Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overlay ?

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Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overlay ?

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 13 May, 2017 10:45 am

Hi All,

As the topic subject says Im after a online or downloadable tool to import a gpx track with POI and display it on a topographic map with a UTM (grid reference) overlay. and then print the map to take it with me on walks.

I create the GPX track in another program .

There are a few online map generators however they all show lat/long rather than UTM Grids. On the wildwalks website the maps are exactly what I require so I wonder how they did it ?

Id like to create my own maps for routes that are not on wildwalks or combinations of tracks etc. (this is all for personal use).

In case anyone is wondering why Im going to the trouble. Yes I know I can just use a gps/oruxmaps (and I do) but I like to have the paper map as a backup. I also have a gps watch that shows UTM grids so if oruxmaps(my phone) breaks then I could use the watch and the paper map to pinpoint location.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tastrax » Sat 13 May, 2017 2:30 pm

If you are doing it regularly enough then I reckon its time to learn QGIS where you can add just about any layer of data to a map and print it any way you like. There is a bit of a learning curve but with lots of online tutorials it gets easier every time you use it.

http://www.qgis.org/en/site/ - free and open source software
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Tyreless » Sat 13 May, 2017 6:56 pm

Have a look at http://maps.ozultimate.com/, put together by that artful dodger, Tom Brennan. You can import a gpx over the NSW topo maps and then work out your favourite way to print (I PrintScreen, copy into paint.net then print, but there are probably easier ways).
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby neilmny » Sat 13 May, 2017 8:48 pm

tastrax wrote:If you are doing it regularly enough then I reckon its time to learn QGIS where you can add just about any layer of data to a map and print it any way you like. There is a bit of a learning curve but with lots of online tutorials it gets easier every time you use it.

http://www.qgis.org/en/site/ - free and open source software


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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby keithy » Sun 14 May, 2017 11:55 pm

Have you tried Garmin's Basecamp?

http://www.garmin.com/en-AU/shop/downloads/basecamp

You could use the OSM topo map like the one put together by andrewp viewtopic.php?f=21&t=14234&start=150#p268841

You will need to put the map on an external USB device in the \Garmin directory (like a USB flash drive, or on an SD Card in a card reader) then it reads the img map as if it was in a Garmin GPS.

Then you change the setting to UTM, and when you print it out, it will show the UTM grid. You can even print it over several pages.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 15 May, 2017 3:49 pm

Thanks for all the great advice !

At this stage Ive used the suggested functionality on the oz ultimate site, its 95% of what I was looking for.

Longer term QGIS sounds comprehensive and flexible especially for adding small customizations that make a map perfect for me but might not be wanted by the majority of walkers. When work stops being hectic, I'l be checking QGIS out.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tom_brennan » Tue 16 May, 2017 11:32 am

There is also a prototype version that I am working on to allow you to select an A3 or A4 section of map, and have the tool download that section for you in hi-res PNG. Takes a while to run (in the background - so just be patient). Only tested on Google Chrome.
http://maps.ozultimate.com/archive/08_print/

No facility there to overlay GPS log, but will keep it in mind. Ultimate aim is to have it export in PDF with improved colour rendering - I find the current colours don't have enough contrast for contours, and the greens (vegetation) are too dark and cyans (streams) too light.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sat 29 Jul, 2017 8:24 pm

The problem with Basecamp is that it uses strange algorithms to alter printed grid spacing depending on zoom level, so not much use to those who really want a standard UTM 1 km grid.

The ozultimate site is great, if you are hiking in NSW. Almost the same capability can be set up in Google Earth (which does extend beyond NSW), but the wms topo maps from other states may not include the UTM grid lines - certainly they do not in QLD.

It is a bit of a pain, but the only work-around I have found is to download the required pdf mapsheets (which do have the desired UTM 1 km grid for QLD), then use gdal to convert to kmz for display in Google maps. You can easily export your waypoints and tracks to Google Earth from Basecamp (if you are a Garmin user) or from any other device or software that can export as gpx or KML/KMZ.

The nuisance is that the mapsheets have big informational margins, so if you hike near the edge of (or corner) of a mapsheet you will probably want to make a cropped version and/or mosaic. This can all be done using gdal, but it is more than a bit of a pain; so I will not bother to go through the details unless somebody really needs them.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 29 Jul, 2017 8:48 pm

A site ive also been using is inkatlas. https://inkatlas.com/create/

It includes UTM Grid overlay and gpx support. Maps are openstreetmaps with contours.(colour and b/w versions)
Its free for A4 pages up to 6 pages.

The only difficulty ive found is when the maps are printed, the contours (especially in the colour version) are hard to see as the contour lines are not very thick. This might be a issue with officeworks printing though.. as the inkatlas does provide high res pdf which is very sharp and clear when zoomed.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tom_brennan » Sun 30 Jul, 2017 9:09 am

I find that for the maps off http://maps.ozultimate.com, I have to take them into Photoshop and do a few operations to improve the contours for printing - a bit of a pain but otherwise the maps are not very good.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sun 30 Jul, 2017 12:45 pm

Another possibility is Caltopo. It can use the OSM OpenCycleMap as a base layer for hiking in Australia. Alternatively, I think it can use wms servers for local detailed base maps (not tested). GPX import of routes, tracks and waypoints is very easy. You can print from the browser or export (to geo-pdf or jpg). UTM grids are available on-screen (under Config) and for printing (you guessed it, under Print). Many things are highly customisable, even in the free version. It is all set up for planning new routes and exporting them. It remembers where you were (I assume by cookies). I believe it can also use a Google account (if you use one) to store your stuff.

The learning curve is not steep for basic uses. There are lots of tips and tutorials from users, just Google caltopo. One such is https://douchepacker.com/2016/04/28/quick-and-dirty-guide-to-making-a-map-in-caltopo/.
caltopo.jpg
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sun 30 Jul, 2017 5:39 pm

Some sources say that caltopo does not use wms services for free accounts, but I think this relates to exports. It worked fine for me as a base map. Use: Add New Layer > Add Custom Source. Then in the Custom Map Source box that pops up, choose WMS and paste the relevant URL (e.g. for QLD it is https://gisservices.information.qld.gov.au/arcgis/services/Basemaps/QTopoBase_WebM/MapServer/WmsServer?) into the Auto-Configure URL field. Click Go, choose the layer you want (only the topo map server is offered from QTopo) > Save. This autopopulates the URL Template field. Give your Custom Layer a name (like QLD) > Save. While you are there (if you have used a google acount login), also > Save To Account, so you don’t have to configure the layer again. Caltopo will auto-load your new base layer, which is also added at the bottom of the base layer list. Sometimes the entire process was fast, other times slow with server communication errors - probably my hotspot connection.

I also experimented a bit with Bulk OPs to change the format of all routes and all tracks (very useful). After using a google acount login, I got a Save option which worked to avoid having to reconfigure the map. Sometimes caltopo loaded the previously used wms custom layer without prompting, but that is probably an unreliable cache or cookie effect, so it seems wise to save the wms layer separately to the account (which you can do through the edit box for that layer).

While the wms basemap (with your overlaid points, lines and polygons) prints fine through the browser, it does not seem to be exported (printed) to pdf or jpg. That is probably a free account limitation. Other limitations of the free account include PDF page size and resolution, and number of private maps held; but if you want to go beyond these limits it might be reasonable to pay.

Edit: Matt from caltopo advised that basemaps from wms servers should be OK to 'print to pdf / jpg' in the free version at present. I confirmed this with NSW wms maps. So for now it is a glitch between QTopo and caltopo. Bad luck for us canetoads.

caltopo2.jpg
Last edited by Off-track on Tue 01 Aug, 2017 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby ribuck » Mon 31 Jul, 2017 5:05 am

Off-track wrote:Another possibility is Caltopo...


Thanks for posting this. Caltopo is going to be really useful for me. I've always wanted a service with exactly those capabilities, and now it exists!
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby findbuddha » Mon 31 Jul, 2017 9:53 am

Slightly on topic, does anyone have a favourite program or website they use to create GPX files for planning purposes? Preferably snapping to OSM tracks. I've dabbled in plotaroute.com and outdooractive.com but both have irritating quirks.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 31 Jul, 2017 1:36 pm

findbuddha wrote:Slightly on topic, does anyone have a favourite program or website they use to create GPX files for planning purposes? Preferably snapping to OSM tracks. I've dabbled in plotaroute.com and outdooractive.com but both have irritating quirks.


Im currently using movescount.com by suunto as I use my phone for navigating and my suunto gps watch for track recording/ occasionally nav. You can create a route using openstreetmap and google map and will also do snap to tracks etc. Also can display the satellite images.

Its not ideal especially if you need to go back and edit a route. Also not sure if you need a suunto watch to signup (looks like you dont but not sure) You can export the kml/gpx to desktop and use in other programs eg I use the generated gpx and transfer it to oruxmaps on android phone.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Mon 31 Jul, 2017 4:44 pm

Caltopo is fine for GPX export. I know nothing about snapping to OSM tracks, but from recollection tracks are uploaded to OSM via a GPX step, so I assume they can also be exported as GPX, in which case you can see them in whatever sotware you prefer.

If you prefer to do it in Google Earth (GE), the Pro version (now free) allows more file format imports and higher resolution printing. The latest versions of GE Pro only work under chrome, but for other browsers you can still get v7.1.8.3036 from https://support.google.com/earth/answer/168344?hl=en.

You will want a UTM grid layer such as http://www.gelib.com/worldwide-utm-grid.htm.

The easiest way in GE to access the QLD state wms topo layer is through their “Globe” integration https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/support-assistance/mapping-data-imagery/maps/queensland-globe/help-guides/install.

NSW uses a separate server for topo (get the KML by clicking: View in GE) http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/arcgis/rest/services/public/NSW_Topo_Map/MapServer.

There is lots of other stuff in NSW Globe http://globe.six.nsw.gov.au/.

The maps are first loaded in GE via File > Open > (select the relevant KML). Some (like the UTM grid and layers from the six mapserver) can then be saved to “My Places”. Others (like the Globe layers) have to be re-opened when needed. GE is really set up to view satellite imagery, so for use with topographic maps you will probably want to turn off under Tools > Options things like Terrain, Atmosphere, Building Highlights and Automatic Tilt (which just distort flat maps). Regularly use View > Reset > Tilt and Compass (because GE changes where North points as you zoom). Also the View > Historical Imagery setting affects your displayed data and may need to be set manually to a wide window. You can not turn off streaming of satellite imagery in GE, so it probably costs more for data.

Saving to PDF is a bit clunky in GE. It requires a PDF-printer (like Tiny PDF) installed, and preferably set as the default printer before launching GE. Even then you may need to compare outputs from Save to PDF vs Print (within the GE Print window) for the desired resolution, file size, compatibility with other viewers and errors in the printer status box. Both caltopo and GE warn that printing works best under Chrome (but I used Firefox).

For topo maps, I prefer caltopo. But GE does allow some neat stuff like high-res imagery or property boundaries to be accessed through the Globe-type integrations.
GE-topo.jpg
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Wed 02 Aug, 2017 9:29 am

It seems like feint contour lines are a recurring problem in printed maps. See for example:
http://help.caltopo.com/discussions/maps/74-faint-contour-lines-on-usgs-75-layer
http://caltopo.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/pdf-improvements.html

If you are can access the printer driver, you might be able to experiment in Printer Properties > Color Management > Advanced > Profile or Rendering Intent.

Of course, you can not tweak that at your local print shop (though they may know how to enhance brown or some-such for stronger contours).

Maybe Tom will share his method used in Photoshop? It may be adaptable to other programs like IrfanView.

findbuddha, you are way off topic (but how many Buddhists can there be in QLD?). So I notice that caltopo can (and does by default) 'snap' to line features. And OSM trails /roads (which I think are different from OSM tracks) appear magically on screen for this purpose when you start drawing a line. Just roughly trace over the OSM line, and click when you want to join or leave it when planning your route. See also http://help.caltopo.com/kb/basics/lines-and-polygons
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sat 05 Aug, 2017 2:39 pm

Contours are available as a layer for display in GE from both QLD and NSW Globe integrations. The new QLD version at https://qldglobe.information.qld.gov.au/ provides better contour data than the old GE integration. The NSW contour dataset simply stops showing minor contours in steep areas (which can be confusing).

In Globe form the layers can not be customized by the user and may not add much clarity when printing. Downloaded datasets should be best for use over the corresponding topo maps.

For NSW, https://sdi.nsw.gov.au/nswsdi/catalog/main/home.page eventually leads to http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/clipnship.html where the entire topographic dataset for a nominated LGA seems to be the only way to get the contour layer. For later use in KMZ (which supports only WGS 84) choose Lat/Long GDA94 projection and Shapefile format. After a clunky set of emails and registration screens you should be able to get the zip download. This includes a group of contour.* files, which can be converted to contours in kml format using GDAL. First, copy the contour.* files to a folder named contour.shp. Then use ogr2ogr -f KML contour.kml contour.shp (and ignore warnings about fields not supported in the output kml file type).

The resulting contour.kml overlays perfectly on the NSW topo in GE, and can be set there to whatever colour you like (right-click the layer in the Places sidebar for > Properties). The example uses 1 mm brown with 50% opacity. The overlay does not provide labels or distinguish between major and minor contours. But these things show from the underlying topographic base map: you have just improved the clarity of contours for printing!
GE_enhanced.jpg

It is also possible to import the kml layer into caltopo, but for me it bogged the system down too much to be useful.

For QLD, I have never received the emails promised by: http://qldspatial.information.qld.gov.au/catalogue/custom/search.page?q=contours.

Alternatively, some amazingly detailed DEMs for parts of Australia are summarised at http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/national-location-information/digital-elevation-data. You can define an area of interest (and check the resulting file size before deciding what to download) at http://elevation.fsdf.org.au/. But nothing I have tried from here (after conversion to contours) matches the topo maps as well as state contour datasets used as described above.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tom_brennan » Sat 05 Aug, 2017 6:34 pm

Off-track wrote:Maybe Tom will share his method used in Photoshop? It may be adaptable to other programs like IrfanView.


In Photoshop (Elements), the main thing is to reduce the midtone contrast, but i do a bit of fiddling with the colours to improve the watercourse contrast, and lighten the vegetation layer. The vegetation layer gets darkened by the midtone changes. I find it prints out acceptably well, and works well in the field.

My steps are usually something like:
Enhance -> Adjust Lighting -> Shadows/Highlights... - Midtone Contrast -100%
Enhance -> Adjust Lighting -> Shadows/Highlights... - Midtone Contrast -100% (ie repeat)
Enhance -> Adjust Color -> Adjust Hue/Saturation...
Cyan: Hue +30
Yellow: Saturation -25, Lightness +10
Green: Lightness +15
If I could duplicate this in Javascript, I'd be able to get my print export working! But I haven't managed to work out how to write a midtone contrast algorithm.

Before
map.png
map.png (246.24 KiB) Viewed 23730 times

After
map2.png
map2.png (250.49 KiB) Viewed 23730 times
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sun 06 Aug, 2017 12:20 pm

Thanks Tom, that is very useful. It may be possible to get similar effects in a free editor like GIMP, but I have not tried it. Those looking for a very simple option in something like Irfanview may want to try the Unsharp mask (which I understand uses a fairly sophisticated edge-detection algorithm). For me it was a better than using the Sharp filter. It gets more 'over the top' by using Gamma, Colour and Contrast adjustments first. The QLD wms (and pdf) maps show reasonable contour contrast, but are most problematic in areas with hillshading (which can not be removed). Viewers can judge for themselves whether the Unsharp mask +/- Gamma fiddling helps. Professional image people will dislike the artifacts. It is a hopeless cause where two layers of shading (obscuration) are applied by QLD cartographers to areas 'South of the border'.
Before.jpg
Original Snip

Unsharp5.jpg
Unsharp5

GRGCS.png
Gamma0.5R10G10B0C40Unsharp5
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tom_brennan » Sun 06 Aug, 2017 11:42 pm

Off-track wrote: Those looking for a very simple option in something like Irfanview may want to try the Unsharp mask (which I understand uses a fairly sophisticated edge-detection algorithm).

Very clever. Unsharp Mask also appears to work well for improving the NSW tiles in Photoshop (Elements), and in less steps than my approach above.

I have also found a fast algorithm for Unsharp Mask in Javascript, so I might revisit my printing tool.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby findbuddha » Tue 08 Aug, 2017 5:54 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Im currently using movescount.com by suunto as I use my phone for navigating and my suunto gps watch for track recording/ occasionally nav. You can create a route using openstreetmap and google map and will also do snap to tracks etc. Also can display the satellite images.


Off-track wrote:findbuddha, you are way off topic (but how many Buddhists can there be in QLD?). So I notice that caltopo can (and does by default) 'snap' to line features. And OSM trails /roads (which I think are different from OSM tracks) appear magically on screen for this purpose when you start drawing a line. Just roughly trace over the OSM line, and click when you want to join or leave it when planning your route. See also http://help.caltopo.com/kb/basics/lines-and-polygons


Thank you both!
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Allchin09 » Tue 08 Aug, 2017 10:55 pm

tom_brennan wrote:
Off-track wrote: Those looking for a very simple option in something like Irfanview may want to try the Unsharp mask (which I understand uses a fairly sophisticated edge-detection algorithm).

Very clever. Unsharp Mask also appears to work well for improving the NSW tiles in Photoshop (Elements), and in less steps than my approach above.

I have also found a fast algorithm for Unsharp Mask in Javascript, so I might revisit my printing tool.


So does this mean we might see a functional PDF tool go live soon?
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tastrax » Wed 09 Aug, 2017 2:41 pm

I think the biggest issue here is that you have to do this post processing on every image that you create. Isn't it better to do the styling of the underlying data (much of which is available on open data portals) in something like QGIS so that you dont have to do it every time you print something. That way you are doing it for the entire state/region data and its will be there forever?

If you have the skills to do what is mentioned above, then you have the skills to use QGIS. Also if someone gets the styling looking really good they can pass around style files for all to use.

http://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tom_brennan » Wed 09 Aug, 2017 11:39 pm

tastrax wrote:I think the biggest issue here is that you have to do this post processing on every image that you create. Isn't it better to do the styling of the underlying data (much of which is available on open data portals) in something like QGIS so that you dont have to do it every time you print something.


Not sure whether this comment was aimed at me or others in the thread. My aim is to get a website where users (Joe Public) can print A4 or A3 sections of the current topographic maps, so I don't think QGIS is going to help me there.

I have separately created other custom (vector) maps with different styling, using other tools, so I'm not ignoring your comments out of hand.
http://ozultimate.com/canyoning/maps.htm
However, for this project I need something that will do image processing on the fly.

Allchin09 wrote:So does this mean we might see a functional PDF tool go live soon?

Probably not. I did spend all of Friday retooling the image processing, only to find that even just an A4 printout chewed through most of my GPU memory. So a PDF will probably crash the browser unless I can solve the memory issues, which is not really my forte. :(
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sat 12 Aug, 2017 4:46 pm

Tastrax is right for people using computers with enough grunt (probably most people, so hopefully somebody will post the method).

QGIS often hangs my little old netbook while gdal runs the same process happily from the command prompt. Irfanview runs happily as a GUI (on smaller images of course).

Tom, I am not sure if it helps you but I played a bit (with NSW wms) in caltopo and found that it 'printed' (i.e. exported) 1:30000 A4 jpg files clearer than pdf files. At least for me, when finally printed to a colour laser printer, the contour lines in the jpgs did not disappear so much behind the vegetation layer (and they could be made clearer still with an Irfanview unsharp step). Less unsharp was needed than from SIX, as I think caltopo already does some magic during 'print'/export. It tries to avoid label overlap in overlaid waypoints among other tricks.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby tastrax » Sat 12 Aug, 2017 5:57 pm

Not having a shot at anyone - I am a map geek so supportive of all types of maps both online and desktop. I just know how hard it is to get good maps from raster files.

The big thing to remember with WMS online maps is that they will be great at a bunch of 'set scales' as they are really just raster images. If not at those scales you should expect some pixelation/fuzziness

The scales for NSW Six maps are here - https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/arcgis/rest ... /MapServer

The LISTmap system in Tassie automatically scales to its set scales (not a scale the user sets) so that you get the clearest images. You should probably try and replicate that type of feature if doing online image processing
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sun 01 Oct, 2017 8:41 am

Matt from caltopo advised that basemaps from wms servers should be OK to 'print to pdf / jpg' in the free version at present. I confirmed this with NSW wms maps. So for now it is a glitch between QTopo and caltopo. Bad luck for us canetoads.


Good news: Matt has fixed the glitch, so 'print to pdf / jpg' in Caltopo now works fine using basemaps from the QTopo wms server.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Aushiker » Tue 03 Oct, 2017 3:03 pm

wildwanderer wrote:A site ive also been using is inkatlas. https://inkatlas.com/create/

It includes UTM Grid overlay and gpx support. Maps are openstreetmaps with contours.(colour and b/w versions)
Its free for A4 pages up to 6 pages.

Thanks for the suggestion. This looks interesting.
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Re: Online Service to Print map with GPX track and UTM overl

Postby Off-track » Sun 22 Oct, 2017 11:41 am

The point by tastrax about native resolutions for wms maps sounded good in theory, so I decided to try it out.

Qtopo says of its wms maps "The service uses a map cache created for the following scales: 1:18,084, 1:36,112, 1:72,224, 1:144,448, 1:288,895, 1:577,791, 1:1,155,581, 1:2,311,162, 1:4,622,324 and 1:9,244,649." So I 'printed' (i.e. exported as jpg) from Qtopo wms loaded in caltopo (to incorporate my tracks, routes and Wpts along with a UTM grid) to A4 at 1:25,000, 1:36,112 and 1:50,000. Then I zoomed to display exactly the same area of each file /map in Irfanview (with no other processing). In practice, the sharpness of the map simply followed the scale used for 'printing'. 1:25,000 was markedly better than 1:36.112 which was markedly better than 1:50,000. So it seems that whatever processing is involved in producing the caltopo 'prints' completely negates any advantage of using cached scales. My advice in this scenario would be to print at the scale you prefer to use in the field, and forget about matching a scale cached in the wms server.

Finally printing the maps onto paper with a color laser printer reduced sharpness somewhat compared with the display on screen. So I found it useful to apply a moderate (level 3) unsharp filter in Irfanview before making paper prints (onto Monsoon paper which can be printed double-sided and holds up very well in wet field conditions without the extra weight of plastic lamination). You might need to experiment with this setting depending on your own printer and preferred printing scale.
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