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Thread: European Mapping Software

  1. #1
    Mini Goon Richard Nicholls's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if there is some software for Europe that is similar to Anquet or Memory Map?

    I am thinking in terms of walking/hiking style route planners for the Alpine regions including the Austrian Tyrol.

    Any ideas?

    Rich

  2. #2
    Goon Iseler's Avatar
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    I have the French IGN Rando CD for the fairly large area around Chamonix, which is identical to the 1:25000 blue maps. The trouble is the mapping software is nowhere near as good as the UK OS maps we all know and love. For starters, the map is a scan, and not of the same digital quality. Also, the GPS aspect is clearly an afterthought just to get the letters GPS on the box, as it is virtually hopeless compared to Memory Map. I'm planning the TMB for this summer and will need to transfer the waypoints to the GPS and then download them into GPSU to write names and route information before transferring back up to the GPS. Also, the maps stop at the French borders, unlike the paper ones. Having said all that, it's better than nothing and is the best you'll get for France. I paid 40 euros at Amazon.fr, so at that price you can't expect too much anyway.

    I also have the official OS-equivalent digital maps of Bavaria, which go down partway into the Austrian Alps. This is at 1:50000 and is probably even worse than the French one, as it uses overlays for waypoints. This was 40 euros at Amazon.de and is marginally better than nothing.

    What I need is a GPS program which can read these maps, but I haven't found one yet.

    You can also get 1:50000 maps of Switzerland, but these cost about 480SFr and I wouldn't want to risk it after the other experiences.

    You'd think there would be a market for decent program writers to do a proper job on these foreign maps, but no doubt there are licencing issues.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Things are a lot easier if you use a PDA and GPS rather than a Garmin type GPS. If you have the maps or scans try emapzone from emapzone.com. It has most of the features of Memory Map but at a fraction of the price. You will have to set three "known points" on the map to give the GPS a fix, after which it should work in the same way as MM.

  4. #4
    Goon Iseler's Avatar
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    The problem I have is that both maps use a format which can't be read by anything else, because of licencing. In theory, Memory Map and the others can read BSB-format maps, but neither of these two are that. I've tried MM, GPSU and Oziexplorer, but they simply won't import it. If emapzone can read these formats I'll buy it today, but I suspect it won't be any more use. I'm afraid I can't be bothered with scanning and calibrating maps, especially after paying good money for software. I think I'm just going to write them off to experience.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    The emapzone software is at least extremely cheap at 20 euros. The link has moved to http://phgiraud.free.fr/eMapZone/

  6. #6
    Goon Iseler's Avatar
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    Just checked it out. It looks similar to GPSU and Gartrip which do the same for free, with some limitations. As it works from scans only I don't think it will read proprietary formats, though.
    Any hackers out there?

  7. #7
    Mini Goon the bagal has landed's Avatar
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    hmm - the trouble with a scan is lack of 3-d info drat :-(

  8. #8
    Widdler
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    A word of caution for anyone going to France. I had the brilliant idea of buying IGN 'georando' DVDs and printing off my route. Much cheaper than the IGN paper maps. The problem was that the mapping on the DVDs was years out of date and IGN were less than helpful. One other thing; grid refs on IGN maps are only shown round the edge, unlike good old OS,so if you cut your maps up to save weight make sure you transposethe figures.

  9. #9
    Ultra King edwin's Avatar
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    Memory Map covers the French Alps.

    Otherwise perhaps use a program like Ozi Explorer on digitized scans of paper maps; I do this all the time for areas without digital map coverage, and it works really well.

  10. #10
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    ViewRanger and Quo also offer several European maps now.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Where you can get topo maps from the web (eg France, Norway, Sweden...) or can scan maps, you can use something like Trailgauge(which is free and I've found very good) to do route planning.

    PS, just for future searchers: for the USA, USA PhotoMaps uses USGS topo maps and aerial photos and also works well -- it's free too.

  12. #12
    Goon Judy A's Avatar
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    Italy is another amusing place to find digital mapping for. The only up to date stuff I found was gathered from SRTM shuttle missions by keen amateurs. An alternative is to scan Italian paper maps and use MM or similar on a PDA as Dave says. Unfortunately some of the maps were last updated in the 1950s ...

    I envy those walking in the US with the free (!) and good USGS maps.

  13. #13
    Mini Goon Gez's Avatar
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    Chris, OutdorrsGrub

    Can you ues Trailgauge on a PDA and track your walk on the day (if that makes sense)

    Going to Wengen in August hence the interest

    Gerald

  14. #14
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Gez: not a clue I'm afraid. You can always download it and experiment as it's free!

  15. #15
    Widdler
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    Hi,

    now you can find european map on Viewranger software by Augmentra, also italy maps from www.geoguide.it.

    Regards

    Max

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