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|Single message by Martin Wynne Topic: Direct loading of background maps|
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The directly-loaded tiled maps are great. They can be extended by adding additional rows and columns of tiles to almost any size, with little impact on panning and zooming performance.
But the map which many users will want is the NLS 25-inch historic map of the whole country, which is the smallest scale which can really be used for track planning with any hope of replicating prototype turnout sizes and actual positions of pointwork.
That's still a work-in-progress at NLS -- so far they have done about half of the many thousands of sheets needed for England & Wales. Which means it is not yet available as a subscription API for direct loading of tiles. But it is available as a "slippy map" web site with a useful option of adjustable transparency over an underlying base map or aerial image -- in effect you get two maps for each web URL.
Which means screenshots can be made manually for use as background picture shapes. The difficulty is sizing them to the exact scale to match your model.
So I thought I would look at supplementing the directly loaded maps with an option for Templot to make the screenshots for you, and insert them automatically at the correct scaled size.
It's working quite well, and will be in the next program update.
As usual, getting it to work is the easy bit. What always makes me sweat is creating a simple user interface, and especially writing the notes in words which folks will actually read, and not glaze over when they see them.
So here is the first draft for this function. Please read these notes and let me know if anything is unclear. Thanks:
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