Tag Archives: Professional Map Making

The Strengths of WMS and WMTS

The terms WMS and WMTS may sound scary to people who are not very familiar with computers. But no worries: It’s pretty easy to use them and knowing their strengths is of great advantage for mapping and even for course setting.

So, what exactly is WMS and WMTS?

WMS (Web Map Service) and WMTS (Web Map Tile Service) are interfaces for retrieving geodata as raster data over the internet. More and more of these services are available today.

  • A WMS is calculated on the server side and delivers one image per request.
  • A WMTS delivers tiles that have been pre-renderd on the server side, and cached on the client side. This will reduce waiting time for the data and bandwith.

In OCAD, you can load WMS/WMTS as a background map. To do so, choose the WMS / WMTS command from the Background Map menu.

Typical layers are e.g. official cadastral surveys, topographic maps, aerial images, but also protected areas or forest reserves. All these data can contain useful information for your map project.

Therefore, you can easily update maps or add additional information to it with WMS/WMTS. In the example below, we connected a WMS from swisstopo and displayed a layer to show Forest Reserve Areas on a map.

Also, you can set courses on a WMS / WMTS layer. A step-by-step guide can be found in our OCAD Wiki.

How to reduce the file size?

Have you ever wondered why the file size of one of your map is so large? Then it’s probably time to clean up your map.

Here are some suggestions how you can reduce the file size:

#01: Optimize/Repair

Choose the Optimize/Repair command in the Map menu to optimize (reduce) the size of the map file and repair damaged objects. With edit operations such as deleting objects, empty space is created in the map file. This function removes this empty space and therefore reduces the size of the map file. It’s therefore highly recommended to run the Optimize/Repair from time to time.

Optimization result of a map.

#02: Select and delete unnecessary objects

In the picture example above, you can see that there are many objects without symbols, unknown symbol or invalid symbol type.

Choose Select Objects by Symbol in the Select menu to select all objects with certain symbols or in a certain layer.

You can now assign the selected objects to new symbols or (what is probably more often the case) delete the objects.

Select By Symbol.

#03: Smooth not smoothed contours

When creating contours with the DEM Import Wizard, you can choose to create not smoothed contours. These contours consists of many vertices and let your file size increase.

Select the contours and run the Smooth command in the Topology menu to reduce the amount of vertices. Make sure to choose the tolerance so that no information is lost. Run the Optimize / Repair command afterwards.

PS: To select all contours at once, either right-click on the contour symbol in the symbol box and choose Select Objects by Symbol or use the Select Objects by Symbol function.

Select contours and run the smooth command.

#04: Remove unnecessary areas

If you import existing geodata, e.g. by using the New Map Wizard, you probably import an area too large. You can Crop the map to the size of your actual project scope and remove unnecessary areas. Run the Optimize / Repair command afterwards.

Crop part of your map that you do not use.

OCAD runs on Windows 11

Microsoft has recently released a new update with Windows 11, which can be installed on newer computers.

We have tested OCAD on Windows 11 and have not encountered any problems or received any reports from other users.

OCAD can be used as usual on Windows 11. Only the dialogs appear in a slightly different style.

Copy Obejcts and Symbols between Maps

Did it ever happen to you that you wanted to add objects or symbols from one map to another map?

As long as the symbols, respectively color table of the two maps is identical, a simple copy/paste is sufficient.

It becomes more challenging if this is not the case. That’s why we have created an OCAD Wiki page called Copy from Map to Map for this purpose.

You also learn how to create an own symbol set with custom symbols.

CustomSymbolSet
Custom Symbol Set in OCAD with own symbols

Improved Live Preview

Thanks to the live preview of objects, their dimension is already visible during drawing.

Since the latest OCAD Update 2020.5.12, the live preview is no more only limited to line objects, but is also available for point objects.

In addition, a so-called legibility halo can be displayed for point objects. The distance of this legibility halo is based on the IOF specifications for orienteering maps and supports the cartographer to draw objects with enough distance to each other.

More information can be found in ourĀ OCAD Wiki.