Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Cartography, maps, navigation, GPS and more.
Joseph Elfelt
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » May 1st, 2016, 11:29 am

Head's up! As a result of browsers pushing for more internet security (a good thing), I am going to convert the domains I own from HTTP to HTTPS.

Hopefully this coming week I will be able to convert mappingsupport.com (Gmap4). All the existing http links to Gmap4 will still work. Your browser should automatically shift to https.

After the conversion takes place, you will see a new Gmap4 version number in the lower left corner of any map.

I do not presently know if the embedded Gmap4 maps here at Oregon Hiker will still work. My plan is to first convert a domain I own that only has ‘test’ content. Then I will run some experiments after which I will know more.

One thing I already know is that starting with version 50 Chrome will no longer support browser geolocation for web pages that use http. Since this is an important feature of Gmap4 (Menu ==> My location) it is obviously time for me to convert to https.

For anyone else with a website that is pondering doing a similar conversion, here are the two most helpful resources I have found.

1. https://https.cio.gov/
All federal websites under the executive branch are expected to converted to https by the end of 2016. This website has current ‘best practices’ for doing so. They have produced two videos that I found quite helpful. The first one is non-technical and, in part, makes the case for why all websites should convert to https.

Video part 1 - Intro to HTTPS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2GmcPYWm5k
"Pervasive monitoring is an attack"

Video part 2 - Implementation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnM2qAfEG-M

2. https://letsencrypt.org/
This is a relative new group that offers free certificates. They are on github at:
https://github.com/letsencrypt/letsencrypt

Joseph

Joseph Elfelt
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » October 20th, 2017, 6:20 am

The Gmap4 National Forest Recreation Map has just been updated.

The new layer “FSTopo_download” will let you download FSTopos in the form of GeoPDF and/or GeoTiff. For more information, please click “Map Tips” in the upper left corner, scroll down and click “About FSTopo download”.

Also, for many forests (but not all) the “Trail_class” layer will show you at a glance whether you are looking at a main trail or little more than a bootpath. To get the most benefit from the trail data this map can display please click “Map Tips” and read “About trail data”.

Looking for the Map legend? Click Map Tips ==> Legend.

I am always happy to answer questions but do request that you start by reading the Map Tips since that information answers many common questions.

Long link:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php? ... eation.txt

Short link: https://goo.gl/nxiP8u

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forester
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by forester » January 30th, 2018, 10:29 pm

Is it possible to use Gmap4 as a pseudo-Panoramio? To place a marker overlay with geolocated photos? Panoramio is dead and the Google Maps/Photos combo is pretty terrible.

Joseph Elfelt
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » January 31st, 2018, 5:10 am

Interesting idea!

I do not know what features Panoramio had so I cannot say how easy/hard it would be to replicate those features.

In broad stokes, I can write code that would read the latitude longitude from a photo's metadata, display a marker at that spot and display the photo when the marker is clicked.

But since this would work with *any* geotagged pic that can be viewed via a hotlink (i.e. no login creds required), I am not certain doing so would be a good idea.

Think of sensitive areas that would more likely get trampled if it was easy to see exactly where a pic was taken. There also may be personal safety issues if someone who is stalking you can easily get your coordinates from a pic you just posted online. Perhaps thoses issues are at least part of the reason Panoramio went away - I have no clue.

You can already make a Gmap4 map with symbols that are linked to pics. But it does take a bit of work. See starting at the bottom of p.15:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/help_files ... d_data.pdf

Now that I rained on the Panoramio idea, here is a teaser for what I am working on.

At last count there were approximately 1.2 bazillion layers of public-facing GIS data layers. I am well underway in cranking out code to let you start Gmap4 and then surf GIS data on any public-facing ArcGIS servers almost as easy as you surf the internet.

Joseph Elfelt
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » March 27th, 2018, 3:24 pm

There is a major update to Gmap4 in the works. If you would like a sneak peek, I have posted beta code. Just remember the rule “No commercial use”.

This new feature lets anyone surf data that is hosted on GIS (Geographical Information System) servers almost as easily as you surf the internet. Better yet, you do not need to know a single thing about GIS.

At last count there were roughly 1.2 bazillion layers of public data on GIS servers operated by all levels of government. Anyone can now *easily* surf that data with the beta version of Gmap4.

Here is a short PDF file with (1) the link to start the beta version of Gmap4, (2) “Quick start” instructions, (3) links to a couple reports I prepared with 200+ state and federal GIS server addresses and (4) some useful background if you are new to GIS. Please pay attention to the limitations noted in the pdf file.

https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_beta_9-0.pdf

And if you are interested in “authoritative” data for national forests, you can find it at:
https://apps.fs.usda.gov/arcx/rest/services/EDW

I look forward to any feedback you care to share. The best way to reach me is email via my contact page:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4_contact.html

Joseph Elfelt

Webfoot
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Webfoot » March 28th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Genuinely I appreciate your providing a free service to accomplish useful things. However as I cannot use your Gmap4 in my browser of choice I wonder: what does this new feature of your map do that ArcGIS Online map viewer, which does work in my browser, does not?

Joseph Elfelt
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » March 28th, 2018, 1:48 pm

Webfoot wrote:Genuinely I appreciate your providing a free service to accomplish useful things. However as I cannot use your Gmap4 in my browser of choice I wonder: what does this new feature of your map do that ArcGIS Online map viewer, which does work in my browser, does not?
I wish I could answer that but I am not an ArcGIS Online user so I have no clue what that program can do or not do.

If you decide to use a different browser to check out this new Gmap4 feature I would enjoy hearing your comparison.

Webfoot
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Webfoot » March 28th, 2018, 2:51 pm

On each of the MapServer pages, e.g. EDW_MVUM_01, is a link for the ArcGIS Online viewer. Without your service this is the usual way I access the data. One can add layers using the Modify Map link at the upper right of the page, then the Add menu that appears to the upper left.

I loaded Chrome and tried your map. It seems similar in concept though not execution.

Positive: the server tree is nice; a little faster than browsing the tree directly, then clicking the ArgGIS Online link, or copying the URL and Adding it as described above.

Negative: I couldn't find the Legend view, which is pretty important for many of these maps. Also it seems slower than ArcGIS Online, though it's probably not a fair comparison as they may be the back end service for the data.

Joseph Elfelt
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » March 28th, 2018, 3:31 pm

Webfoot wrote:Negative: I couldn't find the Legend view, which is pretty important for many of these maps. Also it seems slower than ArcGIS Online, though it's probably not a fair comparison as they may be the back end service for the data.
Near the top of the sidebar is a link to that same 'table of contents' page on the ArcGIS server. That page has the legend link.

But you have a good point. Thinking that people will find their way to the legend in that manner is likely expecting a bit much.

I just made a note to add a legend link to the sidebar.

Thanks for the feedback!

Joseph Elfelt
Posts: 155
Joined: September 3rd, 2010, 10:24 am
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Re: Gmap4 - Enhanced Google Map viewer with topographic maps

Post by Joseph Elfelt » May 11th, 2018, 4:17 am

Last week Google announced a major price increase for all maps that use the Google Map API (Application Program Interface). This includes Gmap4 and other popular browser-based map apps. Each time a map is opened, the API code is downloaded from Google’s servers to the user’s browser.

The bottom line is that come June 11 Gmap4 will likely stop working for everyone but clients of the property line mapping service that I provide. Sorry for the bad news.

Current pricing allows 25,000 map API downloads/day for free.
New pricing is 28,000 map API downloads/month for free and $7 per 1,000 if you want to buy more.

So far Google has not provided any way to detect with code when the monthly limit is reached.

In the last 30 days Gmap4 downloaded the Google map API about 220,000 times. Under the new scheme that would have cost me ~$1,300.

I produce a Google + GIS wildland fire map that can cause a huge spike in API downloads. Last year when the California fires were going Google granted me 1,000,000 API downloads/day for free.

Under the new policies Google will grant more API downloads for disaster maps but the tone of their documentation indicates they have really tightened this up. Plus Gmap4 is used for a mixture of disaster/recreation/education/etc maps.

I will apply under the new policies for more API downloads based on the disaster mapping I do but I fully expect the Gmap4 we know today is going away. On the other hand, I have always wanted to learn the open source Leaflet map API.

Joseph Elfelt

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