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StitchMaps Plus

The Plus Extension of StitchMaps 2! joins fully automatic your Google Earth images, to a complete map and saves and calibrates this, if required. The condition precedent to the execution is the installation of the current Google Earth version, up-to-date the version 4.0.2091, on this computer. This procedure consists of 5 steps: Step 1: StitchMaps initialize Google Earth in own image screen (automatically) Step 2: Determinate the size and form of the result map Step 3: Determinate the number of images, with these the map assembled Step 4: Determinate map name and pixel format Step 5: StitchMaps scans the single images and joins them (automatically) In the further description one presupposes, that the user is familiar with the functions and operation of StitchMaps. The Plus Extension becomes activate either by means of button Stitch and calibrate Google Earth image on the single map screen, or by means menu File/Stitch and calibrate Google Earth image, or by press the function key F5. There is an option, inside the register Settings/plus, to use the Plus Extension, immediately the program starts. It avoids the detour via the single map screen. This option is makes sence, by the nearly exclusively use of the plus extension. Important hint: Interfacing a 3rd party application with Google Earth through the COM API requires Google Earth to be installed on the machine where one intends to run it. The Google Earth COM interface is registered as part of the installation process. If, for some reason, the Google Earth COM API needs to be registered again, you can execute GoogleEarth.exe with "/RegServer" as a command line argument. For instance, assuming GoogleEarth.exe is located in C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth, the following command line would register Google Earth's COM API: "C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth\googleearth.exe" /RegServer You can execute this command by the use of windows Start/Execute button. Use the execution character " in case of spaces in the path.

Step 1 StitchMaps initialize Google Earth in own image screen (automatically)

At first StitchMaps examines, whether the program Google Earth runs at present. If not, it is started and initialized by StitchMaps. Afterward, the version of Google Earth will be checked, and connection with the server will be established. If any errors occur with the initialization, server connection or if the version number of Google Earth is not correct , an error message is shown and the plus extension will be terminated. Otherwise the image screen of Google Earth will be transferred into ones own screen. The image screen is directly connected to Google Earth. Hence, the display of image screen is responsive to all changes, within Google Earth made. For example - compass, status bar or switch layers on and off.

Step 2 Determinate the size and form of the result map

Move the image into the center of the map, you would like build. The image can be moved in the same manner, as by Google Earth. You can also change to Google Earth, use the search feature, or doubleclick on a placemark. The picture in StitchMaps moves to the desired place. The size of the result map will be changed with a alteration of eye altitude. You can use the Google Earth functions, like mouse wheel, or plus/minus buttons at the compass. Also the keys Up/Down and Page Up/Down zoom in or out. StitchMaps includes an input field, for exact altitude enter. The eye altitude transfers not until the input field will be quit (tab key or mouse). Additionally you can use buttons, those increase or decrease the altitude by 100/1000 meter(feet) steps. You can adapt the form of the map (ratio of height : width), in changing the window height and/or window width. Inside of infofields, the current width and height of the map, as well as the pixel size will be displayed. Hint: Due to the fact that 100% correlation between Google Earth and StitchMaps cannot be always warranted, it can happen, there is an unreasonably high value inside the input field for the altitude. If the image size is still correct, it is enough, move the image with the mouse somewhat. However if Google Earth already took over this altitude and the image is too large, it is enough to enter the old altitude into the input field and the image will be correct displayed again.

Step 3 Determinate the number of images, with these the map assembled

The number of images will be determined by the number of rows and columns. After each change of this number, the eye altitude is adapted automatically. Example: 1 4 9 16 25 image (1 x 1) > eye alt = 2500 m (feet) images (2 x 2) > eye alt = 1250 m images (3 x 3) > eye alt = 833 m images (4 x 4) > eye alt = 625 m images (5 x 5) > eye alt = 500 m

Dont execute any other actions here, such move map or change altitude. If you switch the correlation off between the number of rows and columns (The same number of rows & cols), the result map will be cut off either on the right side (columns<rows) or on the bottom side (rows<columns). Within the Settings the critical number of pixel can be set, the computer trouble-free still handles. If the number of pixel exceeds this critical number, a warning is displayed. However the number of images can be continued increased. The problems can occur on save and/or display the result map. Within test version the number of columns and rows is limited on three in each direction.

During the declaration of number of rows, the overview screen appears. Inside this screen, the single maps rectangles and their overlapping advise. The outer red rectangle shows the contour of result map.

Step 4 Determinate map name and pixel format

The image is moved automatically into the left upper corner of the map now. The suggested map name can be changed as well as the number of colors (pixel format). 24 bits = over 16 million colors, but tripple file size 8 Bit = 256 colors

Step 5 StitchMaps scans the single images and joins them (automatically)

StitchMaps scans now automatically all images and shows the progress. Each image position will be flown, afterwards the program is waiting, until the image has been completely loaded. If the loading take longer, the streaming progress in the right lower corner will be shown. The streaming of the image can be cancelled by press button Break streaming.
Break streaming

After the image was loaded, or streaming was broken, the image is transferred to the computed position on the result map. Importantly: During the whole scan procedure the image screen may not be totally or partly covered by another screen. The top level image, indicates at the screen position, will be ever scanned!

Save and calibrate the result map

Afterwards, as usual in the standard program, the map will be shown within the result map screen. Display of huge maps can take long time. The calibration can be shown and saved in different formats.

Hint: Unfortunately, not in all regions is the calibration of the Google Earth images exact. An offset from 20 to 50 meters, in some regions also over 100 meters, can occur. Within Google Earth, if the layer roads is set, and an offest is present, it becomes visible. In such case you have to recalibrate this map within the respective program (OziExplorer, QV, Fugawi, etc.).

Settings (Plus Version)

Some attitudes were already described, the others are self-describing. Automatic saving of the map and if necessary of the calibration becomes immediately after the scan procedure, accomplished. Saving of huge files can, system dependent, take a long time. If automatic saving of the calibration choosed , the necessary format has to be set.