replaced with another app, and that app was later sold to another developer, who sold it on, and it was never updated, and that other app no longer runs on current devices.

So Bit Map has been re-written from scratch, and includes all the features of the previous version and the other app, as well as several improvements, the most significant of which are:

  • Use of online map services, such as WMTS, TMS, XYZ. (Has Open Street Map configured by default.)
  • Can read vector data from many different formats, and can write to several formats as well, including: GeoPackage (default), Shapefiles, GPX, file geodatabase (read-only), KML.
  • FOUR methods of georeferencing raster images, now including arbitrary control points
  • Highly customisable layer styles (symbology)
  • Lots of options for sharing data, maps, styles (AKA symbology) and settings with other users

This new generation of Bit Map is more of a GIS with a mapping/navigation focus. Some of the features planned for future releases include the ability to create/edit polygons and lines. At present, polygons are read-only and lines can only be created using the tracking feature. This GIS approach means that there is a little more data-management overhead than earlier versions, but it is much more flexible in what it can do, and the maps that can be displayed (ie, multiple rasters, plus multiple vector layers can be displayed on a single map, in which-ever layer-order is desired.)

The Bit Map home page is at: http://nixanz.com/bitmap/
The (almost-but-not-quite complete) user guide is at: https://nixanz.com/bitmap/user-guide/

Enjoy!

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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 03 Sep, 2021 8:46 am

I forgot to mention that the latest version of MAPC2MAPC can be used on Windows computers to georeference, tile and/or mosaic map image files into the new Bit Map 7 format. Although this can all be done on the device, it can sometimes be quicker and easier to manage this task on a desktop machine with a larger screen and more powerful processors.

(For Macs, the new AS Macs can run Bit Map natively, and do the work that way. Although I've not actually tested it yet, as I don't have an AS Mac.)

The home page for MAPC2MAPC is at: https://www.the-thorns.org.uk/mapping/

The developer tells me:

MAPC2MAPC has two ways to make BitMap7 files.

For a single image file or map, you load the calibrated map (or load an image and calibrate it) then choose File>Write BitMap7 for iphone. then save the 'bm7' file in the iCloud Drive folder that can then be moved to the iPhone and unzipped.

If there are several maps of the same area at different scales and/or maps of adjacent areas that you want to combine into one they can be built into a single BitMap7 file.

For each of the maps, open the calibrated map (or open the image and calibrate it) then choose File>Write map for Mobile device select MBTiles Sqlite and specify the zoom levels you want. Be sure to check the 'Write atlas directly..' box at the bottom left. Write the maps to the same MBTiles file replying Yes to the 'Merge with existing file' messages.

When you have all the maps you want, choose Utilities>Convert MBTiles to BitMap and save the bm7 file as above (Note this function does not appear for unregistered versions).


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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Sat 04 Sep, 2021 4:38 pm

…and Bit Map Lite (free version) has now been uploaded to the App Store and will be available very soon (once I can convince Apple’s reviewer that the word “tracking” used in several parts of this app has nothing to do with sharing user data with other apps and web sites!).

A ‘Pro’ version will also be available as an in-app purchase with the next release. (Not available in the ‘Lite’ version.)
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 08 Sep, 2021 10:26 am

FREE VERSION:

Bit Map Lite ( FREE version ) is now available on the app store at:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/bit-map-lite/id1584262856

The limitations of the 'Lite' version are:

  • Maximum of 3 online map services and/or offline data stores can be managed in the app (no limit to the number of layers that these services or data stores can contain)
  • Tracking always uses the ‘WGS 84’ (EPSG:4326) spatial reference system (default of most GNSS/GPS devices)
  • Settings cannot be locked with a password
  • Cannot use the 'Pro' level features (see below)

Although there are ways to work around the first two items, for people who are willing to figure it out. ;-)

FREE MAP SERVICES FOR BIT MAP (inc LIST for Tasmanian maps, and some other state government map services):

There's a list of map services that you can easily add to Bit Map (standard or 'lite') at:

https://nixanz.com/bitmap/resources/map-services/

If you know of others, please send me details, and I'll add them to the list.

I know that a lot of forum members use Tasmania's (DPIPWE's) LIST Map services. They are included in the list linked to above (and are what I usually use in Bit Map).

Just copy/paste the URL into Bit Map, and you're away (or see the more detailed instructions at: https://nixanz.com/bitmap/user-guide/on ... directory/ ).

PRO VERSION:

There is now a 'Pro' version available as an in-app purchase in the standard version (not in the 'Lite') version. The Pro version allows adding features to arbitrary layers ('+' button on the Map View), not just to the waypoints layer. This only works for point layers for now, but the ability to add new lines and polygons from the Map View is planned.

In future some advanced features may be added to only the Pro version but other (less advanced) new features will be still be added to the standard (and Lite) version.
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 11 Apr, 2022 4:11 pm

Bit Map 7.1 is the first significant update to Bit Map since it was revived at version 7, last year and will be available on the App Store very soon. This update includes some nice features for the GIS pro as well as for the casual bushwalking user.

Some highlights include:

  • capture/create line and polygon features interactively (as well as points)
  • resume tracking for an existing track (eg, pause tracking during a lunch break, then continue tracking again afterwards, without starting a new track)
  • convert features (or layers) between different geometry types (points, lines, polygons)
  • layers can be made partially transparent (eg, handy for viewing a hillshade raster layer beneath a topographic raster layer)

There's also a few improvements to the elevation profile feature - see the example screenshot below, illustrating several tracks in the same layer.

The full list of changes is:

  • Add Feature (‘+’ button on Map View) can add a new feature to Line or Polygon layers (as well as to Point layers) - ‘Pro’ variant only
  • Copy/paste a feature or all features within a layer into another existing layer (attribute values will be copied where attributes with the same name exist in the destination layer)
  • Convert a feature or all features within a layer into a different geometry type (point/line/polygon) by copy/pasting into a layer with a different geometry type
  • ‘Resume Tracking’ option (in the Start/Stop tracking button’s menu) will resume tracking from the last track line (if it still exists) instead of creating a new track line
  • If the app is restarted during tracking (including a device restart), the last track will be resumed instead of a new track created
  • Transparency of layers can be configured using the layer pop-up menu in the map layers controller
  • Search result pop-up menu includes an option to show the location of the found feature in the ‘Maps’ app
  • Search result show-on-map renders geometry for a line or polygon (as well as for point)
  • Polygon label text is anchored to centre of text instead of using the style’s anchor settings (which are suited to points)
  • Line label text geometry simplification dynamically updates after zooming in/out
  • Updated default styles
  • Tracking uses separate styles for lines/points to enable different label config for each layer
  • Elevation profiles use different colours for each feature/track when profiling multiple tracks in a layer
  • Tile Grid layers’ manifest uses native data structure instead of JSON text for “tileGrid” element
  • Any layer with a “Track_UUID” attribute will automatically use the Alternative Track style, instead of requiring all Track attributes
  • Displays full geometry type in data source layers view (instead of simple geometry type)
  • ...plus several bug fixes

Elevation Profile.jpeg
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 5:03 pm

Wow, that's interesting: According to the App Store, the biggest market for Bit Map over the past 10 days is Ukraine!

I guess they've got a wider variety of uses for mapping right now, and especially digital maps that work without any network connection.
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby north-north-west » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 5:15 pm

Probably Russian troops trying to find an alternative route for their invasion.
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 28 Apr, 2022 3:12 pm

Another quick update to Bit Map...

Version 7.2 adds the ability to publish map layers to a web map and automatically keep them sync'd to the web map. You can then share the link to the web map with other people so that they can keep track of where you're up to or where you've been.

The app includes a function to export a .zip archive that contains all the files required to install a compatible web map application on a web server (which needs to happen in order to publish/sync the layers, of course).

This feature is only going to be useful to people who have their own web servers (or know somebody else who can do it for them), but it's a really cool for those who can use it.

Of course it's also not going to be a lot of use for tracking bushwalkers where they don't have any network connection. So it's aimed more at people who use the app for other purposes. It will still work ok for bushwalkers, but layer (eg, tracking) updates to the web map would be delayed until a decent network was available (ie, not 'live' during most remote-area bushwalks).
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 28 Apr, 2022 3:15 pm

north-north-west wrote:Probably Russian troops trying to find an alternative route for their invasion.


I did notice that Russia is the current biggest market for the app this week.
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 28 Apr, 2022 4:47 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:Wow, that's interesting: According to the App Store, the biggest market for Bit Map over the past 10 days is Ukraine!

How interesting! Showing the demand for civilian equipments that are being put into military use. As such and by definition, you are now a part of the 'Military Industrial Complex'! Not sure if a congratulation is in order. :roll:
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Re: Bit Map 7.0 Released

Postby Son of a Beach » Sun 05 Jun, 2022 8:43 am

Bit Map version 8.0 has been released and now supports WFS layers (online vectors). It can also include the current set of basemaps in a sync’d web map (a basemaps pop up menu on the web map enables viewers to choose the basemap).

This fully rounds out the general layer data source classes that Bit Map can use. Ie:

• Offline raster (since v1) - various georeferencing options, various file formats
• Online raster (since v7) - WMTS, WMS, TMS, XYZ/OSM
• Offline vector (since v7 fully, v1 limited) - various formats including GeoPackage, File Geodatabase, Shapefile, GPX, KML
• Online vector (since v8) - WFS

(For me personally, this in an exciting release because it is the first time that there has ever been a map/navigation/GIS app that actually does everything I’ve ever wanted in such an app.)

This new version also allows users to save the current set of map layers and base maps as a named map. They can then select from a list of maps to reload a named map, or to add the layers from a saved map to the current map. (This feature is not available in the free ‘Lite’ version.)

Bit Map on the App Store: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/bit-map/id1560781471

Bit Map home page: http://nixanz.com/bitmap/

Bit Map user guide (data management section not complete): https://nixanz.com/bitmap/user-guide/
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