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Samstag, 15. Juni 2013

Create high resolution travel maps from GPX files

 In this post I will show how one can create high resolution travel maps using GPS track logs and openstreetmap data. I use these maps for my photobooks, hence they requirre high resolution

Trafel map of our 2012 vacation in the USA (not the high resolution version!)


Nearly everywhere I go I record my whereabouts with a GPS logger. Visualizing these track records can be done online (e.g. gpsvisualizer.com) but quite often these maps fail with large track files or other reasons I do not know.

If you create photobooks as I do you probaly want to include some kind of map of your travels. But for large books (e.g. 30cm x 30cm) one requirres high resolution images.

I create these images with the free tool maperitive (website). This tools is a map visualizer that can use may different GIS data formats but most conveniently accesses the freely available openstreetmap data.

If you start maperative it will display a standard map.
To add tracks, use the "Open Map Source.." function from the file menu. (CTRL + O) and select your GPX file. Now maperitive will display the GPS track ontop of the map.
To create the final JPEG image one cane use the "Export to Bitmap..." function from the tools menu (CTRL + E), but this will result in a medium resolution png file with DPI of 100.
To create the high resolution image just type in the following command into the command line interface at the bottom of the maperitive interface:
export-bitmap dpi=600
Voilá: a high resolution PNG file in your output folder.
The next step is to add all the requirred labels. To do so I use my favourite Image editor Gimp.

In a nutshell:
  • download maperitive (website)
  • load your track log GPX file
  • use this command  export-bitmap dpi=600
  • open the resulting png in your choice of image editor (eg. Gimp) and add wahtever you need
  • done.