RavTrack PC Map Creation step-by-step

Creating a Map for RavTrack PC

 

Creating a map to be utilized by RavTrack PC can be completed in just a few steps.  We like to use a powerful mapping program called Global Mapper for development of our maps, however, there are several free programs and websites on the internet that allow you to obtain map images.  For this example, we use a program called Google Map Buddy that was downloaded from CNET.COM.  This blog provides  a short summary of how to obtain a map image, calibrate it with the Ravtrack Software, and then use it with Ravtrack.

 

                This process will include a quick overview of the program Google Map Buddy.  After which, we will take the image we have obtained and use Ravtrack PC to calibrate the image.  You will need to have Google Earth or a similar program in order to obtain coordinates of your calibration area. 

With Google maps open we begin by opening up Google map buddy:

  

Enter the exact address of where you want your map centered:

  

  

For this example we are centered at the City of Borger Texas:

Select the area that you want the Map to encompass and the zoom level.  Zoom levels go from 1 (low detail) to 19 (high detail) and will increase the file size of your image.   Decide on the level of detail you need and select it from the drop down box.

  

  

Click create map and choose a file name:

  

 

Google Map Buddy has the option of outputting the image as an aerial satellite view, road (street) map, terrain (Topo) map, or hybrid map.  Select the appropriate option and click OK:

 

 

Google Map Buddy will download the image and ask you if you would like to delete the tiles it has downloaded, select yes.

 

 

 

 

 

Your image is now created:

The image will be in a PNG file format and will have to now be calibrated to properly represent the latitude and longitude of the points on the map.

 

 

Open up Ravtrack PC and select  TOOLS > MAP CREATION TOOL:

 

 

Now you will have to open the map PNG image that you created with Google Map Buddy. To do this click MAP > NEW MAP:

 

 

The map creation tool will ask you a few questions about the settings. Click OK to the defaults:

 

 

Select the images country, Grid, and Datum. The settings illustrated below are correct for the City of Borger .  Click NEXT and proceed:

 

 

Select the projection. For smaller images (typically less than 100 miles across) such as the city of Borger, we will use Cartesian. For large land masses, polar would have to be used.  Click NEXT:

Your image will now require the lat/long calibration mentioned earlier.

 

 

The tool will ask you to click on a known coordinate (a clear point on the map, such as a road intersection or natural feature).  Before you do this you must be prepared with the precise latitude and longitude of the coordinate you will select:

 

 

If you don’t know the lat/long of your coordinate open Google earth and select your location. You will use Google Earth in order to obtain coordinates of 3 points. You will want to choose points towards the periphery of your image. For example, if you have a map of a city, you may select points towards the far upper left, bottom center, and upper right.

 

 

Align the map creation tool and Google Earth images side by side, and visually identify an initial coordinate point on each map. This will start the calibration. The calibration consists of finding points on Google earth that correspond to your image’s point on the map. Once you have found that exact map point, copy down the coordinates that are located at the bottom of the Google earth screen.  In the RavTrack PC  screen (the left side screen on the example below) you can now click on the exact location your coordinates correspond to:

 

 

The Scaling wizard will come up next. Now you can enter your coordinates. Ensure your coordinates are correct with the proper heading (West, East, North, and south). Click next to finish calibration of this point:

Repeat this step for two more coordinate points and you will receive a scaling complete message. After calibration, save your resulting MAPLIB file to your Ravtrack map directory.  Now you can load your map and use it with Ravtrack!

 

Here’s a quick list of free programs and websites:

http://download.cnet.com/Google-Map-Buddy/3000-20426_4-10962144.html

http://atlas.ca.gov/imagerySearch.html

http://www.nationalatlas.gov/natlas/Natlasstart.asp

http://www.google.com/mapmaker

http://monarch.tamu.edu/~maps2/

 

There are many programs and sites that will give you a map image that can be used for calibration.