Better world base map

Michael Bechtold shared this idea 3 years ago
Completed

With a vector map of about 200 MB you can deliver a high quality overview feature up to about zoom level 10 (see your competitor OsmAnd). Today Locus is slow and cumbersome at this level.

Is that relevant ? Well, I sense Locus is proud to be used around the world (trips in South America, through Iran etc.

And I consider it healthy to have a horizon beyond "How do I squeeze another milli-second in the next lap, to the next turn and alike ..." (I loved your remark, gynta !)

So: the proposal is to create a quality world map - and to give the user control when to switch from world map to detail vector map. (There are people who would trade detail for speed even at level 12, i.e. simply magnify, even without more detail from world map.)

Best Answer
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Thanks for a feedback guys.

Next version > new options ;).

  • zoom level used by world map increased to 11
  • added option to select also online map with world coverage (as in case of raster maps = zoom level 2 needed).

As I see, some maps with local coverage are in list for world online maps. I'll improve this later.

I believe this is max I may do with this task for now. Hope it will be useful, mainly with really nice world maps provided by Kech & Michael over OpenAndroMaps. Hope, one day, @Petr Voldán allow to place some nice raster world map into Store as well ;).

Comments (73)

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Hi,


I can understand you. Anyway the basic idea was to create small map which anybody can download for free. There is also a technical limitation at this moment. World map is generated in different way than standard vector maps. For this reason is complicated to create world map for zoom-levels (9-10) and preserve the speed and simplicity.

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OsmAnd can ...

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Hi Petr,

I put some comparison screenshots into a Dropbox folder:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bnyvt73pbwahh0t/AACHVkHnYQTZdItBj47bHGrga?dl=0


It also contains one screenshot where the world map goes amok, as you

can see.

That effect only came in the 3.7 or 3.8 release, not before.


TXs and kind regards

Michael

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Hi Petr,

did you have a chance to look into the images ?

Cheers

Michael

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Hi Michael,

ohh I'm sorry. Issue will be fixed in next version of Locus app.

Thank you for report!

Petr

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Hi Petr, what is the difference in map generating you mention above ?

And I can not understand whatsover, why level 9 and 10 would not be doable. If it is somewhat slower - so be it. ANYthing is better than the crappy performance today.

Going up one level typically about quadrupels the size of the file (that is true for images, and is at least an estimate for vector approach). That would mean you would have 40 MB for Level 9 and 160 MB for level 10. Still very handy.

One other idea just came: once you have level 10 at hand efficiently, I would offer the user two ways to zoom in and out: one is the traditional +/- function as today, the other is to simply scale the world map to the desired level. This helps also helps performance at levels up to 13 or so with reasonable deatils.

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Hello Michael,

let me explain it. The world map is generated from different data then standard vector maps. The data for wold map are very generalized for global world "zoom-level". For this reason are not data suitable for zoom-level > 9 because are not so detailed. On the other hand current vector maps in level 9-10 are generated from very detailed OSM data. OSM data are generalized but the generalization is not so good and this is reason why maps are slower. So our task for the future is to prepare generalized data that can be used for creation good locking and quick maps for zooms 9-10.

Thanks for understanding

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Hello Petr, I understand the the challenges your describe.


In addition, bitmap renditions are nicer in many cases - and faster, and manyfold, according to user taste.

So,

again, leaving users with a CHOICE is the best way. And it is trivial

to implement a switch to a bitmap file for lower zoom levels. A file path (for sqlite DB), and the threshold zoom level, and maybe a resolution factor.

1.4 GB gives you zoom level 10 for the whole world, the one I did myself quite a while ago. And there may be smarter bitmap renditions out there.

http://www.openandromaps.org/en/downloads/general-maps provides a WorldOSM_Locus DB with 450 MB, up to zoom level 9. Good viewing with a 200% and 400% map resolution increase. Which in fact gives you level 10 or 11 feeling (not the details, of course, but that is not the purpose anyway).

So why bother with higher level vector optimization, if a custom switch to an sqlite in user hands gives all you need, with reasonable map size ??

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I agree that vector maps in low zooms are both... super ugly and super slow. "Render optimizations" will never fix this. An automatic switch to (and back from) a user specified sqlite map would be very welcome.

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Superpointlesslypissugly, but Locus reality in 2016 :-(:

cab1de6960f4d4bad43844dfca9bfa60

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I can really understand that vector maps in level 10 are not usable. On other side I don't think that 1.4 GB sqlitedb is better solution. We definitely need simple "global" map but the vector is the way we should focus on not the sqlitedb. It is little bit complicated for us (as I wrote above) to create such vector map for this reason we always postpone it. However I need to reject idea about sqlitedb maps. I can not imagine that user needs to download 1GB map to get some global simple map...

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Hi Petr, as I wrote, my self made 1.4 GB sqlite is NOT the way I promote in the end.

Did you look into the 450 MB ZL 9 file I promoted in the link ?

It looks fine up to 400%, which is ZL 11.

And today everybody can afford a 450 MB map, if interested, easily.

So why would you fight dragon for man months, when a user friendly solution is maybe an hour or two of coding ??

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Hi Michael,

honestly even 450 MB is still too much. Current world vector map that is for levels 0- 8 has about 10MB. I have tos say that vector map works better on high resolution devices. I have also idea to add bathymetry to the ocean areas. Well I can understand you but I would rather fight with dragon and prepare usable vector map then offer large raster map...

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Petr, pls. consider users to be grown up.

If dragon fighting is your hobby - you are grown up, too, hence enjoy :-)

But PLEASE leave users a CHOICE. They can decide themselves how much SD space they want to spend for different maps (which will always be faster than vector), and which look and feel they prefer for those overview maps. Your slaughtered dragon being one of the options, of course. The current dragon is too alive and burns your customers !

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Choice (possibility to choose "base map" in Locus) in this case, is not on Petr (as creator of all maps and Store), but on me (as a creator of app itself). For now, I fully support Petr's decision and agree with it. For now, there is no need for extra discussion, sorry guys. I don't think that this topic is so hot, that needs immediate solution.

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I use a sqlitedb worldmap (source was OutdoorActive zoom level 0-7 - size was only 152MB)

Zoom 0-7 is absolutely ok for an overview. Unfortunately i can't use it together with my vector maps in a good working solution. So my wish was to use my own basemap in lower vector zoom levels.

Current solution looks so ...old school :) and it stucks in transition from normal to base vector map.

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Hi guys,

nice workaround with transparent map layer. Result? Generally little slower map and inability to use overlay for better usecase. All this to make vector maps faster?

In next (beta) version will be enable experimental settings (in settings > maps > offline maps > "World map"), where you may choose a global world map used for all vector maps. Only vector maps for now. I really tried to allow some global world map for all kind of maps, but seems to be quite complicated task, but I believe that main problem here are vector maps, so current solution should cover at least 95% of complains I believe.

Map needs to have available level 1 (main condition) and max used level will be 10. So for example map with zoom 2 - 6, can't be used. Map with zoom 0 - 12, will be used only as map 0 - 10. Level 1 is required to have really full world map, bottom limit 10 is to prevent "disabling" vector map in case of incorrectly generated world map.

Note: if you have some world maps with transparent zoom level 10, this zoom should be removed.

Looking forward to some positive feedback ;).

PS: thanks for a kick needed to implement it, goes to @Michael B.

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Thanks for your work on this. Unfortunately, from my experience, vector world maps are rather pointless. And I tried all of them. The only thing that really makes sense are pixel maps, at least from zoom 1 to 12/13. Too bad you couldn't make it work.


Another super-simple-to-implenent-idea for this would still be a min-zoom setting for overlay maps. We could then use any map we want and not bother with transparency hacks.

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Or look at this extreme beauty...

https://www.interkart.de/media/catalog/product/w/m/wm387_20m_world_env.jpg

... and then look at a "vector overview map" again without crying. Can you really do that :)?

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Hi joeloc,

Menion DID make it work. Did you try the new Beta ? You can add the pixel map you want for the lower levels. OK, Menion limited it to level 10, but that may be up to discussion easily, or a parameter in the config file for the geeks.

The new feature open up overlay maps for other uses, which is good, I think.


Did I miss a point ?

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yep, missunderstanding. New system is simple: use your favorite raster map (condition that map has to have zoom level 1 to appear in preferences) for zoom levels 0 up to 10, as a base world map for your vector (V3, V4) maps ;).

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Really glad to hear that. Apparently my google account lost beta status, so I couldn't try yet. The artificial limit to zoom 10 can hopefully go to config file for power users and map freaks? I eg wouldn't mind having a 4GB overview map. Memory is really cheap these days and I find vector rendering especially cumbersome in speed and prettyness around zooms 10/11/12.


Btw, just an idea: Maybe Locus can come with a (sufficiently nice) OSM online raster map as default configuration for overviews? And then on first start, ask the user if he wants to auto-download and cache that up to Zoom 10?


This way, even non-freakish users who don't play with settings would benefit from speedy and pretty overviews, way nicer than a vector thingy. Just requires finding a pretty OSM tile server who's license allows caching a little.

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Even if Petr is not fan of some overview map ( I'm not as well, anyway have to say that creating this support took me maybe one day, compare to crazy number of days (maybe weeks) necessary to make really fast universal world vector map ), I can more imagine to place one or two perfect world maps directly into Store for a download for free, and not to such bandwidth from any map server. This I believe is a way to go ...

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Tried the new world overview map and cannot find a way to configure the switching zoom level away from a hardcoded 10. At least a tiny config file entry would be nice... 10 doesn't help power users and map lovers at all.


If a GUI is wanted for that in future, I suggest:

Use overview map until zoom

o 9

o 10

o 11

o 12

o 13


And if you pick a new offline map file as overview and it has a (reasonable) max zoom setting embedded, Locus should probably default to that.


Btw... why can I not pick an online map as overview?

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Hi Joeloc,

"switching zoom level" is not hardcoded in app (partially). Currenlty, app will use all available zoom levels from world map up to level 10. So if you map will have just max. level 8, for level 9 won't be used.

10 zoom levels was choose to prevent some possible problems when user for example select some local map with levels 8 - 16, etc.

How big is raster world map for level 11, 12 or even 13? Does it make even sense to allow it?

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Hello Menion,

here's a list of DB sizes for the World maps that I am preparing (from which you know the level of information provided):

ZL MB

8 250

9 750

10 1950

The following maps have ZL 8 for the whole world, plus ZL 11 for larger regions/continents

11 1000 Africa

11 950 Oceania

11 1600 Middle and East Asia

11 1500 Europe and MENA

11 950 North America

11 1050 South America

For the latter mix of ZL 8 and 11, the current world map feature does show empty pages for ZL 9 to 11 for the areas out of ZL 11 coverage.

Here the old capability of taking a transparent page as an indicator that for the particular tile there is no higher ZL available would help.

TXs and cheers

Michael

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The things is... I find vector maps ugly, slow and uselessly battery eating up to zoom level 12. From 13 onwards they do make sense (detailed navigation purposes). Please have a look at the image below and compare with any vector map of your liking in level 12.


I am still at a loss how to make Locus display raster maps up to 12 and vector maps from 13 onwards. Even (cached) online maps <=12 and vector maps >=13 would be a big step in the right direction.


The map overlay feature works somewhat, but it is super difficult to produce a map that has... lets say... all tiles for the world up to zoom 10... then maybe single continents in zoom 11... and areas of special interest (like eg the alps & the andes & the rockies & the himalayas) in zoom 12. Any tiles NOT in this map file, Locus could simply treat as transparent (and thus render the vector map at that place).


Anyway... I am still a bit clueless how to make Locus render that. And I believe the new world overview map features isnt really helping much at the moment... but maybe I miss something :).


Below is zoom 12 as raster map, compare to any vector map of your choice.

0094ba193e1e8a92e0f6fe7e3790588e

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Hello Stefan,

in this case, it will be a lot more complicated. Current system do only a "simple" task. For a defined zoom levels (as mentioned before) it switch background map system from one defined by your current map, overlay etc. to system where is only a world map. When zoom conditions are not met anymore (you zoom in), it switch back. So some partially visible world map + vector map at once for transparent areas is really not possible now.

With current map system I wrote over last years, I can't imagine how to do task you wants, sorry.

Thanks @Michael for size values. With this in mind, I can imagine increase min. zoom limit from 10 to 11. Level 12 with full world coverage really has no sense.

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I am still hoping to find a clever combination of the new overview map feature and some partly transparent overlay maps to make it work somehow. But if min zoom is increased to 11, the only remaining "problem" would be level 12... a step in the right direction for sure :-).


I agree that a full world map at level 12 is too large even for todays memory standards.

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I'm honestly quite confused. I found a 'general world map' option but it says disabled. So I guess I don't have any Rastermaps downloaded that is why there is nothing to choose. Where would I get a suitable world raster map. The worldwide section in the locus store where I got my worldwide vector basemap is coincidetally gone...

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Same here, I wonder what I have to do now...

I think I need a map from https://www.openandromaps.org/downloads/ubersichts-karten


EDIT: Works!

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And I think if Locus had simply allowed online maps for overview as well, none of this confusion would have happened :).

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I have an sqlite DB in standard /Locus/Maps as well as maps on external SD folder and all arepresented in the maps general world maps selection.

If you have collected a reasonable set of tiles in the mapsonline folder, just copy that to the /maps folder.

Woould that help for now ?

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@Michael et.al.: I am preparing a new set of overview maps for OAM Übersichtskarten.

Nearly finished with rooting out crazy OSM data in peaks elevations (I love people who put elevations in ft into OSM, even without marking them as ft - latter is also not allowed, BTW.)

For now here is the link to a draft map up to ZL 8:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rgifjngc7xfzi1h/W1-8.sqlitedb?dl=0

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For current discussion on those: http://forum.locusmap.eu/index.php?topic=6019.0

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Thanks for a feedback guys.

Next version > new options ;).

  • zoom level used by world map increased to 11
  • added option to select also online map with world coverage (as in case of raster maps = zoom level 2 needed).

As I see, some maps with local coverage are in list for world online maps. I'll improve this later.

I believe this is max I may do with this task for now. Hope it will be useful, mainly with really nice world maps provided by Kech & Michael over OpenAndroMaps. Hope, one day, @Petr Voldán allow to place some nice raster world map into Store as well ;).

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But now with the "1-10 + Transparent 11" map from OAM the ZL11 does only show its transparency, no vector map is shown. http://download.openandromaps.org/maps/world/sqlite/World-1-10-tr-11-OAM.sqlitedb

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Hi


I feel a little bit lost. For 100% Offline use, which world map can I download/buy ? Where can I find it in the Locus store ?For example in order to use it during a long travel by plane to know my position. I only need the GPS signals, i.e. no GSM and no Wi-fi.


Best regards


sl91

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https://www.dropbox.com/s/rgifjngc7xfzi1h/W1-8.sqlitedb?dl=0


You can try this one for now, from my earlier post.

Download and put it into Locus/Maps folder on your internal SD card.

When Locus starts it will find it and offer it when you configure world overview map.

This one is ZL 8.

If you have more space, I can provide ZL 9 or 10 as well.

Cheers from Vienna

Michael

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There's also a more basic world map in the Locus Store, but the only way I can find it is by searching for "world". It's called "World base map".


Michael Bechtold's base maps (=OAM) are more detailed. Both are free.

(Edited for clarity; there are two Michaels in this conversation.)

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Thank you! What is the advantage of your map compared to the worldmap offered by OAM? ZL10 would be great. ZL9/10 with vector maps is still a PITA as you know... I can afford some gigabytes.

I think Locus tends to forget the worldmap, did you have the same experience with the latest version(s)?

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I am the author of the OAM overview maps 😊 The link gives you a preview of the new release.

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Thank you Michael,


My smatphone is a Samsung S8+ (64GB) with and external 256GB extra storage. Is it possible to put the world map on the external SD, like the Lomaps ? If not then I would say that I can manage a world map of about 4GB max. Which max zoom level can I hope to achieve within this size range ?


Best regards

sl91


sl91

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ZL 8 is 250 MB

ZL 9 is 750 MB

ZL 10 is 2 GB

can sit on internal or external SD. Mechanics is defined by Locus, not the maps. And it works. I use it since ages.

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Fine ! Can you give me a dropbox link for the ZL10 ? Thank you.


Best regards


sl91

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Guys? Are there no girls using LocusMap?

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You're probably not a native speaker. Guys includes females as well. Are you german? It's used like: "Hallo Leute".

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You're right in everything, I'm german, and "Hey Guys" is indeed like "Hallo Leute". Thank you for your comment.

Kind regards from Germany

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I am having trouble working out which map and zoom level I am on. I downloaded the 9MB World Base map file and set the title bar to show the map in use but it gives me "(a zoom level)/Classic". Zooming in the title does not change except for the zoom factor. Do I suddenly switch to online or what?

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I think this "Base map", still uses a special mechanics from the past and does not work the way the new feature does. Apples and peaches - in more than one regard.

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For all interested parties, here are links to previews of ZL 8 .. ZL10 MBTiles world raster maps. They contain highlighted peaks with isolations ...

ZL Size min.isolation

ZL 8 - 250MB - 100km+ : https://www.dropbox.com/s/gwo70ju209nf6wg/W1-8-MBt.zip?dl=0

ZL 9 - 750 MB - 50km+ : https://www.dropbox.com/s/3bp52280k1dil4r/W1-9-MBt.zip?dl=0

ZL 10 - 2000MB - 35km+ : https://www.dropbox.com/s/hhnw3h3jb6whnfr/W1-10-MBt.zip?dl=0

Enjoy. And the attached jpg shows and describes the content and sources for the zoom levels.

Feedback welcome.

Cheers

Michael

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Great work with those maps! If i wanted to replace a certain zoom level (like 3 and/or 4) with another map (eg https://www.interkart.de/media/catalog/product/cache/3/image/8ecabcfb697832bc77ac7e2547ded39f/w/m/wm387_20m_world_env.jpg (after reprojection obviously)), how would I do that? What tool chain do you use to put the final map together? Mobac? Mapc2mapc? Some funky scripting in GlobalMapper? Some even funkier scripting with gdal?


I really wish Locus was powerful enough to just auto-switch to any map at any zoom. But since this is not likely to happen in my remaining life span :-), we'll probably be creating custom sqlite maps for quite some time to come.

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If you want to just 100% SUBSTITUTE, I can provide you the SQLITE version of the maps (Tobias et.al. suggested I should provide MBTILES instead). Then you can use MOBAC to "inject" only those zoom levels.

If you want the additional overlays that I provided (islands, state names), then pls. send my the ZL 3 and ZL 4tiles in a zip and I'll do the job.

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100% substitute I guess... the raster maps I use are more about prettyness than pure information density. Putting stuff on top would be counter productive. Whats the advantage of providing mbtiles instead of sqlite, if the latter is more flexible (ie changeable with Mobac)? Do you use any hacked/old/special Mobac version or just the default?

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Default MOBAC does the job.

You need to put the tiles from your maps into a tree folder structure as described in the MOBAC documentation. And define this tree as map source. Then create a map in MOBAC with the name of the original SQLITE map file but only for the zoom levels 3 and 4 (your example). The other zoom levels just stay, level 3 and 4 will be overwritten.

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PS: Tobias said that MBTiles support is more widely spread than SQLITE support. I cannot judge.

And not too many people patch maps anyway. In the new release I could offer both formats, no problem.

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I suggest to keep stick with MBTiles format. "SQLite based" map system was created based on really old RMaps application a long time ago and it is still not some kind of standard. On second side, MBTiles is supported by quite big MapBox company and is still improved. Currently it supports also vector tiles, whis is really nice feature ( not yet supported in Locus Map ). So it is more globally supported solution I believe.

Btw. MBTiles supports so called UTF Grid. Very nice feature how to add metadata into these maps for map tiles and it's fully supported by Locus Map ;).

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TXs a lot for those insights, Menion! So I'll stick with MBTiles for the releases of the World Maps.


For joeloc's special requirement I have uploaded the SQLITE version of ZL 10 maps:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g8c3z0zypu928oj/W1-10-SQLite.zip?dl=0

fun, joeloc :-)

Or send me the tiles you want to have in ZL 3 and 4.

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I just found that Mobac reads .mbtiles format just fine. Also... GlobalMapper exports that nicely. So consider my special requirement as void... sqlite version is no longer needed. Thanks!


PS:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<localTileSQLite>
<name>_local-World1-10mbt</name>
<sourceFile>...W1-10-MBt.mbtiles</sourceFile>
<atlasType>MBTiles</atlasType>
<backgroundColor>#000000</backgroundColor>
</localTileSQLite>

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Cool, never tried that. TXs for letting us know.

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I just georeferenced https://www.interkart.de/media/catalog/product/cache/3/image/8ecabcfb697832bc77ac7e2547ded39f/w/m/wm387_20m_world_env.jpg in GlobalMapper, exported it as mbtiles at zoom 5 and injected it into your 1..10 mbtiles worldmap with Mobac (replacing zoom 5). Process worked flawlessly and the result in Locus is quite stunning....

d27c6dd5fab6e0840f7a3746c2a23d07

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Congrats, impressive indeed!

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What is the license model of the original map you are using ?

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I have no idea really. Just found it by chance when googling for hires world map images. It's freely accessible on the web as jpg link, but that probably doesnt mean anything these days. I wouldnt put it into something "official" that you "release" for public download.


Heres a workspace thingy (.gmw file) for GlobalMapper in case you want to try yourself:

IMPORT FILENAME="C:\Users\XYZ\Desktop\wm387_20m_world_env.jpg" TYPE="JPEG" PROJ_NAME="VGRINT_WGS84" \
RECTIFY="Automatic" GCP="Point 1,3855.8957312,3251.1705225,-1655320.1329139,-1679698.3317331" \
GCP="Point 2,4552.8544711,2550.0696259,1655320.1329139,1679698.3317331" GCP="Point 3,3522.9038558,2181.2129864,-3237555.3408846,3447632.9685453" \
GCP="Point 4,4856.1195631,1776.3110650,3097571.3385097,5395151.0847201" GCP="Point 5,858.8555230,895.7931690,-15882756.7690700,9619506.4887388" \
GCP="Point 6,7843.1052696,4245.2630241,17270758.6427509,-6455992.5605272" LABEL_FIELD_FORCE_OVERWRITE="NO" \
SAMPLING_METHOD="BICUBIC" AUTO_CONTRAST="NO" CONTRAST_SHARED="YES" CONTRAST_MODE="NONE" \
CLIP_COLLAR="NONE" TEXTURE_MAP="NO"
LOAD_PROJECTION PROJ_NAME="VGRINT_WGS84"
SET_VIEW GLOBAL_BOUNDS="-21696805.259,-8212356.605,19421826.061,18285573.424"

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Thank you Michael! Amazing work.

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Will there be an addition to the online documentation that explains this new "world map"?

Currently, when I search for "world map", there are no results for this raster-based world map.

http://docs.locusmap.eu/doku.php?do=search&id=world+map

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So... in case there wont be any more improvements with auto map switching in Locus anytime soon, I wonder about a new best strategy for power users. Maybe...

1...10 for the whole world, configured as overview map.

11..12 on a per-continent basis (with 13-transparency-hack), configured as map overlay. Has to be switched manually unfortunately.

13.....X the vector map.


Would that work?

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I tried exactly that, and it worked for me.

Would be great if Menion could add the old hack to the world map functionality :-) And increase the limit by one to 12. People who would like earlier switch simply take respective world map.

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Well... ideally... every single map in Locus map list would have a property:

auto-switch to this map at zooms: o0 o1 o2 o3 o4 o5 o6 o7 o8 o9 o10 o11 o12 o13...


When switching to a new zoom level, Locus would simply check all available maps that cover the current view and auto-switch to the first one that has the auto-enable property set for the current zoom.


This simple but very effective method would immediately solve all problems... the new overview map feature could be removed... power users would never again have to mess with combining different maps in mobac... or with overlay crap... or with transparency hacks... or with all the other madness that wanting good map switching in Locus currently involves.


Alas... although it looks as if implementation would be quite simple, I fear this will probably remain a dream forever... :-).

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When you say the implementation "would be quite simple" is that based on your experience with developing mapping software on Android?


Because if it is, then perhaps there's an opportunity here for you to offer your services to the Locus team. It's a win for you and a win for Locus customers.


On the other hand, if you have no software development experience in this specific field, what leads you to believe it would be "quite simple"?

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function zoom_change(int newzoom)
{
	for_all_maps()
	{
		if (map.usersetting.autoswitchto[newzoom] == true
			&& map.contains(currentposition))
		{
			switch_to_map(map);
			break;
		}
	}
}
... is what comes to mind... in pseudo code. obviously, theres more stuff involved... but thats the basic idea. unfortunately, my career went from full time software developer to full time mountain biker... so all I can offer is suggestions :).

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For all interested parties: the new release of world maps is online: https://www.openandromaps.org/en/downloads/general-maps


Comments are welcome.

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