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General Navigation (30) Top Level

This chapter walks you through the main "navigation" features of GMap such as how to pan or scroll the maps, how to zoom for more detail, and how to look at different map views such as satellite view.

  1. Panning the map (Scrolling)
     Click your left mouse button down at any point on the map, and drag it to the left or right. This is called "panning the map". As you pan, new parts of the map become visible. The actual scanned image of the map comes in little squares called "tiles". Note that as you pan, you will also see Bivouac peak names and roads that were previously not visible. I refer to this data as the "Bivouac overlay". The distance you can pan and still see the underlying map data is unlimited, and you could pan for hundreds of miles. However the Bivouac overlays are limited, and only cover about 25 km around the point you initially started from.

    Furthermore, at the edges of that area, not all the roads will be complete. So if you want to really see all the data for an area, you need to initiate a new GMap at that location. For example if you initially started looking at Mount Callaghan, but then panned over to Mount Garibaldi and wanted to see all the roads there, you should click on the Mount Garibaldi link, then bring up a new map.

  2. Zoom:
     Notice the lower left corner of the map shows a scale bar. All maps start out at a zoom level where this bar shows "1 km". But we can zoom such that it shows "500m" or "200m", etc. Now zoom the map in one of two ways:

    - Click the + or - icon in the upper left corner of the map.
     - With a mouse, roll the center wheel one click forward.

    After zooming, look again at the scale bar in the lower left corner. You now notice it is something like 500m or 200m.

    If using a Macbook Pro track pad, sliding two fingers up or down zooms the map instead of panning it as it does with the Apple maps. Google and Apple can't agree on interpreting that mouse event. I find this confusing, so when I'm using my Macbook, I zoom using the +/- icons.

  3. Cursor Coordinates
     Notice that in the lower right corner is the lat-long of the cursor. Move the cursor around and see the numbers change. This is often useful when talking on the phone with someone planning a trip. For practice, move your mouse to the lake at 50.22, -123.21." As you move the mouse, just watch the first two decimal places - move vertically till you see ".22", then move horizontally to .21. Now you see the unnamed lake I'm talking about.

  4. Cutting and Pasting Coordinates
     If you "right click" anywhere on the map, a box comes up with coordinates of the point. (On a Mac, "right click" is done by holding the Control key and left clicking). When the box pops up, you see about 7 formats. The format we now use in Bivouac is decimal degrees. Eg: 49.12345,-123.12345. You can cut and paste these lat-longs into your trip report waypoint form.

  5. Refresh Map
     Each map overlay only contains the waypoints at the time you launched the map. If you are working on items on the map, you must "reload" the map to get a fresh view. To refresh varies with different browsers. Most commonly, the "refresh" icon is a small clockwise arrow to the right edge of the URL window. (This is true in Firefox and Safari). In IE 8, refresh is a pair of green arrows, on the same row as the URL, but a separate icon. Anyway, make sure you know how to refresh a map. Again, it can take up to 10 seconds.