Map overlays

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 03, 2023 at 13:56
ThreadID: 145186 Views:2804 Replies:5 FollowUps:16
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I am wondering if there has been any thought put into enabling custom image overlays within the traveller app?

I have a number of national park maps (e.g. https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/159028/mount-mee-trail-map.pdf) which I have georeferenced in QGIS and currently use Avenza or QField to track my position directly on these maps when I am out and about. I would love to be able to import these as an image overlay into the ExplorOz Traveller app in a similar way to importing tracks so that I need just the one mapping app open when driving.

The image below shows a basic example of what can be done in QGIS and then exported to Avenza or other map viewer apps.

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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2023 at 21:04

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2023 at 21:04
Hi Nomad86,
No, that would be counterproductive and a step backwards. There's no need to make it hard for yourself with ExplorOz Traveller that already offers a full 1:2K topo offline vector mapset for the whole of Australia and with the Places overlays you have the exact location on the map for the points of interests and campsites and these are georefenced so you can simply tap to use for creating navigation if you want that too. The app already shows you were you are on the map as you travel and all these places, tracks are already there in more detail than those maps.

If you ever want to add a feature to the Traveller map you simply add it yourself by creating Places.
I've checked this area for you today and its excellently referenced on EOTopo. Remember you can zoom the map to reveal more details.

Hope that helps

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Reply By: Member - Nomad86 - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2023 at 23:23

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2023 at 23:23
Hi David and Michelle,

I'll take that as a fairly definitive response in the negative but would like to put forward my opinion as a user seeking to make ExplorOz, in my eyes, a better product.

Essentially, places (annotated points) do not come anywhere near close to replacing the ability to show custom spatial data on the map. For example, the ability to see colour-coded tracks, as shown above, with live location tracking. There are other situations where the base map doesn't show the information that I want but have available as geotagged PDF or image and thus I am forced to use another navigation package. Your point about the base map having all of the track information in this example is valid, but in my experience, I use my NP maps in Avenza more than I do ExplorOz due to the information layout and focus. This is a personal preference, of course, but others may hold the same opinion. Having the pdf as an overlay that I could toggle on/off would have been quite useful in a number of situations. I could go on, but I hope you see the need that I am trying to address.

There are other Android apps that deliver this sort of functionality such as:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coresoftwaredesign.mapover.pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.psyberia.offlinemaps
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus

However, there are features of ExplorOz that I prefer and thus want to use it rather than these products.

I understand that with a small development team that you need to be very aware of what functionality you want to support and focus on that. I am also guessing that adding this functionality would be a non-trivial exercise and at the end of the day, it is your call.

You offer a fantastic product with a superior base map coupled with useful information on points of interest. I suppose I just wish it could do everything that I desire it to!

Many thanks for responding so promptly,
Daryl
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 01:15

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 01:15
The ability to add colour coded routes of your choice already exists, simply add Track Logs. These Track Logs can be sourced from many different sources,

Eg.
Import gpx, tcx or kml files created obtained from other sources. These are stored in the app as "Track Logs".

Or obtain other people's Track Logs from this website...click "Add to Shared" and that file is instantly in your account.

Or use your own tracking or Track Logs from past trips.

Track Logs can be custom coloured and displayed on the map as as a custom layer.

Live location tracking also already exists via the Snail Trail layer which can be toggled on/off in the map layers panel.

If you have any future suggestions please submit via the Help Desk.
Michelle Martin
Marketing & Customer Support
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

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Reply By: Member - Nomad86 - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 02:27

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 02:27
I see that I may have given the wrong impression by my example that I am only interested in track information. The example shown was chosen as a simple case that I hoped would be relateable. Point and line data is already handled, for the most part, by the existing functionality as you have kindly pointed out. Points and lines (tracks) are not the main focus of my feature request but rather the ability to add two dimensional data as an overlay within some area of the map. The key idea being it is 2D. I could add satellite imagery for offline use, heat maps of magpie attacks, likelihood of tyre punctures based on historical data, etc, etc. It could be whatever I like. Essentially, the ability to import a geotagged 2d data format that is stored locally (don't want to overload the servers with large image files, make it a user storage problem) and displayed as an overlay with some transparency.

From your response this far I can only assume this is seen as functionality that doesn't fit in the scope of the project or it is a feature that would require too much development overhead. I can relate to both of these as a software developer myself and so I will leave it at that.

Kind regards,
Daryl
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 10:43

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 10:43
Thanks Daryl, yep I interpreted your suggestion to be about using other resources for displaying topography but now I see where you're coming from. Not sure how that fits in David's development thought-bubble as he's never discussed it with me but I'll let him know about your post. I generally just help people understand how to use the existing features of our products and products. If you want to reach David directly, the Help Desk is the way. Thanks for taking the time to make a suggestion.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 13:38

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 13:38
Hi Daryl,

David here - I understand your request but at present just do not have the resources at present. I have had a thought about this already in terms of camping area maps and the like. I will keep this in mind moving forward. Thanks for the suggestion.

David
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Follow Up By: Member - Nomad86 - Sunday, Jan 08, 2023 at 02:02

Sunday, Jan 08, 2023 at 02:02
Hi David,

I am very happy to hear that you have a feature such as this in mind, I look forward to seeing it implemented when you have the opportunity.

I'd also like to say great work on the distance tool you've introduced in the latest update! I've played around with it on the web app and it works a treat. A related feature that I have found useful in the past is to be able to draw a circle of some radius on the map. That is, drop a pin and then drag a circle out from it with a readout of its radius. I have found it comes in handy when looking for quick estimates of driving range and choosing camp sites or places to visit. See https://www.calcmaps.com/map-radius/ for an example. Forgive my presumption here, but could you have the current icon with the measuring tool be more of an expandable toolbox which includes a collection of useful tools like these? Just throwing ideas out there, do with them as you see fit.

All the best with the challenges of software development.
Daryl
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Reply By: Member - Duncan2H - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 10:40

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 10:40
Sometimes its really nice to see the "official" park map.. ExplorOz maps are good, but when every minor goat track that ever existed and has since grown over is still shown its sometimes difficult to plan a viable route through an area - the signal to noise ratio can be quite low at times. I also run multiple tools for this reason and it'd be good not to have to.

I appreciate that this is not in keeping with the products ethos or intent - I am considering a move back to OziExplorer on Android in order to get back to a single product - especially as I have purchased the EOTopo map set and am not too fussed about updates to it. EO Places is still useful though.

The ability to measure distance between two points on the map would be good too - without having to clumsily add Places to assist that process.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 13:44

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 13:44
In terms of the road noise - I am working on the EOTopo2023 maps at the moment and have removed many outdated roads from the base map set. We can only update what we know for sure that is why Michelle asked a few months ago for people to place markers on the map for our update work. I have been going over the hundreds of updates we received so the noise (as you put it) should get better all the time.

Map measure is actually really simple I will have a look at this right now as I am about to release 7.6.0 which has a number of final fixes and updates for the Auto Sync system, plus heaps of other updates. I will see if I can work out how to enable and disable a measure tool in the UI.

David
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 15:27

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 15:27
OK so I have just added the Distance Measure tool to the next release of the app 7.6.0 which will go to Beta today/tomorrow. The control is in the upper LHS of the map screen (can be turned off in settings) - tap the control it will go orange and then tap on the map to drop points (tap any point to remove it) - distance is shown in a popup in the centre of the line.


David
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan2H - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:40

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:40
That ... is... superb. I'm excited to have this. Thanks!
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:48

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:48
Check the reply below it is even better now with Save to Track Log built in.
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Reply By: Member - Duncan2H - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 14:11

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 14:11
Thanks David.. I appreciate your willingness to take new feature suggestions on board.. if I were designing the feature I'd love to be able to just tap out a series of points, as you tap a point the line joins onto it and a total distance is displayed along with a "clear" button to dump the lot after I've worked out a rough distance.

With thanks,
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 15:31

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 15:31
I don't think you can do that even with Google or Apple maps , can you ? And they have billions to spend on development.
I seem to remember that there is something like it, but restricted to a few points.

Cheers
Jim
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan2H - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 16:34

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 16:34
@Jim S1... Google Maps has it, both browser and mobile device app its called "Measure Distance", I dont think there's a limitation on the number of points.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 18:32

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 18:32
"I seem to remember that there is something like it, but restricted to a few points."

Some time ago I remember doing some measurements around our village. I had to do the full route in a couple of goes. I just tried again and gave up clicking at over 100 points.


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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:15

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:15
This is very easy to do in one of the apps I use, just double tap the screen and drag your finger over the route , it give you the total route distance plus individual distances every x points.
For ios and android.

https://mapout.app/
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:42

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2023 at 19:42
Thanks Guys,

Finished the new feature just now! You are going to love it!

Click on the control it goes orange - tap on the map as many times as you want (tap on an existing point and it will be removed), you get little black dots and a line joining them all together, and you will be presented with this:

Click on the control again and it will clear and reset or the extra little super dupa Save option to the right of the Distance display. Tap this and you are prompted to save a new Track Log from the points list. Yes that is right you can create a track log by map clicking using the distance tool, maybe it needs a different name but that is what it will do right now.

David
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan2H - Thursday, Jan 05, 2023 at 06:54

Thursday, Jan 05, 2023 at 06:54
This is a great feature! I am very much looking forward to having it on my next trip! Thanks!
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Friday, Jan 06, 2023 at 15:45

Friday, Jan 06, 2023 at 15:45
7.6.0 with the new feature is live on the Web version and in Beta/TestFlight for the Android & iOS devices. Expecting release on Monday after quick round of testing.

Enjoy!
David
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