|MAPC2MAPC Help pages : Uses
The main reason for writing this program was to make maps portable
between different GPS Systems. I was travelling to Spain and wanted to
use a free map based on an obscure (to me) datum with Memory-map. I then
calibrated an on-line street map of Nerja to find my way around the
narrow alleys there, and so on.
Most GPS sytems work on the basis of an image file (usually .png bit also .tif, .jpg and others) and a calibration file which associates points of the map into the real world. Image files are to a common set of standards but there are many different calibration files and I have tried, by providing a means to convert from on to another, to allow the same maps to be used by several systems. This is not about hacking, just making a fiddly manual process easier and more reliable.
Rather than a dedicated GPS unit, I now travel with an Android phone. MAPC2MAPC will convert maps - reprojecting if necessary - for use on a variety of Android applications - Androzic, Maverick, MyTrails, Alpinequest, Locus, Backcountry Navigator, Orux and also Multiplans for the iPhone.
Sadly, some GPS system makers don't (or won't) understand portability. Satmap, Anquet and several others will only load maps in their own proprietory format. If they can supply all the maps you'll ever need at a cost you can afford then that's fine.
For everyone else, here are some ideas and pointers to sources of maps.
In the UK the Ordnance Survey Opendata offers 1:250000 and 1:30000 maps that MAPC2MAPC will handle. Open the TAB calibration file.
Lots of programs work with the .map calibration files used in OziExplorer. Gmapmaker, for example, downloads maps from Google, OpenStreetmap and other sources and will produce a .png image and a .map. MAPC2MAPC will convert that .map file to other formats (e.g .jpr for Memory-map, .cal for Pathaway). Mobile Atlas Creator provides a similar function.
There is a large collection of Spanish maps at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 here. After registering your name, start to download excellent maps (link to: Información geográfica digital con licencia de uso no comercial). The maps are available as TIFF files with a TFW calibration file. The projection is UTM, so when opening the calibration file choose the appropriate zone (28, 29 or 30 depending on the area). Some parts of Spain use the ED50 datum, some of the Canay Islands is WGS84.
Maybe you have a map that is too big for your portable device. MAPC2MAPC will shrink it and/or crop it whilst producing calibration files to match the new size. Or if you have several maps you want to join together (even if they have different scales or Datums) the MergeMaps function will do this.
Garmin announced the availability of "Custom Maps" in October 2009 where certain models will display digital maps. MAPC2MAPC will create a map in the correct .kmz form. The map does not have to point North-South and can have any of the supported Datums or calibration files. Images are automatically converted to the required .jpg. There is an animated guide here.
There is an emerging standard for Mobile Atlas appications - especiaaly on various mobile phones and PDAs. These use a system of Mercator Maps split into 256x256 'tiles' where each tile has a zoom level and X- and Y- coordinates measured from a point north of the Bering Strait. MAPC2MAPC will convert calibrated maps (or ones you calibrate yourself) to tis format. A future version will combine them into a SQLite database.
Google Earth with image overlays provide a quick way to calibrate maps. Align the image over google Earth and save as a KMZ. MAPC2MAPC will create calibration files from this (e.g for OZI, Trekbuddy or Memory-map) - or split the map into a KMZ as tiles to make a Google Custom Map (otherwise you have to split the map yourself and align each tile).
For the US, there is a big set of free maps at Libre Map Project. These come as .tif with .tfw calibration. MAPC2MAPC will convert the .tfw to .map (etc) allowing these maps to go into OZI, Memory-map etc, or converted to Garmin Custom Maps - example here.
In Canada Topographic data is now available from GeoGratis at http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/geogratis/en/product/search.do?id=6E21C619-5823-363E-5985-355EED78D635 Open these as GEOTIFF files, choose the correct UTM zone and NAD83 datum.