TopoToImage 2.0

There are a few changes since version 1.5 that have not made it into the documentation yet:


The program is now at least twice as fast version 1.5 in all its operations.


The program can now can create databases that cross the 180 degree meridian. Click and drag on the world map in the main window. When you get to the East or West edge the map will scroll.


Multiple undos have been added. Every change to the boundaries is remembered. Use Command U to undo, and Command R to redo.


Three new edit fields have been added to the "Export file info" section of the main window. The 'Width', 'Height' and 'Rez' fields work as a resolution calculator. They provide information about the resolution of the exported file. The four radio buttons above the edit fields labeled "in.", "pts.", "pi." and "cm" set the units of measure: "in." is inches, "pts." is points, "pi." is picas and "cm" is centimeters. One of these fields is always locked, as indicated by the little lock icon to the right of the fields. The other two are unlocked. Clicking on one of the unlocked icons will lock it, and unlock the others. As you make changes to the boundaries and scale of the map the locked edit field remains unchanged and the two unlocked edit fields are recalculated. This resolution information is only saved if you save a tiff file. When saving a Geocart database, the resolution is not saved. Geocart database format does not include this type of resolution information.


TopoToImage will now remember where the Gtopo files are if you copy them to another hard disk. Copy all the Gtopo files to a single folder. The first time you use the files the program will ask you to locate the folder. After that the program will remember where they are. Note: TopoToImage keeps track of the location of files by storing a copy of the complete path to the files. This path name can only be 256 characters long.


Three new effects have been added to the Gradient design window: 'Hue', 'Saturation' and 'Lightness'. When you click each of these buttons a small window with a slider control will open. These controls will change the colors on the gradient bar. The 'Hue' button will rotate the hue of the color between -180 and 180 degrees. The 'Saturation' button will saturate or desaturate the colors. And the Lightness button can be used to make the colors lighter or darker. You can change all the colors or just the current color by clicking on the appropriate radio button in each of these windows


Hold down the Option key to drag and drop colors between the color chip and the gradient color. Colors can be quickly copied between the points on the gradient bar and the other color chips.
You can add points to the color bar by clicking within the color area of the bar. You can delete points from the bar by dragging them off the top or the bottom of the bar.


The DBinfo window has been changed to collect information on the database maximum and minimum elevations. This change was necessary to accommodate databases that have a different range of values than Gtopo. The radio buttons for multi file and single file database has been removed from this window because all databases created by users are single file databases.


One of the great advantages of producing maps with Geocart is the ability to create matching vector and image files. One problem with matching the vector and image data is that the coastlines from the two sources are different and therefore may not match up exactly. You can see an example of this if you examine the example map of Spain towards the end of the TopoToImage manual. There are occasional bits of ocean color within the coastline. This is because the coastline detail in the Gtopo database is at a higher resolution than Geocart's vector database.
A good way to avoid this problem it to set the ocean color to be the same as the sea level land elevation. You do this by editing the gradient in TopoToImage. Click on the edit gradient button. Select the elevation that is at sea level (zero). This is usually (but not always) the bottom point on the gradient bar. Hold down the Option key and drag the zero elevation color to the "Color for areas with no data" chip.
Then you can use the vector coastlines as a mask for the image.
Another very useful technique is to save the color and shading of the image as separate files. This involves a lot of extra work, but it can be will worth it. You gain great flexibility to change the image at a later point. There is a set of gradients called "Shadow Alpha Channel Gradients". These can be used to save the shading, highlight and shadow as separate files.