LoMaps: Display contour lines in feet.

Taras D shared this idea 3 years ago
Collecting votes

The world works in the metric system, except the USA. It would be useful if LoMaps could display contour lines in feet.


I propose LoMaps contain data for displaying contour lines in metric (meter) and imperial (feet). The map's theme could offer the choice of which set of contours to display.


Perhaps this new feature (dual-system contours) would be limited to LoMaps produced for the USA. I believe there's little interest to display contours in feet elsewhere in the world.


NOTE:

The current workaround is to use Dynamic Altitude to "spot-check" elevation in feet.

http://help.locusmap.eu/topic/vector_contour_lines_in_feet

However, displaying contour lines in feet would be better.

Replies (6)

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Hi,

thank yo for idea...I checked our current possibilities and it seems that would be possible to prepare map with contour lines in feet. However I don't like the idea to duplicate data for all maps because 5 - 30% of map size is due to the contour lines. The idea to create contour lines in feet only for USA sounds better for me but it has also weakness - the border areas. On the border (for example USA - Canada) would be inconsistent/broken lines. I'll discuss it with the rest of the team.

BTW: do you know if is there another country where are feet used for elevation?

Thank you

Petr

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First I wish to thank you for just discussing this idea! I don't imagine many people outside of the USA are interested in maps with contour lines in feet (except maybe as a novelty item)! However, in the USA, topographic maps with contours in meters are baffling to its citizens because they measure distances in miles and feet.


I believe only the USA, Myanmar, and Liberia officially use the English/Imperial system of measurement (miles, feet, pounds, gallons, ounces, etc). However, some countries use the metric system officially yet continue to use the Imperial system unofficially.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_units


For example, in Canada most everything is in the metric system yet we post prices for certain foods in both dollars per kilo and per pound. We also sell certain building materials in Imperial units. However, our maps are metric.


In contrast, our southern neighbour, the USA, does not use the metric system (except in scientific research) and its maps are published in miles and feet. https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/basic/


I realize adding imperial contour data to USA LoMaps will cause their file size to grow. The alternative would be to have Locus Map dynamically recalculate contour lines (using elevation data). That would require creating an entirely new capability for Locus Map. The feature would require significant computing time, to recalculate the position of contours in feet, and the end-result would probably be a very sluggish map. I think it's better to calculate the imperial contour data up-front, when the map is created, and store it within the map. Locus Map only needs to allow the user to choose metric or imperial contour lines using the map's theme.


Regarding the border areas, between the USA and Canada and Mexico, maybe it won't be a problem. Canada and Mexico LoMaps will not have imperial contour data. So if you're viewing a northern state like Vermont (bordering on the province of Québec in Canada), Vermont's imperial contour lines end at or just beyond the border. No contour lines will be visible on the Québec side of the border because the map theme is set to display imperial contours (and there will be none within the Québec LoMap, only metric contours).


The only way to show seamless contour lines running across the USA-Canada border will be to choose metric contour lines. Then the contours will display for both the USA and Canada (and Mexico). I think that's a fair compromise.

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Hi,

thank you for information about imperial units. I know that for example in UK are used imperial units but contour lines on topo maps are in meters.

The dynamic recalculation on the device isn't possible or better it's complicated on mobile devices. The only way (that I can imagine) are different maps for countries with metric or imperial system.

Canada and Mexico LoMaps will not have imperial contour data - you're right and this is the complication I mentioned. LoMaps always overlap the country border for a couple kilometers (due to another limitation) and it can happen that imperial contour lines will appear in country with metric system. But I guess that it isn't such problem.

Petr

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It is very silly to offer on a map for a region that is only available exclusively in a measurement system which is not native to that region.

Who cares about the border area contour lines matching up, people are generally not using elevation data when crossing the border, that is done at the border crossing checkpoints, not in the backcountry. You would still see both contour lines and have a good understanding of the elevation contours between the two countries at the border.

I was actually quite upset after I purchased six or seven LoMaps, and then realized that the elevation data would not properly display in a format that was standard and native for this region.


You would not publish a map of the state of California, with the legend and all of the location names written in French, would you? No!

This is silly that the maps are this way for such a large region as the USA, in a format not used in this region and if not commonly familiarized by the vast majority of it's users.

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Thank you for your post. You're definitely right, We are planning some improvements of LoMaps and this is one of the problem we'd like to focus on. Thank you

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Very excellent to hear!

Also please take note that as I mentioned twice in comments, the road street or highway names do not display in a linear fashion particularly in LoMaps, and only display under certain zoom levels. I often find myself zooming in and out & scanning up and down a road, dragging the screen trying to look for a road name or road number.

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I see that this issue is still current and after 3 years still not resolved. In addition, while using locus maps pro I'm not finding the menu options to make the changes as shown here for dynamic altitude in the link:

https://help.locusmap.eu/topic/vector_contour_lines_in_feet


Specifically after downloading the elevation files and following these directions (Set the units. Menu > Settings > Localization > Altitude units) that Localization is missing in the options under settings. I know that the link is 7 years old but since it was referenced 3 years ago I would believe that it's still accurate since the mod hasn't addressed it in his response (Petr).


Finally, since I purchased this application in the last 6 months there have been two revisions (3.5 and 4.0) and it hasn't been implemented, is there a ETA when it will since the last activity on this issue was addressed 8 months ago.

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I have noticed that some maps, particularly the USGS maps, do have contour lines and feet, but the rest still have them in meters. If one is in the United states, there are most likely residing their permanently, and are very acquainted with using feet as units of measure instead of the metric system. Only a very small percentage of Locus

users who are using the maps for the USA are going to be familiar enough with elevation in meters for it to actually mean much to them other than seeing contour lines with numbers that they have to get a calculator out to make sense of.

I don't think anyone would care whatsoever if the contour lines at the Canada and Mexico borders of the USA did not match up due to one being in feet and the other being in meters.

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