- Who needs the software?
GPSMap Edit is designed to help owners of
Garmin GPS receivers to create own maps.
The software allows to quick loading and viewing vector maps in so-called
"Polish format", comparing them with different geodetic data like raster maps,
GPS tracks and waypoints, and editing the mаps.
Recently, the export to format ALAN Map
500 MapShow was implemented.
In addition, the software may be used for converting GPS-tracks and waypoints
among various formats.
- What is "Polish format"?
GPS navigators developed by Garmin
support closed undocumented map format IMG.
However, there is command line
utility cGPSMapper.exe allowing to convert
geodetic data presented in text files in open and well documented format into
Garmin IMG. Its input language is called "Polish format".
- Where can I find maps in Polish format? Is there else software supporting
Currently there are no open sources of such maps. However,
there are some converters to Polish format from other formats.
In Russia, for instance, the convertor cMap.exe is widely used. It gets maps
in GEM/GCT format from Ingit (St.Peterburg).
Such maps cover mainly Russian territory.
pGPSmap is example of
software making some post-processing of Polish files. This utiliy splits map to
few parts and diminishes number of points in polygons up to 255, as required by
obsolete versions of cGPSMapper.exe.
In addition, full version of cGPSMapper.exe supports shapefiles (ArcView
And, of course, you may write you own software based on Polish format! In
this case, GPSMap Edit may be used as your covertor's output verification tool
and as source of ready code or parser.
- Is it possible to convert maps from OziExplorer MAP format?
maps accepted by OziExplorer are raster
ones being scanned images of paper maps. Automatic recognition of such images
necessory to transform the data to vector presentation is rather complex task
(like OCR and even more). Some so-called vectorizer tools are available in
market, but most of them have very high prices while still require large amount
of manual labour.
However, you may use raster maps in GPSMap Edit as base for manual drawing of
vector ones over them, both and to fix existing vector maps.
- What else formats are supported by GPSMap Edit?
supports loading of any number of maps, tracks and waypoints in OziExplorer
format (MAP, WPT, PLT files) and Garmin MapSource 4.x (MPS, TXT). Data saving is
possible in Polish format only.
See details here.
- How the software may be used?
GPSMap Edit is freeware. See License Agreement for details.
- Should I obtain an additional license from Unisys to work with GIF
Here are some facts.
GPSMap Edit is freeware whixch opens GIF files for reading only. Futhermore,
it really does not include any code implementing LZW decoding algorithm, but
uses external code embedded in Windows (which is licensed by Microsoft). In
addition, Unisys' patent will expire in
You may contact the patent owner to
get more details.
- How can I feedback to author?
You may leave message in the guestbook or contact via
Email. Bug reports, feature requests etc
Installation, starting, running
- What are the hardware and system requirements?
The answer is here. Pay attention that some features of GPSMap Edit
are not available in some versions of Windows; the full list of such limitations
is given in the same page. The best environment
for the software is Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
- How to install the software?
GPSMap Edit does not have installer
now. The program installation does not require special efforts because the
software is ready to run. Just download the latest version and unzip it into any
suitable folder. Minor exception is usage of PNG and TIFF formats; please see
- How can I load a map into the program?
There are 3 ways:
- Using 'File|Open' menu command. In addition, you may add a map to loaded one
via 'File|Add' item or the corresponding toolbar button.
- Dragging a file from Explorer into GPSMap Edit window.
- Listing file names in command line of mapedit.exe (quoted, space delimited).
- I load a map but window is empty. Scaling up helps. Why?
be result of incorrect map converting from other formats.
In general, map contains a few zoom levels for different scales. The levels
are defined in the header of map (section [IMG ID]) through parameters
"LevelX=", "ZoomX=". If all objects belong to one of level (e.g., to 0-th one),
the window will be empty for all other scales.
You may delete the empty levels to solve the problem. (NOTE: less detailed
level should be always empty, according to cGPSMapper' documentation; so minimal
number of levels is two).
- What do strings "=LevelX" appearing in status bar mean?
active zoom level of the map, corresponding to the selected scale. Mark ">"
means that overzooming and "<" - underzooming. Symbol "*" reminds that
automatic level selection is turned off: the given level is visualised for any
scale (see menu item 'View|Levels').
- How can I check that the map loaded violates Polish format limitations?
"Ready*" status message appearing after map loading indicates that some
warning messages was generated. You may see the log using menu command
- Why all bridges have the same direction?
This is limitation of POI
presentation supported by Garmin: they are described as point without direction.
Note that some of Garmin models never visualize some types of regions at all.
For instance, city blocks are not shown in eTrex Vista.
Moreover, some important kinds of objects have no corresponding region type
in Garmin's GPS-navigators. Examples are railway/subway stations, squares,
buildings (as polygons) etc.
- May I use non-Latin symbols in region's labels?
developed by Garmin do support some national alphabets in maps. Unfortunately,
current versions of cGPSMapper.exe support just so-called 6-bit coding allowing
base Latin characters only.
- What does prefix "~[0x" in region label mean?
This is feature of
Polish format used to declare upper case, highway marks and othe issues
affecting on labels visualization.
- ~[0x1b] - Makes next character in upper case.
- ~[0x1e] - Right part of label is visualized for scales larger than 1 km.
- ~[0x1f] - Left part of label is visualized for scales larger than 1 km.
- ~[0x2a] - International highway
- ~[0x2b] - Shield symbol for highway
- ~[0x2c] - Round symbol for highway
- ~[0x2d] - Small red-blue symbol for highway
- ~[0x2e] - Large symbol for highway
- ~[0x2f] - Small white symbol for highway
- Why GPSMap Edit saves no more 5 digits after dot in
Garmin maps store all coordinates with maximum precision
equal to 360о/224=2.1*10-5. So there is no
reason to store data in Polish format with higher accuracy.
- What does the function 'Join/Split region levels'?
format, it is possible to define an object as set of elements distributed over
zoom levels ('DataX=' and 'OriginX=') rather than define several single-element
objects, one per each level. This approach allows to treat an object as 'whole':
user may move, rename, change type, delete etc the object in all zoom levels
In contrast, TXT files imported from IMG always contain single-element
objects. (The intrinsic reason is in IMG format details.) This provides some
kind of 'traps and pitfalls' for users while editing.
So, the 'Join region levels' function combines similar objects from different
levels to the joined objects. The 'Split region levels' one breaks the objects
to per-level parts back.
- What is affine transformation?
This is term from linear algebra
refering to any combination of linear coordinates transformations. In particular
these are shift, shear, turn, stretching, compressing and so on.
even vector maps may have such distorsions. Applying affine transformation to
these maps may significantly improve their precision.
In general, affine transformation may be specified by three pairs of points;
each pair consists of source point and destination one. In particular, both
points of a pair may be equal meaning no shift at the place. If points are equal
two by two in each three pairs, the transformation changes nothing.
To apply an affine transformation to a map, you should have some
high-precision geodetic data for the calibration. These may be a raster map
(OziExplorer) which is tied as well or tracks and waypoints obtained using
GPS-navigator. It is important to make sure that all coordinates are presented
in the same datum or be able to convert to WGS84.
- How can I apply an affine transformation to my map?
- Load vector map to transform and add raster map, track, waypoints to be used
- Select 'Affine transformation' tool (by menu or toolbar).
- For each of three pairs:
You may abandon any pair using [x] button in
the floating window or find the pair on map by [...] one.
- Activate the pair using proper radiobutton in the floating window titled
- Click at source point and hold left mouse button until target point will be
selected. For coinciding points just click and release mouse.
- Make sure that shifted semitransparent image in agree with the calibration
data, release mouse button.
- Go to next pair.
- Press "Apply" in the floating window.
If something is wrong you may undo transformation and try again with other
You may freely change tools temporarily during preparing to affine
transformation - to 'Drag' tool or to 'Select' etc - and go back to pairs
It is recommended to define pairs as distant as possible from each other and
from center of the map. This may provide higher accuracy.
- What is geodetic datum?
Datum is like frame of reference. Each
point at earth surface is defined as combination of latitude, longitude and
elevation. But all the three values depend on origing of coordinates, direction
of axes, and accuracy of measured Earth radius and polar flattening. Different
datums are used in different countries. As a result, coordinates of the same
point may differ in two datums.
For instance, Russian maps are based on "Pulkovo-1942" datum. The one used in
GPS is WGS84. In Moscow region, they are shifted approximately in 150 m. To
avoid loss of GPS precision (wich is about 15 m) you should always make sure
that all coordinates are defined in or converted to the same datum.
Functionality to implement
- Which features are planned to implement in the future?
list below does not correspond to the order of implementation.
- Saving to Garmin IMG
- Export to shapefiles
- Loading and saving in MapDekode DBX format
- Import from MapInfo (MIF/MID) and AutoCAD (DXF)
- Import of POIs form text files (NIMA) and databases
- Support of ECW, MrSID, GeoTIFF
- Splitting/merging of polylines, elements, regions
- Cutting map with non-rectangular frame
- Selection by custom filter (label, type, level etc)
- Automatic generalization
- Enhancements of label output
- Options (colors, units etc)
- Object searching
- Tool to measure distance
- Automation (macros) and plug-in's