Questions about the new map import function

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ds47uk
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Durham, UK

Questions about the new map import function

Post by ds47uk » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:43 am

I have been looking at the new method of importing MemoryMap (.qct) maps into AlpineQuest. They do seem to load more quickly, so there is obviously a benefit (though they take some time to generate from .qct!). Some questions...

1) Since these maps are larger than the original .qct maps (~25% I think) is it safe, once they are generated, to delete the original .qct map file from the tablet?

2) Is it possible to copy the generated .qct.pgd file onto my PC for storage (and so delete the file from the tablet), or is there some index file which means that the file will not be recognised when it is restored to the tablet at a later date?

3) Is there any benefit importing externally generated .aqm files (from MOBAC) to .aqm.pgd (since .aqm is native AlpineQuest format anyway)?

regards
David

Psyberia-Support
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Posts: 4884
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Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by Psyberia-Support » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:10 pm

Hi again,
Yes as you noticed you can now import maps into a new .pgd format, allowing to display maps faster. Here is more information about this format:
- This new format is completely stand-alone, and doesn't require any index or additional file;
- You can safely backup a .pgd file and re-use it later, nothing more than the file is needed;
- You can put .pgd files wherever you want on your device, even on a read-only memory;
- The original file that has been imported (like a .qct or .aqm) is no more needed, you can safely remove it;
- I would recommend that you also import your .aqm maps (no quality loss at all, the file will be loaded a little faster, the app won't create or use any additional index file, and some future features will only be available for the .pgd format);
- You'll be able to generate .pgd maps using MOBAC soon (either the stock version or a modified one dedicated to the app).

This new map format has been introduced because:
- It supports multiple maps and layers into a single file;
- It supports other kind of data (like POIs, elevation data), that we plan to include;
- It doesn't require any index file or loading time;
- It can be created from the app, allowing various future improvements (creating on-board maps using the "Store area" tool, importing more map formats like KMZ overlays which will be available in the next update).

However, you should keep your original .qct maps saved on your PC since the current QCT import uses a high quality setting (resulting in the larger size), which you'll be able to change in a future update, so you'll be able to import QCT maps in a smaller .pgd files.

Don't hesitate if you have any additional question,
Best regards
Do you like AlpineQuest ? Leave a small comment on Google Play !

ds47uk
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Durham, UK

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by ds47uk » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:00 pm

Thank you for a very interesting and very informative reply!

I look forward to see what is coming in the future updates...

regards
David

tytoalba
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:48 am

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by tytoalba » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:49 pm

I have a Nexus 7 and have memory maps stored on it for offline use with Alpinequest.

I recently had to uninstall Alpinequest and reinstall. It was an updated version. I cannot now find out how to access my memory map maps. When I put the maps on my Nexus I just copied them across from my laptop into a Maps folder under Alpinequest on my Nexus and it all worked fine.

I saw the query about the new map import facility but cannot find it in the app.

Can you point me in the right direction please?

Psyberia-Support
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Posts: 4884
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Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by Psyberia-Support » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:07 pm

Hi,
If you have Android 4 or more, changed the app default storage device to use the external SD card and have un-installed the application, then Android has automatically removed all your maps (and all other AlpineQuest data). This is a new "feature" provided by Android to clean all the related data of an application when you un-install it.
If you just want to update the application, do not remove the app, just install the new version (Android will detect that it's just an update).
I think that you don't need to use the import function, just copy again your maps from your computer.
Let me know if you need more help,
Best regards
Do you like AlpineQuest ? Leave a small comment on Google Play !

tytoalba
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:48 am

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by tytoalba » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:27 pm

Thanks for your speedy reply. I have Android 4.4.4

When I uninstalled and reinstalled the app the maps were not deleted - they are still there in the same folder. If I go to File Manager and click on one it opens ok in Alpinequest. - But I cannot find out how to access them through the Alpinequest App. I was thinking perhaps they are not in the correct folder for the new version or I somehow need to tell Alpinequest where to find the maps but have not managed to achieve either.. (you will now be realising I am not exactly an expert - but I can usually work things out!)

You may be interested that the reason I decided to reinstall was that following the Android update to 4.4.4 the maps started automatically orientating to the compass even when the app was set not too a real pain when driving along! I tried everything I could think of to stop it happening but nothing worked - hence the reinstall.

regards

André

Psyberia-Support
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Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by Psyberia-Support » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:30 pm

Ok thanks for the update.
So check the path used in your file manager, something like "/mnt/sdcard/...", then from AlpineQuest open the maps explorer, be sure to browse the "on-board maps" (select this by using the top-right button), use the back button until you reach the list of storage devices, and select the one that matches the beginning of your folder path.
Let me know
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tytoalba
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:48 am

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by tytoalba » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:23 am

Sorry to have to come back - what you makes sense but when I open the Alpinequest map explorer on my tablet it does not have a button at top right. It just lists Open Street, Bing, Google and USGS maps which I believe are all on line maps. Oh i did seethe banner top left about stored maps. Previously nothing seemed to happen when I pressed it but this time it found the list of Memory maps!! Hooray. Thanks for you patience and help. I was lost without Memory map which is invaluable for my Barn owl conservationproject I run.

Many thanks.

Psyberia-Support
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Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by Psyberia-Support » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:46 pm

Ok that's great if it's fine now!
Let me know if you have any issue
Best regards
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Yemble
Posts: 333
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:02 pm

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by Yemble » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:43 pm

AlpineQuest wrote:Hi again,
Yes as you noticed you can now import maps into a new .pgd format, allowing to display maps faster. Here is more information about this format:
- This new format is completely stand-alone, and doesn't require any index or additional file;
- You can safely backup a .pgd file and re-use it later, nothing more than the file is needed;
- You can put .pgd files wherever you want on your device, even on a read-only memory;
- The original file that has been imported (like a .qct or .aqm) is no more needed, you can safely remove it;
- I would recommend that you also import your .aqm maps (no quality loss at all, the file will be loaded a little faster, the app won't create or use any additional index file, and some future features will only be available for the .pgd format);
- You'll be able to generate .pgd maps using MOBAC soon (either the stock version or a modified one dedicated to the app).

This new map format has been introduced because:
- It supports multiple maps and layers into a single file;
- It supports other kind of data (like POIs, elevation data), that we plan to include;
- It doesn't require any index file or loading time;
- It can be created from the app, allowing various future improvements (creating on-board maps using the "Store area" tool, importing more map formats like KMZ overlays which will be available in the next update).

However, you should keep your original .qct maps saved on your PC since the current QCT import uses a high quality setting (resulting in the larger size), which you'll be able to change in a future update, so you'll be able to import QCT maps in a smaller .pgd files.

Don't hesitate if you have any additional question,
Best regards
Is this PGD format only for off-line maps, or will it replace the current map cache database as well?
At what point will PGD become the default map format in AQ - next version, or is it some way off?

Will you be providing a simple Windows tool for generating PGD maps from:

1) Existing AQM offline maps
2) From AQ map cache uplifted from the phone (I really want this!)
3) From other map formats (nice to have, but not essential)

The interface does not need to be anything fancy, a CLI would suffice, just so long as it has NO limitations (unlike MOBAC), is reliable, can circumnavigate errors and gives some idea of progress. Windows is the obvious platform for this as it will be a CPU intensive process which may run for many hours for HUGE maps.

Such a tool would be hugely appreciated by me and probably many others :-)

Psyberia-Support
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Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by Psyberia-Support » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:47 pm

The new .PGD format is very similar to the stored data cache format, however it won't replace it since they both have different requirements which leads to few differences:
- The stored data cache requires the data to be updated (i.e. replaced, including a growth of data pieces), it also requires that pieces of data can be added forever (this is why 2 separate files are needed, one index and one data, both growing together);
- The new .PGD format stores the data in the same way, however the data doesn't need to be updated or grown, so the two files are merged into a single file, which is easier to manage.

This new format is intended to be the new default map format for the app (replacing the current .AQM), because it doesn't require a pre-loading time and is faster to display, however the .AQM format will still be supported.
MOBAC should be updated some day to create .PGD file, or at least a modified "home made" version, that could also match your other requests about the limitations.

At some time (we hope soon), the app will be able to create .PGD files from the stored data like you would like. It will also be able to import .KMZ overlays from online sources (almost finished).

Hope this is useful
Best regards
Do you like AlpineQuest ? Leave a small comment on Google Play !

ds47uk
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:40 am
Location: Durham, UK

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by ds47uk » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:20 pm

It seems to me that that this new format when ready will go a long way to solving the problem with OS maps that is a trending topic elsewhere on the forum. We should be able to generate a key and download a block of interest and then save it off for future reference knowing that it will not get overwritten. Then if we want a new area and the key has expired, we could generate a new key and save off the new area, safe in the knowledge that the area we have already retrieved will not be overwritten.

If a way of getting OS data into MOBAC or a MOBAC lookalike (for PC) could be found a lot of users would be in heaven!!

I see some exciting things coming and thank you for your efforts to add improvements to an already brilliant program

David

peterpiper
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Questions about the new map import function

Post by peterpiper » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:44 am

Wondered how soon the update will happen, that will allow import of QCT maps in a smaller .pgd files.

A simple addition would be to allow selection of multiple qct files before choosing Import. At the moment it is quite a tedious job, especially as I have to re-navigate to the same source folder every time!
At the moment import sometimes stalls, should the device goes to sleep. For multi file import, keep awake would be essential.

Section of multiple files for Add as layers would also help to speed things up.

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