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OZIMAP for GPSS in Australia

0900 Wednesday 15th March 2006

latest version of OZIMAP for testing ...

Robin Most of the information on this page is unchanged since it was updated in October 1999, after OZIMAP was first made. Over the years it has been used by a handful of people in Australia, and a few other places like Denmark, to break up a large bitmap map image into a number of overlapping GPSS-compatible maps.

In the longer term the whole page may get a re-work, but for now I'm just adding this information at the front for those few who want to help test, and perhaps use, the very latest version of OZIMAP. This new version was done in collaboration with Stewart Little in Oz, who suggested I extend OZIMAP to cope with the Mosaic format bit maps, which seem to differ from the AUSLIG ones in not having the map sheet border around the edge.

new ozimap This latest version should still work with the original AUSLIG files, available since 1999, but has more control over the process which rotates and chops up the big BMP image. At the time of writing, OZIMAP v1t seemed to work OK for all AUSLIG files and some of the Mosaic files including Canberra - but not others such as Sydney. The FIND button reads the appropriate line of parameters based on the entered name from file AUS250.TXT. These include the four x,y pixel to lat,lon reference positions used to rotate the map. If the Mosaic checkbox is ticked before the FIND, these x,y parameters are modified. Those wishing to experiment may be able to get properly calibrated maps via the user controls - and if we see a pattern we may be able to update OZIMAP to do this automatically for all the source maps. I understand that a new version of the AUSLIG CD will be released within a few months, so hopefully this will still work with OZIMAP.

You may download the latest set of OZIMAP files, compressed into ozimap1t.exe
You will also need, of course, a CD of source mapping. e.g. that from AUSLIG.

Many Thanks for your help - particularly Stewart Little, Steven Janda and Brian Sommerville.
Let's hope it is not another five years before I update this page :-)

Robin Lovelock
September 2004.

from Robin in October 2005: not much to add, other than this tip: if you get strange symptoms like blank maps being produced, perhaps related to lack of memory on the PC. Try reducing the number of colours to 256 in the big BMP file, with something like Windows Paint.

old OZIMAP page from October 1999 ...

OZIMAP for GPSS in Australia

0900 Tuesday 5th October 1999

1:100k sample Hi ! You must be one of the very few who know about this page - barely yet public. It has been set up to assist communication between myself and those testing OZIMAP - or with a direct commercial interest. The majority of testing has been done by Steven Janda, south of Sydney, who alerted me to the 1:250,000 RASTER product for Australia. Graham McCann in Canberra was an early 'Ozi' contact of mine, and got into the nitty gritty of GPSS over two years ago. He also made contact with AUSLIG to obtain permission for the samples of AUSLIG and Universal Press copyright mapping to be made available as downloads from this web site (see the 'History' section at bottom of this page). I hope this information, and the OZIMAP software, will soon be available for a wider audience, so that good GPSS-compatible mapping is available for Australia, in the same way as it is now for the USA, UK and Europe with the Microsoft CDROMs

Robin Lovelock
October 1999.

RASTER 250K There is a fuller description of the RASTER 250K product on the RASTER 250 page of the AUSLIG Web Site, including prices, ordering information, etc. 7 CDROMs are available covering all Australia, at 550$ for the lot, or 99$ each. There are 550 source maps in total, each covering 1 degree in Latitude, and 1.5 degrees in Longitude. i.e. 110km x 130km. Software is included on each CDROM, called RASTER.EXE, which supports finding of the correct map image - in compressed TIF format - and downloading it in alternative formats - including BMP recognised by OZIMAP described below.

Sunspeed Car It is possible that OZIMAP/GPSS will have a 'Baptism of Fire' in a few days - if Steven Chew from Singapore manages to buy and get his CDROMs in time. Sunspeed Map He leaves Singapore this weekend for Darwin, as part of the Singapore Polytechnic Sunspeed Solar Car Team. Robin put up this page on Friday 1st October, and Steven contacted Robin within hours. He didn't know about this page - but he does now :-)

What is OZIMAP ?

OZIMAP is a little program which generates GPSS-compatible maps from the 1:250,000 RASTER Product. It is only a few days old, and is still experimental. However, it already seems useful. We hope to improve it further in the coming days.


The picture below shows an early version of OZIMAP in use.
The map image is Commonwealth Copyright, and from the RASTER 1:250,000 product.

Steps in using RASTER.EXE, OZIMAP.EXE and GPSS.EXE are as follows:

Help Robin with testing of OZIMAP

Robin would greatly appreciate your help in testing OZIMAP and GPSS.

Here are the steps for those helping Robin with testing:

OZIMAP Coverage The picture on the left is based on that using the `showmaps facility in GPSS. It shows the typical coverage of each source BMP image (in this case Canberra SI5516.BMP) and the coverage pattern generated by the OZIMAP BATCH process. Tests done indicate good matching with the more detailed Canberra maps off the web site. You may also want to test the UTM grid readout of GPSS, by hitting Control-U on the keyboard, then pointing with the mouse at grid lines.

GPSS in Australia - Some History

DCW sample This tells you about what little Australian mapping is already on this web site - for download and testing with GPSS - and the sources. First the picture on the left: this shows the typical (low) detail in mapping first uploaded for Austalia, onto this web site, based upon American Public Domain sources, such as the 'Digital Chart of the World' (DCW) set of CDROMs. This mapping is 'better than nothing' and is often the first (sometimes the only) mapping uploaded for use with GPSS in a new country. At the time of writing this, there are now 112 countries in which people are using GPSS with a GPS receiver - and all are supported to some degree, by mapping on this web site. In the past year, the offline software used to generate this mapping from the DCW CDROMs has been improved, so you will find more recent countries done, like Brazil, to have better coverage than Australia. We could upload more of this mapping - but there seems little point now - since better quality mapping is becoming available in the right form from other sources.

Bartholomew sample Where possible, when we have permission from the copyright owner, we upload more detailed mapping. Samples are chosen to be in the same area as our 'GPS contact' so they may be tested 'for real' with a GPS receiver. The more detailed mapping sometimes requires to be calibrated against WGS84 lat/lon, and our 'enthusiast' contacts are often the first to help us with this. The sample on the upper-right is copyright of Bartholomew, and typical of the mapping from 'The Times Atlas' also uploaded over two years ago.

1:100k sample As mentioned earlier, one of the first GPS contacts in Australia was Graham McCann in Canberra. The sample on the left is Commonwealth Copyright and from the ACT 1:100,000 sample of Canberra which AUSLIG gave us permission to make available. This was in return for the detailed credits on the Australian download page and the copyright message which appears whenever GPSS retrieves the map. This mapping was calibrated against WGS84, and assisted us in then adding more detailed mapping, such as the 1:25,000 extracts from Universal Press Pty Ltd that you see to the right. UPD Rivett sample Permission from AUSLIG was to scan and use a particular map sheet. Further extracts would require additional permission. The agreement with Universal Press did not have this restriction, so we could have scanned and uploaded a much better selection of samples. However, compared with the USA, UK, Europe and Asia, there has been comparitively little business-interest in GPSS within Australia. UPD Sydney sample This has limited effort in scanning, calibrating and uploading additional Australian mapping. Uploading samples is also a short-term measure, less important when suitable low cost CDROMs become available. We then simply concentrate on making sure these can be used with GPSS, and that people know where to get them. Perhaps the AUSLIG RASTER250K product may be the first to be made available at the right price. Some may take the view that 99$ is already good value for money for many applications. However, this should be compared to other countries, where more detailed mapping is available at lower costs - because it is sold in greater quantity. It is not only the USA - where Government mapping is copyright free - and 25$US purchases good street level detail for all the USA:
examples of low-cost GPSS mapping are available for UK and Europe - such as the Microsoft CDROMs

Robin says Thankyou

Robin I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those who have helped with this work. I've already mentioned the roles of AUSLIG, Universal Press, Graham McCann and Steven Janda, but others have recently helped by providing information that has saved time. In particular, I would like to thank Brian Sommerville, who has given permission for me to download the Raster 250k .dat files off his web site, and process them into the format needed within AUS250.TXT. Since Brian is more closely associated with OziExplorer - an alternative GPS Software product to GPSS - this is particularly refreshing.
Why not visit the Sommerville Homepage Kirsten & Brian's website, where you will find more on GPS and 4x4.

Perhaps the best way to end this page is the picture below, from Steven, used on our
4x4 Page set up for the Trans-Libya 4x4 Expedition earlier in the year.
4x4 in Desert
above picture based on that from Steven Janda in Australia, who can be contacted via the GPSS Links Page