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MapOSMatic User Guide

Work in progress

1. Overview

2. Creating a map - step by step

The map creation form leads you through a series of steps that each cover a specific step in the overal map creation workflow. Which step you are in is visualized in an icon bullet bar.

Step progress bar

You can only navigate between steps with the [Next] and [Back] buttons though, as some steps depend on specific input from previous steps. So it is not possible to navigate between arbitrary steps by clicking on the step icons.

The [Next] button will appear whenever a valid choice was made in the current step, the [Back] button is visible on all but the first step. On the final step a [Generate Map] button is shown instead of the [Next] button.

2.1. Select a map area or upload a file

At the very beginning the map area to be rendered needs to be determined. For this there are currently three alternatives, available as different form tabs:

  • Directly select a rectangular area on an online map.

  • Use a city or place name to look up its boundaries in the OSM database.

  • Upload a GPX track, Umap export, or GeoJSON file. The map area will be determined by the contained data.

When uploading files you can still select a different, e.g. smaller or larger, map area afterwards.

2.1.1. Directly Select Area

Select Area

Here you can select a rectangular map area. The map shown is a typical “slippy” online map, on the left you have buttons for zooming in and out, a button to detect your current location, and a search button to search for a place by name.

By default the full visible map area is selected here, but you may also use the [Select area] button to enable a more sophisticated area selection tool.

When pressing the [Select area] button the user interface changes a bit, you’ll now see a highlighted rectangular area that marks the actual selected area. You can drag the four corners of the rectangle around to change its shape and size, and you can move the complete area by dragging it along by the dotted marker in its upper left corner.

With [Select area within current zoom] you can make the full visible area the new selection, and the [Remove selection] brings you back to the original mode.

The four number fields below the map show the current min. and max. latitude and longitude of your selected area.

When you are satisfied with your selection you can use the [>] button on the right to move on to the next form step.

Select City

On the “City search” tab you can enter a city or place name in the input field, if the administrative borders of that city or place are known to OpenStreetMap these can be used to determine the map area to use automatically.

A dropdown below the field will show possible matches for your input as you type. Only the matches that are printed in black are selectable. The matches printed in grey are either place nodes for which no border information is available in OSM yet, or the place area is too large to be printed with this web service.

2.1.3. Upload data files

File Upload

Here you can upload data files containing geographic featuers in the form of GPX tracks, Umap exports, or general GeoJSON files, which will then be rendered on top of the base map.

The upload form performs some basic checks, so it will complain when one of the uploaded files is not in a supported format, or does not contain any actual data.

Note that the files will be stored on the web server, and that the map generated from them (but not the actual uploaded files themselves) will be visible to everyone. So do not upload any sensitive data you don’t want to to be seen in public, or that you don’t have the permission to share in public.

Once files have been selected and verified, the form switches back to the area selection tabl, where it will show a preview of the imported file contents, and the optimal map area to display all contained data.