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Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

This is a discussion on Code to generate poster prints from mappoint within the MapPoint Desktop Discussion forums, part of the Map Forums category; I wrote a small C++ program to generate large poster size prints from MapPoint. It uses the Netpbm tools ( ...

  1. #1
    blitzkriegoutlaw is offline Junior Member Yellow Belt
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    Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    I wrote a small C++ program to generate large poster size prints from MapPoint. It uses the Netpbm tools (Netpbm home page) to do all the work for me. Use cygwin (Cygwin Information and Installation) to install the Netpbm tools, but make sure you use the UNIX Default Text File Type as the window version coverts LF to CR-LF and messes up any binary input/output. The tool is a little hard coded, but I have tried to put comments around each code line and placed constants at the top. There is still a few changes that can be made to make it more user friendly (i.e., taking command line arguments instead of hard-coded, etc). Also, I'm sure someone can convert it to VBScript in less than an hour -- I am just more familiar with C++. One more thing, I convert the color map to gray scale as I am currently doing cheap b/w prints. Just take ppmtopgm out to not convert to gray scale.

    The only thing I ask is if you make enhancements then post them so that everyone could use them. I hope people will find this useful.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Mattys Consulting's Avatar
    Mattys Consulting is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    blitzkriegoutlaw,

    Please post an image or pdf of the result.
    How much time did you spend to make this?

    Mike Mattys

  3. #3
    blitzkriegoutlaw is offline Junior Member Yellow Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    I have uploaded a sample 4x4 map that I kept in color. Grayscale images are a bit smaller (< 1 MB) but color seems to be a bit more.

    Most of the program I did in a couple of hours. It took me a while to debug the CR-LF problem that caused corrupt output files, but was fixed once I figured out to install cygwin in unix mode. It also took me a little while to figure out an adaptive algorithm for panning, as there is no relationship between a panFactor, distance in miles, and pixels. I'm still having a little shifting problem occuring sporatically but I think it is due to a combination of the panning algorithm, the map size is limited to 800x800 (don't remember that actual map size on a 1280x1024 monitor), and then upscaling the map to 3500x3500 GIF images. It took me a few more hours to get a good sizing algorithm done, which probably can still be refined some more to stop any image shifting, and then a few more hours playing around with the produced map (i.e., putting into photoshop, swapping background color to white, darking the streets, etc).

    Thoughts? How does the output look? Any ideas on handling the shifting problem (as far as I can tell I only see it between the first and second row of panels in the attached output). In the past I have normally seen it vertically but in this map I see it horizontally. Usually it happens at such a little rate (< 5 pixels) that I figure you won't be able to easily see on a 300 dpi printout.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #4
    Mattys Consulting's Avatar
    Mattys Consulting is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    Hi blitzkriegoutlaw,

    I have to say, I've been doing wallmap size prints with MapPoint
    for 5 years and this is the first time I've seen anybody else do this.

    Your results are great!
    One suggestion is to put it onto pdf.
    Maybe try to cut down the hours put into it.
    It takes me 1 hour start to finish, but I'll bet you can match it!

    Mike Mattys

  5. #5
    blitzkriegoutlaw is offline Junior Member Yellow Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    Sorry. I didn't know what you meant. The code took less than a day to make. When I run it it took exactly 120 seconds to generate a 4x4 panel (11992x11064 pixel) GIF map. All you need to do is set up the map, pan to the upper left hand corner where you want to start, and then press enter in my application console window.

    I attempted to take a look at batch creating a pdf file using ghostscript but couldn't get the pagesize feature figured out. I'm sure if I spent more time I probably could get it working, but sometimes ghostscript doesn't handle non-standard things well. From a practical point of view I still think it makes most sense to pull the image into photoshop (I'm cheap and use Photoshop Elements) to do any cropping, final modifications, etc and then save it as a PDF inside of there.

    Attached is the exact map in a PDF document generated from Photoshop Elements, unmodified except for setting the image to 300 dpi.

    So for the wall maps you generate, do you hack the binary to allow more than 3500 pixels (I didn't learn about this until yesterday while look at the forum), pan the map, or something else? Also, what kind of places or online stores do you print with. Kinkos, OfficeMax, etc want ~$8 a sq ft and only support up to 48 inches. Online stores are a little cheaper and handle larger paper sizes, but still looking for the best deal? Just wondering.
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  6. #6
    Mattys Consulting's Avatar
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    blitzkriegoutlaw,

    Nope, I haven't any need to hack.
    I can't tell you the printer, sorry.
    Looks great, though!

    Mike Mattys

  7. #7
    Mattys Consulting's Avatar
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    Toby Gadd, President of Montage Graphics, has just requested that anyone
    requiring printing up to 59" wide x 150' long should contact his company at
    Montage Graphics: Home.

    Mike Mattys

  8. #8
    Eric Frost's Avatar
    Eric Frost is offline Administrator Black Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattys Consulting View Post
    I have to say, I've been doing wallmap size prints with MapPoint
    for 5 years and this is the first time I've seen anybody else do this.
    To be complete, I should mention that SpatialPoint put these utilities together a while ago although I have not tried them...

    MapPoint Tools

    Large Print Utility
    Large Image Export Utility

    Eric
    ~ Order MapPoint MapPoint 2013 Here and Get Free Access to the MapForums Downloads ~
    ~~
    ~ Upgrade to Get Access to the MapForums Downloads ~

  9. #9
    blitzkriegoutlaw is offline Junior Member Yellow Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    I've made some large improvements to the program. First, I have made it a COM addin so that it runs within MapPoint under the tools menu. Second, it is an installer which can be installed by standard users for their local environment and admin for everyone. Third, I've improved the map generation and as far as I can tell, there shouldn't be any overlapping errors. Please let me know what you think. I'll post the code if it looks close to final.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #10
    Mattys Consulting's Avatar
    Mattys Consulting is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    Re: Code to generate poster prints from mappoint

    I just made a 6 panel x 6 panel x 3500 GIF for a test.
    Excellent work, blitzkriegoutlaw!

    Mike Mattys
    Mattys Consulting - Custom Programming

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