Adding Live Maps to Cartographica

One of the biggest challenges in GIS is putting data in context. In Cartographica, we provide access to a number of Live Maps in order to make that process easier. Customers who have ongoing support and maintenance agreements with ClueTrust have access to map data from Bing Maps®, and all copies of Cartographica more recent than 1.2 have access to any service compliant with the OpenStreetMapTMtiling mechanism. Although the Live Maps are useful in many cases, it is important to remember that Live Maps are not vector data, and thus can't be used directly for analysis, and they are only available while the computer is connected to the internet.  In addition, take care with the coordinate reference systems, as they are generally considered quite inaccurate for precise measurements and comparisons of area and distance. However, they provide an easy visual reference for presentation and basic checking of data.

Adding Live Bing Maps to Cartographica
  1. Choose  File > Add Live Map…
    The  Add Live Maps window appears.

    Add Live Map Window
    The buttons on the left provide the selection among the different types of live maps: Bing Maps (Microsoft-provided map data), OpenStreetMap (using the main OpenStreetMap server), and Other OpenStreetMap servers (add a user-provided URL).
  2. Select the imagery type from the  Bing Maps menu, choosing Aerial Imagery, Roads, or Roads on Aerial Imagery as desired.
  3. Click  Add to add the Live Map data to your map.
    A layer named  Bing Live will appear in the Layer Stack.

Adding Live OpenStreetMap Maps to Cartographica

Cartographica supports servers that tile imagery in a manner described by OpenStreetMap, this includes both the OpenStreetMap site itself (usage limits may apply) and other sites complying with the same standard.

  1. Choose  File > Add Live Map….
    The  Add Live Map Window appears
  2. Select the  OpenStreetMap option.

  3. Click  Add to add the Live Map data to your map.
    A layer named  OpenStreetMap Live will appear in the Layer Stack.
Adding Other Live OpenStreetMap Conformant Maps to Cartographica
  1. Choose  File > Add Live Map….
    The  Add Live Map Window appears
  2. Select the  Other OpenStreetMap server option.

  3. In the text box adjacent, type or paste the URL for the server.
  4. Click  Add to add the Live Map data to your map.
    A layer named  OpenStreetMap Live will appear in the Layer Stack.

Creating Appropriate OpenStreetMap URLs

Cartographica is flexible in how it ingests data from OpenStreetMap style tiling server, and thus can communicate with more servers than just ones that are explicitly marked as OpenStreetMap.

In order to be compatible, the map tile server must serve up tiles in the WGS 84/Pseudo-Mercator coordinate reference system (used also by Google Maps and Bing Maps). 

If the server uses an OpenStreetMap url format (z/x/y in tile coordinates), then the base URL may be added directly (for example, OpenStreetMap would be "https://a.tile.openstreetmap.org").  If not, special codes may be added in the URL to delineate the positions of each of the tile coordinates.  In these cases, you may put x, y, and z (or zoom) in curly brackets to represent each of the coordinates.  For example, ArcGIS servers commonly are of the form:

http://myserver/ArcGIS/rest/services/MyMapLayerName/MapServer/tile/{zoom}/{y}/{x}

whereas some other servers user explicit denotation and separators, such as: 

https://mymapserver.com/foo/x={x}&y={y}&z={zoom}&scale=2&s=Ga

Either of these forms are acceptable to Cartographica.

Printing and Publishing Considerations

As with all data that is presented on maps, you must take care to appropriately cite and honor the rights of the originating entity.  In the case of OpenStreetMap, the data is explicitly open data, and as such the data itself is available under the OpenData Commons Open Database License (ODbL).  The tiles themselves are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Please refer to these when you consider publishing your data.

Bing Maps data is under copyright to Microsoft and it is important to verify your eligibility before using these in printed materials. ClueTrust has a Knowledgebase Entry covering the issue. Please review this and the supporting material before publishing your maps.