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OT: Good map print server on the web?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Feb 25, 2012.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    This works: Get map from MapQuest, CTRL-PrintScreen, into IrfanView. Cut
    fluff away so only map remains. Hit sharpen once, on local maps it may
    be needed twice. Then convert to grayscale. Adjust in preview window so
    it fills as much of the page as possible since bigger is better. This
    produces a printout that is not quite as good as in the old days but has
    enough contrast for driving.
  2. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Joerg,

    <grin> I seem to recall saying just that! ;-)
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Well, almost but not quite :)

    I had figured out the export drill before. However, transcoding to B/W
    there did not help. What makes the difference is the high-pass filtering
    ("sharpen"). The large area freeway maps only need that once but inside
    the city twice seems to sometimes work better. Without this the map is
    almost as poorly readable as with Google Maps.

    I think I have to dig out some of the image processing routines from my
    old ultrasound days, they are much better than graphics programs.
    Unfortunately those do not have any user interface to write home about.
  4. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Joerg,

    Sorry, I should have been more specific about my comment:
    "Print to a graphic file format and convert to B&W
    *there* -- instead of letting MS and your printer decide
    how to map colors, scale (or NOT scale! ) the image, etc."
    And, in particular, about SnagIt's capabilities.

    Once you have captured the image (which, as I said, can be just by
    "printing" it to the SnagIt printer if you don't want to "capture"
    it from the screen), SnagIt allows you to REPLACE COLORS selectively.
    For a photograph of a *person*, this would be useless. *But*, to
    convert the lackluster colors that google maps uses into BOLDER
    colors -- e.g., the beige/yellow that it likes to use for roads into
    SOLID BLACK -- it's *perfect*!

    And, since google uses the same colors repeatedly, this is easy to
    apply (even if they cycled through a set of random, equally bad colors,
    you could use the eyedropper tool to pick the color that you want
    to replace and the color to act as its replacement; you can do any
    number? of these substitutions... one or two is usually more than

    This gives you one-stop shopping for printing and conversion (and has
    a quick startup time -- especially if you use it as your normal screen
    capture utility) as well as for creating exportable documents (e.g.,
    PDF's, PNG's, etc.)
  5. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    And it's (sadly) often easy for the GPS to decide that one is on an
    adjacent highway and so provide the correct routing but for the wrong
    road. That is one thing that I do miss about the old Delorme plus a
    laptop in the passenger seat: it had a "breadcrumb trail" that was the
    actual estimated position instead of an icon that snaps to the
    calculated road. Wonder whether any of the current GPS navigators or
    smartphones have an option to show the raw position?
  6. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    Yeah, you ned to zoom in until they have names before they can easly
    been seen on a printout,
  7. Guest

    The amazing thing is that "cheap" hotels (say, 3-star) usually have free WiFi.
    Forget the room rates, the top tier want your first born for WiFi (and
    parking, and...). Nuts! The beds are the same.

    But your point is well taken, I don't need to worry about WiFI anymore. I
    take it with me (except that my laptop doesn't talk WPA2 and that's the only
    dialect the phone does).
  8. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    I see your problem. I always print the satellite view though. Plenty
    of contrast :)
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    And then at some places on Long Island you find out that the roads and
    exits and stuff were designed in the days of the Ford Model-T. Any
    faster than 40mph and the tires start a serious screech.

    Woe to those who aren't able to manage all this at 85mph+. No joke, once
    a car full of big mean-looking dudes was blowing an air horn at me. I
    also had West Virginia plates which I guess did not help. When they
    passed me their stereo drowned out mine despite rolled-up windows. Tchk
    ....tchk .. *BOOM* ...

    Sometimes abbreviations in NY are a bit extreme. On the Van Wyck there's
    this little sign saying "LIE". That's it. It means Long Island
    Expressway and if you miss that you can get seriously lost.
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I make it a point to completely shun any hotel or chain that charges for
    Internet. Because then they'll most likely nickel and dime you for
    anything else. Took a little soap bar to shower? That'll be five bucks.
    Mini-Bar? 2000% markup on bottled water. Want breakfast? How about bacon
    and eggs for $49 plus tip? No joke, seen it. It seems the higher the
    rates per night the more charges they sneak in. Probably figuring that
    high-rollers do not notice.
  11. Guest

    We've been doing quite a bit of house hunting lately so GPS has been
    invaluable. My cell phone works wonders, even sitting on the seat next to me.
    The speaker is sometimes hard to hear, though. I'll probably buy a window
    mount for it in the next few days. The only feature I'd like to see is
    routing from point-A to point-B while being at 'X'.
    In VT, the Hertz place wouldn't rent RWD cars to "flatlanders" from October 1
    to May 1. If they had any in their inventory (they tried to move them
    elsewhere), they'd upgrade anyone with a VT license to Lincolns for.
  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Even then it won't show the outlines of streets. But with Mapquest, copy
    into IrfanView, two sharpen cycles and then B/W conversion it works ok.
    Not great as in the good old days but useable for driving. I also make
    myself a small list of exits and turns for the shirt pocket. That helps
    a ton if you get into rush hour and other drivers are antsy. Has the
    client phone # on there as well in case I have to make a hands-free call
    because the freeway jammed up solid. Absolute requirement in Silicon Valley.
  13. Guest

    With the economy, they seem to have dropped room rates (particularly on
    weekends) and have raised the stealth costs accordingly. It gets their
    advertised rates closer to the "lesser" competition. The beds aren't any more
    comfortable either. I find "3-stars" to be a perfectly acceptable tradeoff.
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yup. I just booked one. Other than the usual (somewhat confiscatory)
    city taxes no hidden charges. And breakfast is free.
  15. josephkk

    josephkk Guest

    Well eternal-september seems to carry a.b.s.e and the price is right

  16. josephkk

    josephkk Guest

    I get a.b.s.e no sweat. I use Astraweb with a largish number of GB for
    something like $20 one time. In two years i think i have used 2 percent
    of that block.

  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I don't mind paying but last time I looked via some archive server the
    (useful ...) traffic on a.b.s.e. was anemic.
  18. Guest

    Top left? Verizon has, by far, the best coverage of all carriers. If you
    want it cheap, get a prepaid from PagePlus (uses the Verizon network). They're
    $.04/min, in $80 batches. It's a no frills phone, but if that's all you need
    it's the way to go. Do note that any call from a US phone will cost an arm
    and a leg if it crosses over the border to a Canuckistani tower.
  19. Guest

    So do ex-Northeasterners.
    Ditto elsewhere in the country. All of them work in the major and even not so
    major cities. Go 30mi outside and the story changes drastically. Whatever
    you do, make sure the carrier uses the Verizon network.
  20. josephkk

    josephkk Guest

    Well that may be an anemic archive server. I seem to have about 80 posts
    since 2/22/12.

    Your Choice, but don't whine.

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