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OT: Good map print server on the web?

J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg said:
Hello Folks,

With Google and Mapquest printing out B/W maps for biz trips has become
almost useless. Prints only half a page, lettering fuzzy, street
outlines next to invisible.

Does anyone know a better map service that prints _legible_ maps without
nonsensical fluff and bonbon colors around them?

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.
 
D

Don Y

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Joerg,

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.

<grin> I seem to recall saying just that! ;-)
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Don said:
Hi Joerg,



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


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.
 
D

Don Y

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Joerg,

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.

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
enough).

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.)
 
R

Rich Webb

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'm in New York this week (returning tomorrow), and I have have to say
that while your Californian highways are no picnics, they're worse in
New York here. The road system is just so darned dense

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?
 
J

Jasen Betts

Jan 1, 1970
0
I tried the same because the print routine in Google Maps makes a bad
print even worse. Problem: I only have B/W printers and on both the
street lines are not visible.

Yeah, you ned to zoom in until they have names before they can easly
been seen on a printout,
 
I think they're more consistent, release to release -- DeLorme went back
and forth on whether they used their own maps or someone else's and how
much attention they paid to keeping the maps up to date; some of the
releases were quite disappointing.

If you go to enough hotels while you're at clients, a $50/mo smartphone
bill might pay for itself if you no longer have to spend $8.95/day on
WiFi like some "fancy" hotels charge!

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).
 
N

Nico Coesel

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg said:
I tried the same because the print routine in Google Maps makes a bad
print even worse. Problem: I only have B/W printers and on both the
street lines are not visible. Because Google changed that in a
nonsensical way, to a border between very light gray and white.

In the good old days when Google Maps still worked it printed nice
contrasty lines on the sides of each street.

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

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joel said:
I'm in New York this week (returning tomorrow), and I have have to say
that while your Californian highways are no picnics, they're worse in
New York here. The road system is just so darned dense -- I honestly
think that unless you have a second person to play navigator, if you
haven't been here before you're a safer with a GPS system than trying to
go from paper maps/printing directions: You end up making a lot of
turns/exits at highway spends in a very short amount of time, and you
often find that the printed directions don't get them quite right anyway.

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.

(For instances... some of the smaller highways are "all turns from right
lane," so even though there's a stop light at an intersection, to turn
left you have to cross the intersection and then turn into a cloverleaf
sort-of-thing that'll route you back back -- to the same intersection
again -- but with the original "left" now in front of you. This is all
at street level, yet Google maps gets confused and things the
cloverleafs are on-ramps and hence gives slightly wrong directions.)

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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joel said:
I think they're more consistent, release to release -- DeLorme went back
and forth on whether they used their own maps or someone else's and how
much attention they paid to keeping the maps up to date; some of the
releases were quite disappointing.

If you go to enough hotels while you're at clients, a $50/mo smartphone
bill might pay for itself if you no longer have to spend $8.95/day on
WiFi like some "fancy" hotels charge!


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.
 
Next time I venture out I will pack only the dash stand for my GPS in
my checked luggage, and squeeze the GPS into my laptop case.

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'.
That snow storm in Rochester at midnight with only paper maps (*) was
a scary event. Fortunately the car rental guy suggested 4WD at
+$20/day, and I said, "No, too much". He then said +$5 and I said,
"Sold" ;-)

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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jasen said:
Yeah, you ned to zoom in until they have names before they can easly
been seen on a printout,

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.
 
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.

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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
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.


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

josephkk

Jan 1, 1970
0
It is actually a very nice email software. Ok, maybe not perfect for
newsgroups but I like things integrated.



Can't, my news server carries no binaries. I never bothered to get a
service with binaries because >>95% of Usenet users have no access, so
there is no point anymore sharing schematic ideas that way.

Well eternal-september seems to carry a.b.s.e and the price is right
$0.00.

?-)
 
J

josephkk

Jan 1, 1970
0
So how many participants on s.e.d. are left on a.b.s.e.?

Care to start a poll? You'll be very surprised.



I am also using a 3rd party since my ISP dumped first binaries, then all
of Usenet.

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.

?-)
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
josephkk said:
Well eternal-september seems to carry a.b.s.e and the price is right
$0.00.

I don't mind paying but last time I looked via some archive server the
(useful ...) traffic on a.b.s.e. was anemic.
 
I use Verizon for good reason. A cell phone isn't much use if it can't find a
tower.

[O/T]
So for a furriner visiting your east coast (Florida - GA - TN - then
up the top left corner and down the other side of the St Lawrence and
back to NYC) who should I target for affordable phone service (low
usage) and coverage?

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.
 
On Sat, 25 Feb 2012 00:57:37 -0500, "[email protected]"



I'll second using the smartphone. However, coverage is always an issue.
I ran into a couple trying to use an Iphone in the backcountry,
perplexed that it stopped working. Hey, it's on AT&T people. Worse yet,
it is an iphone.

I use Verizon for good reason. A cell phone isn't much use if it can't find a
tower.

[O/T]
So for a furriner visiting your east coast (Florida - GA - TN - then
up the top left corner and down the other side of the St Lawrence and
back to NYC) who should I target for affordable phone service (low
usage) and coverage?

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.

Whoops, got that back-arsewards - top RIGHT. After TN its through DC
to the top RIGHT, where all the "little" states are.

No. Not back-arsewards. We westerners refer to that "little" state
region as the "asshole of the nation" ;-)

So do ex-Northeasterners.
AT&T is crap, at least here in the West. Verizon is great.

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.
 
J

josephkk

Jan 1, 1970
0
I don't mind paying but last time I looked via some archive server the
(useful ...) traffic on a.b.s.e. was anemic.

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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