Shop Comment: ExplorOz Traveller Premium Offline Maps

Submitted: Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 07:08
ThreadID: 135666 Views:2052 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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If the sample map is what we get it is out of date, the Hunter Expressway opened in March 2014 and is not shown.
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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 07:49

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 07:49
Yep it hasn't been re-released for a number of years so there are quite a few updates required.
I think there is supposed to be an update "soon".

ExplorOz, is there any news on a new release?
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:32

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:32
Hi Al and Rod

Yes David has mentioned that he is working on an updated version of EOTOPO.

As for a few issues Rod, that is a very far from right answer, there are hundreds.

This reply is in no way aimed at put down David and Michelle,but to try to help them, as to do the updated version, it MUST be done accurately and that is where a major overhaul is urgently needed.

I have sent private emails to David in the past and I will now post my thoughts here, so the so called experts can try to shoot me down...but good luck as I know what I am talking about and have done freelance outback mapping updates for Hema in the past and still offer my services.

First of all David needs to ( and knowing David personally he would have done it ) overlay his maps with the latest Hema 150k which when used as real time mapping is spot on, no questions asked with the very few exception on minor road changes.

Next David needs to supply regular users of real time mapping a list of areas that he needs field checking. Field checking is critical to the accuracy of any map, weather it is city freeways or outback tracks.

Those that agree to help field check must follow strict criteria and make sure that it is done at a very accurate fashion. This is an area that I am well aware of, as behind the scenes I have on many times been asked by Hema to field check and record track files for certain areas that we have travelled and to which Hema rewards you well well...thanks Hema.

Some areas will change slightly over the years and these changes can not be helped. I like countless hundreds of other real time map users originally used the old Natmap series which we know is now well out of date and the Government would never update it, so it is now down to maps like EOTOPO and Hema to keep us going in the right direction.

I know it is a very big job to undertake, but if you start it, it needs to be done right and not just rushed out to make it look good. Those that travel using moving maps know just how great a feature it is, but if they are like me, get disappointed to see roads on maps not in the right place or track condition. Here are a few prime example that must be addressed on future updates:

The main road between Gregory and Burketown is shown on EPTOPO as dirt, again being bitumen for years.

The Main Road into Lawn Hill from Gregory has over 70 kilometres of bitumen, EOTOPO all dirt.

Many sections of the Birdsville Track are well off track and should not be and have not changed for over 10 years when I look back on my personal track files.

The main road into Nhulunbuy is so far out.....have a look:



The Above map is the new Hema 150K maps which is spot on with the blue line my track file overlaid. Here you can see there is no variation of my quality recorded track file to what Hema say is the correct position.

This is the EOTOPO which shows the old road from decades ago, showing the Main Road in red and well east of where the correct position is and shown with my blue line my actual track file that I record while travelling:


While on the Central Arnhem Highway, there were over $40 million dollars spent between 20012 and 2014 on major road and bridge upgrade and this now does not reflect on any maps as yet, but I know that it will, as the biggest change was the new Goyder River road and bridge, that again takes you many kilometres north of the old road:



I love the personal touches with EOTOPO, the colour shading is great, those important little features like old gravel pit are a wealth of knowledge if looking for a bush camp, and the extra features that do not show on the Hema 150K map.

As I must say again, we want David to produce a fantastic product that has accuracy and up to date, and not decades behind.

All the best David and please ask for help on track details, and you then can have field checking for you without having to leave the office.

Now waiting for the flack.



Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:05

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:05
You are spot on Stephen. I have forwarded David a few of my track files to assist with upgrades.

Is the Traveller App any more accurate? With it now available for Windows 10 computers would this be the way to go.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 14:48

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 14:48
Hi Rod

I can not comment on the Traveller App, as I have never used it. Yes it may be available for Windows 10, but if you have no internet.....you are buggered and flying blind I believe, but I could be wrong on this and for this I rely on Oziexplorer and a GPS to record my data.

It may be handy for those in normal so call civilised area or do not want to record accurate track data, where as I travel well away from phone and internet coverage for often days, sometimes weeks at a time and need reliable information from onboard moving maps.

For that reason, I run 2 laptop computers using Oziexplorer as well as a Hema Navigator, and even the Hema is set to record data at a 20m rate.

The 2 laptops receive GPS data via a standard Garmin hand held GPS and a GPS mouse. In this way I record my data at a rate that most people would say is crazy. Most people have either Ozi or the GPS set to basic details, which when travelling may record track data at say every 250 to 500 metres or sometimes even greater, which for mapping purposes is totally useless.

For on the run mapping my data is recorded at a rate of ever 20 metres, so you can see data that is collected at a rate of say 250 metres will not have that extra important information that is critical for updating maps. If on foot, I change my record rate on my GPS to every 10 metres.

What the data tells anyone that reads the information is that say every 20 metres it will give you the speed you are travelling, your heading, altitude, the exact GPS coordinates, the distance travelled since the last data was collect, date and time the data is collected and so on.

It is not rocket science, but if members travelling around could take a few minutes to change the way they record their track data and pass this on to David, it will shown him the most important information when overplayed on any of the maps he is working on.

Hope this makes sense Rod, but if those that travel and record Data and get it to David, this is the information that makes accurate maps.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:01

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:01
Al&Donna, I can't see a "sample" image of that area of map given in our shop product but when I refer to EOTopo online I can see the Hunter Expressway NSW is indeed missing so it must have been missed in our 2014 roads update on the EOTopo map for some reason - perhaps it wasn't quite open when we did our main roads update but it certainly does appear in our "in development" version - which we are working on. However I do urge people to not get too hung up over main roads - as when travelling through these areas using the ExplorOz Traveller app you have access to switch your map layers to the most appropriate for the terrain/speed of travel - in areas like this you would probably find the Streets & Paths map to be more serviceable - and the Hunter Expressway for example is shown on that so you do get access to it within the app.

Here is a snip I just took from online Places (using the website) of the Kurri Kurri round-about where I've switched the map layer view to Streets & Paths as you can do in the app. The second picture is a screen shot from in the app of the same.





Does this make sense?
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:41

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:41
On a slightly different note Michelle what about changes to roads out west. An example is the Birdsville Development Road has bypassed Betoota for at least the last 5 years but it doesn't show up on any of my offline maps (EOTopo, Hema, Westprint). Does it have something to do with having to wait for new survey data?
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:58

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:58
RUK42 again in the ExplorOz Traveller app you can switch maps to see if any other data is shown on the Streets & Paths and actually would you believe I think the "new" bypass is infact shown there. Unfortunately, you cannot currently access that map when offline - only online but this is part of what we are working on with the EOTopo update as we have the data.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:59

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:59
Michelle

I agree with you about not using a detailed terrain mapping system such as EOTOPO for travel on the main road network.

And I must say I am not fussed with minor deviations from a map to reality unless they occur at decision points such as junctions and multiple leg intersections.

My main concern with EOTOPO is that it shows far too many tracks in the "bush" that are private and do not provide access without the express permission of the lessee or owner.

IMHO, showing roads/tracks that are not available to the public, or at the very least, not marking them as such, could lead to situations of trespass (and irate owners) or worse such as getting into potentially dangerous situations where conditions deteriorate and/or people run out of fuel.

Maps showing Local and State Government maintained roads are readily available on line, at least in South Australia. In Out of Districts areas in SA, the DPTI is the local authority for roads, so roads other than those maintained by the Dept can be assumed in the first instance to be private. It would be relatively straight forward to run a comparative check with, for Local Govt, the Rack Plans and for State roads, https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/state-maintained-roads.

By way of illustration I have marked up a portion of the EOTOPO map east of Hawker showing the local and state network highlighted. I will send it to you via email as I am not sure how to include it here.

Regards
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 12:02

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 12:02
Hi RUK

I personally have not been on there for at least 6 years.

Not sure if you had time to read my reply above, and it is examples like you have pointed out and other that need to be addressed and for members to get accurately recorded data to David.

Not sure what Hema map you have looked at, but it definitely on their 150K

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Follow Up By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 12:17

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 12:17
Thanks for that guys - thought I was pretty up-to-date. Back to the drawing board.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 17:34

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 17:34
I must clarify that we most certainly acknowledge that there will always be roads data that changes and needs updating however it is important to understand that EOTopo is a "topopgraphic" map, which by definition means it is a FACTUAL representation of all visible elements on the earth's surface - so it is not appropriate to suggest the removal of roads that are in fact there. Topographic maps have many applications and we don't restrict our map only to the recreational tourist, although some publishers do indeed but that then makes the map a "Touring Map" and not a "Topographic" map. This might just seem like terminology but it is important to get clear what the issue is here.

With EOTopo production, it is made as a series of data overlays. The roads overlay is just one of about 50 data overlays. In some of our updates we don't even touch the roads layer (see EOTopo History & Updates).

What we have planned (dreamed) for the roads update is quite a progressive technological feat. It's not access to the roads data that is the issue as we have that sorted already, its the delivery protocols and methodologies .... and the cost.

The cost/time factor is what's holding us back. As the ExplorOz Traveller app is the core platform for our map usage, it has been of upmost important to ensure that that the app is viable in our business. Releasing the Windows version has the next step to ensuring we reach the entire market (yes a Mac version is also needed) and then we can assess if market interest is there and sufficient to invest in this big update.

If you'd like to support the cause for the EOTopo map update project, the most useful thing you could do is keep your Membership subscription ongoing, purchase the ExplorOz Traveller app, and if you've done that, then post reviews to the app stores, and all the webpages, facebooks pages and groups that you use because let's face it, increasing our app sales is going to help our bottom line and that's going to ensure the viability of investing in the map development project.
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