Review: EOTopo Maps

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 at 09:21
ThreadID: 117576 Views:1043 Replies:0 FollowUps:0
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My Article Rating: My Rating 4/5

I will start by saying there is much to like about the EOTOPO product and in general terms the positives far outweigh any comments I make. The fact that this product exists is really a great thing because with the demise of the NATMAP product there was really no locally produced product of quality and reliability to take its place until EOTOPO emerged. It is a good product. I understand completely the enormity of the task you are undertaking. I've been through all that myself.

My comments are intended to be constructive and helpful, not a gripe about the product. The comments are mine alone. I have not canvassed anyone else for their views.

If you consider that I am very happy with the product overall as your start point, I would just like to make mention of the addition of track plots onto the product (in purple). I really like that concept. It makes it clear where there additional information has been added. I also like the subtle "Hill Shading" effect. It enhances the product.

1: I note the addition of the interim distances onto the product from the previous version, however, the distance markers defining precisely where the distances start and end are not included. I assume they will be an addition to a later update, or at least I hope so! They are a very useful to the map user.

2: I dislike the darkness of the blue used for water bodies (Lakes, seas oceans). I think the product would be enhanced if the colour were lightened a bit. Take the example of the NATMAP product.

3: Text is my major falling out with this product. It has improved from the previous version but still needs further refinement. Following, are some points about text:

3.1 The halo around text is disconcerting and makes it just a little more difficult to read at times. The algorithm that masks the colour behind the text should be refined to eliminate the halo effect. If it is intentional to have a halo around text then it just doesn't do it for me.

3.2 The use of white text with a black surround is not good. It is lost on lighter backgrounds and should be rethought. There is no need for it. Plain black text should suffice.

3.3 The radius of curve-linear text is often too to tight and at times makes text illegible. A smoother less acute curve would be a better approach especially on watercourses.

3.4 Move the names and text off the actual feature. It hides the feature it is naming. Consider using a smaller font where there is clutter and conflict between text and features.

3.5 The use of full uppercase names for watercourses is not ideal. That combined with the tightness of curved text is diminishing the legibility of text.

3.6 More attention needs to be paid to the positioning of text and its orientation. Text should be positioned so as not to hide more significant features such as road junctions. There were conventions used in the production of the NATMAP products, such as wherever possible names should be able to be read with the map facing north, no upside down names, not that I've found any upside down names in your product.

4. The railway symbol is a not ideal (in my opinion only of course)

5. I note the map correction I submitted some time ago regarding the junction of the Capricorn and Leichhardt Highways has not yet been applied and as shown now is plain wrong.

Who would benefit from using this product? Anyone who wants a seamless national map coverage with sufficient detail for remote area travel that is being updated on a regular basis. Those who are now finding the NATMAP Digital maps are old and discontinued would definitely benefit from this product.

Anyone who runs with the GPS products that are able to load this product will benefit.

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