FAQ

Q: Can GoogleMapsRipper download Google Maps and save them to disk?

A: Yes, you can save Google Maps to disk for offline use and saved maps are georeferenced.

 

Q: Why is it called GoogleMapsRipper if it says it can download Bing Maps?

A: It can download maps from servers Google Maps, Bing Maps and OpenStreet Maps. Most users care only about Google Maps so that is why application has that name.

 

Q: Which format of image files can maps be saved into?

A: You can download and save maps into several formats: .Bmp, .Jpg, .Gif, .Tif, .Png.

 

Q: I use tools/application that supports ESRI World Files. Can I download and create maps for it?

A: Yes, you can create automatically ESRI World Files in several formats: .Bpw, .Jgw, .Gfw, .Tfw, .Pgw.

 

Q: If I download many maps, and use ESRI World Files, that will result in many separate georeferencing files I need to parse. Can all georeferenced data be saved into one file?

A: Yes, you can select in options to have created one XML file that will contain all georeferenced data for many (let’s day 200+) map files. In your application, then you just need to parse that one XML file instead of loading and parsing 200+ ESRI World Files.

 

Q: You provide file with XML sentences describing georeferencing info for downloaded files only in .BMP format. What if I want to use for example .GIF format and want to have one big file with all georeferenced data?

A: Well, there is a workaround. That XML file GeoreferencedImagesCoordinates.xml is just an text file, and you can open it in any text editor and do massive Replace of string “.Bmp” with “.Gif” and you will get file with georeferenced data for .GIF format, or any other format like .JPG, .TIF etc.

 

Q: Can I browse maps on the screen and just mark area I want to download?

A: Yes, you can select part of on screen map and got it downloaded and georeferenced. No problem with that.

 

Q: In your forms, how do I specify that coordinates entered are for Western Hemisphere or South Hemisphere?

A: We use negative values to represent Latitudes South and Longitudes West.

 

Q: When entering coordinates in Geographic format, can I enter them in Degree-Minutes-Seconds (DMS) format?

A: At this moment we support only Decimal Degrees (DD) format for Geographic coordinates. You need to use calculator and convert coordinates you might have in DMS format into DD format and then enter them into application form.

 

Q: How serious is that Batch job mode? I want to download a real big area to disk?

A: We tested it with scheduling jobs of 2000 map segments in scale ~1:25000 and it worked neatly. All maps finished in download folder after several hours of work. We see no reason why it would not work with 10000 map segments, if necessary. Real issue is not to get banned by the server. We used in our test Google Maps – Hybrid maps type, with Anonymous account and we set Pause between download of different segments to 60 seconds to prevent being detected by the server. It worked fine in our case, but you should try for yourself.

 

Q: If I download several maps in Batch mode, will they seamlessly align when I load them into my application?

A: Yes. Your users will see one continuous map. Edges of map segments are hardly noticeable. If you connect maps and magnify them in some picture editor program, you might notice some discontinuity of lines objects like roads. But for users it is hardly noticeable.

 

Q; You mentioned that you support UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) coordinate format?

A: Yes, you can download and get maps georeferenced in UTM coordinates. They will form perfect UTM grid.

 

Q: But issue is with UTM grid that is not aligned with geographic grid. There is an angle between UTM grid and Geographic grid, called “Meridian Convergence”. UTM grids do not go perfectly North-South all the time.

A: We anticipated for all of that. We change projection of original Google map segments by rotating and shrinking map segments so that they finish in UTM grid, even in selected Local Geodetic Datum. It was all taken care of. You need just to enter your UTM coordinates, select Local Geodetic Datum, and you will get Map segment (images) neatly georeferenced in UTM coordinates.

 

Q; You mentioned that you support Gauss-Kruger coordinate format?

A: Yes, you can download and get maps georeferenced in Gauss-Kruger coordinates. They will form perfect Gauss-Kruger grid.

 

Q: But issue is with Gauss-Kruger grid that is not aligned with geographic grid. There is an angle between Gauss-Kruger grid and Geographic grid, called “Meridian Convergence”. Gauss-Kruger grids do not go perfectly North-South all the time.

A: We anticipated for all of that. We change projection of original Google map segments by rotating and shrinking map segments so that they finish in Gauss-Kruger grid, even in selected Local Geodetic Datum. It was all taken care of. You need just to enter your Gauss-Kruger coordinates, select Local Geodetic Datum, and you will get Map segment (images) neatly georeferenced in Gauss-Kruger coordinates.

 

Q: You said you support “Local Geodetic Datum” for different coordinate formats, like UTM?

A: Right, you can specify that you want maps downloaded and georeferenced in UTM in your Local Geodetic Datum so that they will align with some paper maps you already have for your area which are created in that specific Local Geodetic Datum. Application supports that seamlessly.

 

Q: Maps in my country are made is specific Local Geodetic Datum. Will I find it in your list of supported Local Datums?

A: We support more then 250 Local Geodetic Datums, and parameters are taken from publically available NATO literature. We use the Helmert transformation, also called a seven-parameter transformation for transformation between different datums, which is highest precision available transformation and industry standard.

 

Q: I have UTM coordinates of some point, but there is no “Band” info there. It just says N for North hemisphere. What to enter into your form?

A; We implemented full UTM definition that included “Band” coordinate. But, it is true, if you know hemisphere and Northing, you do not need “Band” coordinate. Workaround with forms in application is as follows: If you know it is North Hemisphere, put “N” as Band coordinate; if it is South Hemisphere, put “M” as Band coordinate. Trick will work because the first Band above equator is “Band N”, and the first Band below equator is “Band M”. 

 

Q: Your form for UTM coordinates specify only one Zone and one Band. What if I want to download maps from more then one Zone or Band?

A: You need to understand well concept of “Zone” related to UTM. Coordinates in different zones are not comparable easily. This application enables you to download maps from one zone at the time. If your area of interests stretches over several zones, you need to specify and download maps from one zone at the time, in several steps.

With Band situation is different. We do not care if maps stretch over several Bands, as long as they are from the same Hemisphere (North or South). You can even always put “N” for Band if your coordinates are from North Hemisphere and ”M” if your coordinates are from South Hemisphere. Trick will work because the first Band above equator is “Band N”, and the first Band below equator is “Band M”. To summarize, your area of interest expressed in UTM coordinates can stretch over one Zone and one Hemisphere. If it stretches over more then one Zone or Hemisphere, you will need to download it in several steps.

 

Q: I want to download maps in scale 1:50 000. Why I can’t specify that in application, but need to specify target dimensions instead?

A: Problem with scale is that we do not know target device resolution, called DPI (dot per inch). It can vary from device to device. For screen it can be 75 DPI, and for printer 300 DPI. You will need to calculate target image dimensions in pixels based on your DPI.

 

Q: I want to download maps in scale 1:50 000, in UTM format over large area. Your application does not allow me to specify scale, but instead I need to specify Target image dimensions. What can I do?

A: Problem with desired scale can be solved with a little calculation. We will explain in two examples.

Case 1: You have 75 DPI device and want maps 1:50 000 in UTM. Resolution 75 DPI means 75 pixels per inch, which is ~2.5cm. That results in 30 pixels per centimeter. One centimeter on map is equivalent to 50 000cm=500 meters in nature. That means 1200 pixels is equivalent to 20000 meters. So, you can set map segment width and height to 20000x20000 meters, and target image to 1200x1200 pixels.

Case 2: You have 300 DPI device and want maps 1:50 000 in UTM. Resolution 300 DPI means 300 pixels per inch, which is ~2.5cm. That results in 120 pixels per centimeter. One centimeter on map is equivalent to 50 000cm=500 meters in nature. That means 1200 pixels is equivalent to 5000 meters. So, you can set map segment width and height to 5000x5000 meters, and target image to 1200x1200 pixels.

 

Q: Sometime when I do request for Map download using Bing Maps, I get bitmap with message “NO IMAGE AVAILBLE”. Am I doing something wrong?

A: You need to check if you are trying to get a map of some see or ocean. They do not make satellite images of oceans, there is nothing of interest there. They are telling you that they do not have images in database for that area of Earth.

 

Q: Do I need to create special account to download from Google Maps, Bing Maps and OpenStreet Maps? Are they free of charge?

A: Typical user can probably do all he needs with free of charge accounts. Though, a bit of setup is needed on Options Pages. Typical setup can look like this:

1) For Google Maps one can use Anonymous account, but better results can be obtained with the use of free "Google Maps API Key";

2) For Bing Maps, Anonymous account will probably not work, so user should get free trial Key for Bing Maps;

3) For OpenStreet Maps you do not need to create account.

You definitely need to get those keys if you are getting messages like “(403) Forbidden” or  “(401) Unauthorized”.

 

Q: When I installed application, there were some User Account keys for Google and Bing already there?

A: We might provide User Account keys during installation of the application to get you going, but those keys are shared among the all the people the installed this application. Also, those keys will expire after few months. So you probably want to create your own keys (which is free of charge) to increase your download limits. So, you probably want to create your own keys and to replace existing keys with your own keys.

 

Q: You said that GoogleMapsRipper needs to be installed and run from user account that belongs to  Administrative group. How do I know if my account has Administrative rights?

A: If you are not sure what kind of account you are Logged-On, you can open Command prompt and type “whoami /all” and you will get list of all User groups user account belongs to. If your account is not member of Administrators, GoogleMapsRipper will not work.

 

Q: What are limitations of Trial License edition?

A: In Trial edition maps are watermarked with product name. Those limitations are removed in Full Licensed edition.