Maps

The full version of Gps Orienteering has support for managing maps. The maps are used for orienteering courses. You find the maps that are stored on the smartphone under ‘Maps’ in the main menu.

Basically you can do the following with maps:

  • add a new map and georeference it
  • see your current position on the map
  • publish the map to make it available for others
  • download protected maps (i.e. maps that someone else has published)
  • download public maps. Note that there are only a few public maps so far.

Add and georeference a map

You need an orienteering map in digital format. The map file shall be in jpg-, png- or gif-format. Modern maps drawn in for example OCAD usually have correct coordinates whereas older, hand-drawn maps can contain skews which makes them unsuitable for GPS orienteering.

Georeferencing can be done either by setting the coordinates for two  reference points, use a world-file, kml-file or kmz-file.

To create a georeferenced map:

Step 1. Create a orienteering map in jpg, png or gif image file format. One way is to use the program OCAD and choose the function ’File/Export’. The resolution of at least 300dpi should be used. To make georeferencing easier, select to include world-file or select the  kmz-format.
You can also scan a paper map, but be aware of that it may contain skews that will make it hard to georeference the map. There are also maps on for example www.routegadget.net/.

Step 2. Put the image file (and worldfile) or kmz-file in the folder gpsorienteering/maps on the phone by connecting the phone to your PC with a USB-cable, enable file transfer on the phone and use the file explorer to copy the file to the phone. (If the directory does not show up in the file explorer, then restart the phone to force a media scanning of the flash memory.)

Step 3. The georeferencing procedure depends on which type of files you supplied:
a. Kmz-file: The map in the kmz-file will automatically be georeferenced as soon as you open the app. The name of the map will be the same as the name of the kmz-file.
b. Jpg/png/gif with kml-file: You will be asked to use the kml file when you open the map.
c. Jpg/png/gif with world-file (jgw/pgw/gfw): You will be asked to use the world file when you open the map. You need to specify which UTM zone to use, see for example www.mangomap.com
d. Jpg/png/gif without world-file or kml file: Put the two reference points at positions that can be exactly defined and that are far apart. Enter the latitude and longitude for the reference points. You can use the GPS in the phone for setting the coordinates or use some online service such as www.getlatlong.net/ to get the latitude and longitude for the points.

 GpsO_Georeference

Figure 1: Set a reference points on the map

See your current position on the map

You can see your current position if the map is georeferenced and you have selected ‘Show position’ in the options menu for the map. The position is indicated by a blue dot. The accuracy of the GPS is also shown. This helps you to see if the map is correctly georeferenced.

Figure 2: Your current position is shown on the map

Publish a map 

You can publish the map, if you want to share it with others. Select ‘Publish map’ in the options menu. The map has a unique code (8 characters) that is used when downloading it. It will be a so called ‘protected map’.

Before publishing a map, make sure that you are allowed to distribute it! If you do not ‘own’ the map then you should not share it with others.

You can revoke a map that you have published. This means that it will no longer be possible for others to download the map.

Download a protected map

Select ‘Download protected map’ in the map menu to download a protected map. Enter the 8 character code for the map to be downloaded.

Public maps

You can download some public maps. Select country and year for the search query. Note that there only a very few public maps available. These maps are only to be seen as examples and a way for you to try out how to create and edit courses.

Other tips

One way to create kml-file for georeferencing:

  • You can use Google Earth to georeference the map. Start Google Earth, choose ‘Add / Image in 3D-view’ under ‘My locations’. Set the link to the map and use the tools in the program to georeference the map. Make the georeferencing as accurate as possible! Then create a kml-file by selecting ‘Save location as..’ and select the format *.kml and give the file the same name as the map. Put the kml-file together with the jpg/png/gif-file in folder gpsorienteering/maps. When you open the map in the app and select ‘Edit map’, the app will automatically use the kml-file for georeferencing.

Create a map from MapAnt:
You can easily create a map from MapAnt (currently Finland only) by following these simple steps:
1. Open MapAnt.fi.
2. Select ‘Export’ and mark an area.
3. Set ‘Zoom’ to 7, 8 or 9 to get a nice resolution on the map and set ‘Format’ to KML and press ‘Export’. The map will downloaded to your PC with the default name ‘MapAnt.kmz’.
4. Rename the file to whatever name you want for the map (for example ‘Helsinki.kmz’) using a file browser.
5. Copy the kmz-file to the folder ‘gpsorienteering\maps’ on your smartphone.
6. Open the GPS Orienteering app and select the ‘Maps’ tab and open the map. Done!