Sunday, February 26, 2017

Drawing buildings/Roads on OpenStreetMap

I used to update OpenStreeMap. One of the most headache thing is that my drawing skill is horrible. Thus far, I can only draw simple roads and square buildings. While trying to add a complex building, it strikes my mind that if I could have a overlay on the map and can trace over it just like what we do on paper.

In actual fact, a lot of people also does that. What they wanted to do is actually to put a logo on the window yet allow user to interact on the windows below it. Helow is an application that I used. The name is Custom Desktop Logo 2.0.

It is a simple app you can set the position of the photo to a standard point on the screen or you can specifically place the photo at exactly the right spot. There is a facility to set transparency. The photo must be in a directory alone. If more than one, the app will try to rotate the display of all the photos at a specific interval. Obviously there is a feature to size the photo to a limited dimension (within a range depending on the size of your photo). You can hide the logo if you want. Since it is on top all windows, it can be used on any windows applications.

With the available feature, I can then place the photo (like route maps from NParks). Set the transparency to just distinguishable. Set OpenStreetMap to the appropriate size, adjust the size of the photo to exactly the same size of the map with existing elements (using a slider). The only other thing to do is to trace the lines.

It is impossible to dynamically resize the photo to get more details in sync with the map but it sure helps in the drawing of map features.

I drew the Chestnut Nature Park North using this feature on Google Maps. It wasn't exact copy but at least it resembles the actual drawing and the positioning of the routes are quite close to real.