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PaulR
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Re: Guests... Take a moment and join Storm2k!

#261 Postby PaulR » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:17 pm

Jelff wrote:Hello Everyone.

My name is Joseph and I am a software developer in the field of online maps. The maps that I will post here at Storm2k are a public service and part of my way to “pay it forward”. These maps are not part of any commercial endeavor.

The maps are displayed by Gmap4 which is an enhanced Google map viewer that I developed. One unique feature of this browser app is the ability to display a vast amount of data this is hosted on GIS (Geographical Information System) servers. Government agencies at all levels operate GIS servers and much of that data is open and thus viewable with GIS savvy software.

Specifically, Gmap4 can display any user-specified public-facing ArcGIS MapServer and ImageServer data. Gmap4 can also display map tiles via WMS, WMTS and XYZ. Each time a map is opened or a data overlay layer is turned on, the most recent data that is hosted on the GIS server(s) flows to the user’s screen.

Gmap4 automatically displays a touch interface on mobile devices and a mouse interface on non-mobile devices.

If you would like to know more about Gmap4, here is the homepage with lots of examples and help info:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

I have been asked why I produce these maps and the short answer is because I can. The slightly longer short answer is because I like maps, I enjoy helping people and I have the technical wherewithal.

Next, I will post a stream gage map in the Harvey discussion thread.


Hi, Joseph,

Thanks for your reply to me over in the Harvey Discussion thread. I've only had a chance to look at a little of your site, but, I like it!.

Rather than clutter up the Harvey thread further with another OT question, I'll ask here:

Not all of us have smartphones with unlimited data or connectivity. (Even Verizon's signal is intermittent right at my home, and all of them (providers' signal) are at some of our favorite outdoor recreation spots.) So, I end up trying to print online maps often, but one of my biggest gripes with online maps is that few sources display with colors that work well on a typical low to mod-end printer. Or if they do, they have other problems. (maps.stamen.com is a good example, with variants that lose too much detail as one zooms in to the maps that might actually print well.) Even my $500 (retail list price) color laser printer is quite marginal in this respect. The colors are too washed out, and if printing in greyscale, on anything lesser, it's as bad or worse. Trying to use such printouts when travelling is at a minimum aggravating, and sometimes distracting. Sometimes B4 a trip I'll copy / paste a screenshot and work with it in a photo editor, cranking up gamma, contrast, etc., but this is time consuming and has disadvantages too, like greatly intensifying the colors for water bodies, and so on, leading to use of lots of toner or ink, and even then not getting good results overall. Plus, who needs a beige (etc.) background for printing a street map, less terrain? (More toner waste.)

What is needed is something with colors similar to a lot of the state maps one picks up at rest stops, etc. That's especially true of older maps. Some of the new ones have poor color choices and / or use washed out soy inks -- I guess they are trying to "go green" or save ink cost? I was looking though some of my Dad's old maps, and mine, and one of the color schemes I like best is Illinois, tho' their parks and such are darker than need be. (I can scan and attach an example portion of a map to an e-mail to you.) Basically, my guide would be white background in general; roads, symbols, special features or data points in high-gamma colors; larger cities in light yellow (unless the city dominates the map); parks, water bodies and so on in light pastels; maybe if a given state occupies, oh, I don't know, over 75% of a given view, the other states go to a light brown or pastel background, and so on. If terrain is added then a background similar to others online (Google, for example) would be necessary, but still with the goal of the high gamma color items listed above kept in high gamma, with reasonably high contrast, and a thought to what results will be in grayscale.

Is this doable without it being wayyyy too much work?

I'm not out to harm existing printed map sellers' revenue (maybe limitations or such could be built in), but, truth be told, no printed map maker comes remotely close to what everyone now expects from online maps (even with the limitations from some online maps providers).

What do you think? No rush on an answer. (It might be best to PM me, but to kick this off, I posted here, as others may have ideas too.)

BTW - I wish I had your software knowledge. As a kid, I loved drawing my own maps, model railroad layouts (some were empires :D ), you name it!

Thanks!
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"Normal" is Chicago under a mile of ice.

Jelff
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Re: Guests... Take a moment and join Storm2k!

#262 Postby Jelff » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:23 pm

PaulR wrote:What is needed is something with colors similar to a lot of the state maps one picks up at rest stops, etc. That's especially true of older maps. Some of the new ones have poor color choices and / or use washed out soy inks -- I guess they are trying to "go green" or save ink cost? I was looking though some of my Dad's old maps, and mine, and one of the color schemes I like best is Illinois, tho' their parks and such are darker than need be. (I can scan and attach an example portion of a map to an e-mail to you.) Basically, my guide would be white background in general; roads, symbols, special features or data points in high-gamma colors; larger cities in light yellow (unless the city dominates the map); parks, water bodies and so on in light pastels; maybe if a given state occupies, oh, I don't know, over 75% of a given view, the other states go to a light brown or pastel background, and so on. If terrain is added then a background similar to others online (Google, for example) would be necessary, but still with the goal of the high gamma color items listed above kept in high gamma, with reasonably high contrast, and a thought to what results will be in grayscale.


First, for anyone who does not know, some browsers let you print what you see on your screen. In Firefox click File ==> Print preview. There are some controls at the top of the screen you can play with.

Second, there is no easy way to change the colors, contrast etc on Google's basemaps.

Third, most GIS data is defined on the server in such a manner that there is no easy way to change the colors, contrast, etc.

Fourth, some GIS servers support a feature called "dynamic layers". If one has the right tech savvy and right software then that data can be styled (color, opacity, line width, line style, etc) to suit the user. The feds have a bunch of GIS data that they call the National Map. Much of that data supports dynamic layers. For example, I have posted online maps where the state lines are yellow. My code told the GIS server to style the state lines in that manner before sending that data to the user's screen.

Here is a 'table of contents' for the national map data layers.
https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/services/
1. Click "Theme overlays",
2. Under "Structures", click "REST"

Scroll down and you will see a list of layers and each has a number. Campgrounds are layer 37. Near the top of the same page is a legend link. Click that and look at the campground symbol. Since this layer supports dynamic layers, you could have a map that uses your own campground symbol.

Likewise if you found "dynamic" layers for the data you wanted on a map then it would be possible to make a map with the data styled to your liking.

Yes, my Gmap4 software can work with dynamic layers but the syntax will likely be seen as daunting for anyone who is not a software developer. That syntax was developed by ESRI which is the company that makes the software that runs the GIS servers. I use that feature myself but have made no attempt to document it.

Bottomline: You will likely need to wait and hope that someone builds some user friendly software that lets the users build maps as you describe.
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JBCycloneStan
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Re: Guests... Take a moment and join Storm2k!

#263 Postby JBCycloneStan » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:26 pm

Hi everyone! I've been a lurker for a while now, but joined amidst all the fervor with Harvey and Irma. I'm a PhD Chemist, but had aspirations as a kid to be a tropical weather meteorologist so I am very interested in the science of hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons. This is proving to be a very fascinating, yet frightening time for the development of the science.
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PickUpThePhone84
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Re: Guests... Take a moment and join Storm2k!

#264 Postby PickUpThePhone84 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:52 pm

Hello! I am a new member on the board! Due to privacy reasons I won't reveal my true name but I do like to say that I am very happy to be a part of this community. I am currently a operational meteorologist and I have been a weather geek since childhood. My interests are especially centered around the development and tracking of hurricanes and tornadoes and I have had the opportunity to chase a few of them in my adult years.

Very glad to be here and looking forward to getting to know everyone and participating in valuable discussions in this forum!
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Audrey2Katrina
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Re: Guests... Take a moment and join Storm2k!

#265 Postby Audrey2Katrina » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:52 pm

I'm not *NEW* here; but I've been through a LOT in the meantime. My last appearance on these boards was not too long after the mega-year of 2005! I did apparently post a lot because I worked myself into a Cat 5 member 8-) . At any rate there have been issues about everything from health to just plain wanting to retire (which I've since done)-- and rather than bore anyone further, just want to say it's good to be back. I SO remember so many of these names; vbhoutex, cycloneye, CajunMama, and Southerngale -- with due apologies to some I've forgotten. I'm hoping all is well with everyone and continue my prayers for the safety of anyone in the path of the current storms particularly at this time, Irma. Good to be back! :D

A2K
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OiOya
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Re: Guests... Take a moment and join Storm2k!

#266 Postby OiOya » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:14 pm

Hi! Longtime lurker. Born and raised in the Alley, but Was a kid during Hugo. I'm fascinated by nature in general and hurricanes especially. They're really something else these days. I'd like to become a better advocate for weather preparedness and take a Skywarn when I can sit still for 2 seconds.

Thanks for having me!
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