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MM n00b Questions

 
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Quantum
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Joined: 16/02/2003 03:21:58
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Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:52 pm    Post subject: MM n00b Questions Reply with quote

Hello, looking at MM, but the darned Western US maps are $700! WTF? I thought you could get maps for free.

How does this work? Seems you can download the viewer, but is this the full-featured one?

My goal is to use hybrid topo/aerial maps, such as are found on local.live.com. These zoom in to almost house level, with streets overlaid on photo.

I'd like to use MM along with TTN5.21, although not at the same time. I have an iPaq hx4700, i.Trek M5 pod, and GPSGate. One concern is batteries running down. Any advice on an external battery pack? Maybe with USB interface, which will charge both iPaq & pod?

Any advice appreciated.
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Quantum
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Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaanyone?
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mikealder
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look at THIS for an external battery pack, I use a home made pack built into the Tall GPS pod that fits to my Otter box, with this fully charged I get upto 12 hours using Memory Map on the 4700 (it still goes flat at times though!), otherwise when in the car power it from the cigy lighter socket and you will not have a problem - Mike
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Quantum
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Joined: 16/02/2003 03:21:58
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Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike.

Any input on the maps? I thought you could get them free. Any chance of getting hybrid maps?
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only maps you will get for "free" that work with a navigation system are ones you draw yourself! - you can get certain packages that will accept scanned images and display your position on the map, but in practice these are difficult to set-up, I can't comment on the MM charges for the USA, other than its a massive area compared to the UK, so if the coverage is as good the price is cheap (relatively speaking of course) - Mike
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AllyCat
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Joined: Feb 23, 2005
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Location: Catford, London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Quantum,

As Mike indicates, you're unlikely to find "processed" (e.g. calibrated) maps "for free". The Memory Map products for UK, Europe and USA, etc. have different licensing arrangements so you need to check exact details for yourself, but here is my quick summary:

The Memory Map Navigator software seems to cost $100, which will allow you to scan and/or import maps (check which file formats). This side of "The Pond" we get a small scale map (e.g. 1M:1) included in the package, but you will need to check if you get anything similar. The "free viewer" is basically the same software but has importing disabled.

I have the UK map product, but also scan, convert to .PNG format and calibrate European maps (at least 3 reference points per map needed). You can "stitch" map panes together in a graphics package (I use Paintshop Pro) before calibration, or calibrate each pane separately and then MM can merge the panes. However, I don't think MM allows you to import elevation data (.QED files) which are required for the "3D World" feature, etc..

There are other applications such as OziExplorer and Fugawi. Fugawi is not as easy to use on the PC (and support seems poor) but I believe it will import the (free) Space Shuttle Elevation Data (although resolution is probably lower than that bundled with the maps). I think you can download all these applications for free and get a trial license, except for the Fugawi PPC application (which IMHO in the UK version compares very poorly with MM).

The maps *are* relatively expensive (about $300 for the 3GBytes of the UK at 50k:1), but work out how long it will take you to process/calibrate each GByte of map images.

Cheers, Alan.
_________________
Garmin GPS72H/76/60/45, Etrex H, Mapsource v6.5.
Acer N50,HP114,Loox N560,Dell x50,CF/SD cards to 4/32GB.
RoyalTek,Holux236,Navman B10 & Copilot(Globalsat) BT GPS,TomTom5/6.
Memory Map (v5.4.2 & v5.1.3 OS & Euro), GPS gate,OSGPSconverter.
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robertn
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Joined: Feb 06, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets know howm you get on with your hybrid maps. I always wonder when people want "abc.com" functionalty on their PPC, Are you expecting your PPC to have the same detail and the same coverage area and performance as a terabyte/ terraflop server array? Luckly there are no Societies for Protection from Cruelty to PPCs Laughing
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Quantum
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Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

It seems that potentially I could scan satellite photos and 'hybridize' these for use, adding roads and feature names. My choice would be to get the highest resolution aerial photos and work with them, to hopefully get results like local.live.com. But no way I can connect elevation information for 3D oblique in MM, if I do so?

It also seems that if I do this, it would be better to leave the map in separate tiles, so MM could load them on the fly, and not have one gigantic map in memory?

Or maybe I should check with the MM people and see if I could just buy Ecotopia (since that's all I need), rather than the whole of the US?
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Quantum
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Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My gosh, I've just found that for the western 12 States only (WA OR CA NV ID MT WY UT CO AZ NM HI), it is $700. Geesh!
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AllyCat
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Joined: Feb 23, 2005
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Location: Catford, London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Quantum,

Sorry, I can't find Ecotopia on my maps, so don't know the area involved, but MM seems to be offering smaller regions (still on DVD!) for $71. You would then need to upgrade to Navigator ($50) if you want to import maps/photos as well.

I can't copy all the links on your USA MM website, but they also offer elevation data on a 30 metre grid at $25, to use with 'self-scanned' maps. The free STS data is I believe on a 900 metre grid!

If you're planning to run this on a PPC, note the following: 3D view is not supported on the PPC. How much memory are your maps going to use? My UK product only has maps at a modest 1:50k and aerial maps at 1:35k, but it runs to over 10 GBytes. Fortunately, my PPC supports USB host, so I can consider an external Hard Drive, but I don't yet know how well the PPC will handle it. A common topic on the MM UK Tech. Forum is that the largest individual map file that any PPC can handle is 300 - 400 MBytes.

There are lots of other potential issues, but that's enough for now!

Cheers, Alan.
_________________
Garmin GPS72H/76/60/45, Etrex H, Mapsource v6.5.
Acer N50,HP114,Loox N560,Dell x50,CF/SD cards to 4/32GB.
RoyalTek,Holux236,Navman B10 & Copilot(Globalsat) BT GPS,TomTom5/6.
Memory Map (v5.4.2 & v5.1.3 OS & Euro), GPS gate,OSGPSconverter.
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Quantum
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Joined: 16/02/2003 03:21:58
Posts: 285
Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks Alan. I missed that I can buy just a state; $71 is quite reasonable. Seems a big part of that $700 Western States package is an external hard-drive, but a DVD suits me just fine.

Not sure how the separate elevation data deal would work though.

Egh, no 3D on PPC. I guess it's a question of horsepower, since 3D is synthesized. Sounds like you indeed have aerial photos on yours, which is good news. I guess going from 1:25k to 1:24k means alot more storage. Is your 1:35k any good for resolution? Seems like nothing beats local.live.com , at least for areas where they have close-up photos.

Storage is shaping up to be the real limitation. I would put a 4GB CF card in my PPC, but 10GB for Old Blighty? Guessing Washington is about the same size.

So the standard image format is .png . I can set different compressions for .png, from quality 1-10. Wonder how much difference it makes, to set lower quality, if anyone has experience with these aerials?


P.S. "Ecotopia" is a facetious reference to the US Pacific Northwest, ie Oregon, Washington, B.C. A novel was written in the '70's where this region seceded from the U.S. to make an ecological paradise. I am a secessionist, given our current (and permanent) Administration.
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AllyCat
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Joined: Feb 23, 2005
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Location: Catford, London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Quantum,

The MM elevation data is stored in a .QED file. I think when you import or calibrate a map it automatically associates the elevation data. Then, when you export a map for the PPC, MM creates a matching pair of .QCT (map) and .QED files. I don't think .QCT files are nearly as compact as .JPG files (and I estimate they're about 50% larger than Fugawi's proprietary format) but they do seem to pan very "cleanly".

If you want to see what we have in the UK, you can dowload the free demo from the uk website and the top 4 sample maps from this page. Note that the maps can only be used in the UK version and you can NOT calibrate maps in this version of MM. The 1:25k maps are an excellent quality, but then for the whole of the UK they're about $10,000 ! Our aerial maps are definitely a smaller scale than 1:25k, I estimate 1:35k.

I think the pixel size on the 1:50k maps is about 5 meters, so perhaps 3m for the aerial photos, but they have a rather 'digital' look, probably because they use a small colour palette to reduce the file sizes. The UK 1:50k map comes on one DVD (3GB), the aerial mapping currently on two DVDs (8GB), and a third when they complete Scotland (often under cloud). So, nothing like the detail you're probably seeing, or that available on Google Earth.

My version of PsP doesn't allow me to change the compression of .PNG files (except that I select 8-bits/pixel), so I can't say if it would be carried through to the .QCT format (which I think may be the only format supported by the PPC application). You could of course subsample the pixels (on any maps/photos that you process yourself), but this will reduce the scale of the map. One of my (few) complaints about MM is that the zoom range is limited to 2:1 steps, and the maximum zoom is not very great.

MM is a good product with excellent technical support, but it might be worth also looking at other applications like Ozi Explorer which are more intended for Do It Yourself map preparation (if that's what you plan to try).

Cheers, Alan.
_________________
Garmin GPS72H/76/60/45, Etrex H, Mapsource v6.5.
Acer N50,HP114,Loox N560,Dell x50,CF/SD cards to 4/32GB.
RoyalTek,Holux236,Navman B10 & Copilot(Globalsat) BT GPS,TomTom5/6.
Memory Map (v5.4.2 & v5.1.3 OS & Euro), GPS gate,OSGPSconverter.
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Quantum
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Joined: 16/02/2003 03:21:58
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Location: Seattle, Ecotopia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tank you for your able counsel, Alan.

I'll investigate MM and Ozi further.
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