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General

What is Walter Maps?

Walter Maps is a professional tool for online and fully offline geodata collection and editing. You can use it stand alone or as a ready-to-use field data collection tool in your existing geodata environment. Walter Maps is available for all major mobile platforms.

Walter Map has an intuitive user interface for cost effective field data collection and with its fully open data formats you can interchange geodata with any people and with almost any geodata solution or system.

Walter maps comes in two flavors, Walter Maps Free and Walter Maps Pro. Walter Maps Free contains some editing features, and could be regarded as a reader app for geodata and maps produced by Walter Maps Pro. The target audience for Walter Maps Pro is professional users collecting geodata and producing maps. In any case, try Walter Maps Free before you decide to use the more advanced Walter Maps Pro for your projects. Within Walter Maps Free, you have the possibility to purchase a monthly unlock of the professional features in Walter Maps Pro, i.e. you only pay for Pro features when you need them.

Walter Maps Free and Walter Maps Pro contain the following basic features:

  • Multi platform support
  • No ads
  • Unlimited use
  • Shape, TIFF, GeoTIFF &  JPEG support
  • Support for WMS & WMTS online layers
  • Recording of waypoints & tracks
  • Easy measurements of coordinates, lengths and areas
  • Supports many length and area units, e.g. m, km, feet, miles, yards etc.
  • Supports any map projection (projected coordinate system)
  • Add and delete points, polygons & lines
  • Collect 2 photos/videos per point, line or polygon feature
  • View and edit attributes
  • Create own symbologies (one per vector layer)
  • More than 400 built in symbols for points
  • Use own point symbols in svg-format
  • Download single or multiple symbols in svg-format
  • Create and open map packages
  • Copy GPS position to clipboard
  • Use dropbox for sharing and backup of data
  • Download layers from http URLs
  • Full view access to data collected by Walter Maps Pro 
  • Multi lingual-support, i.e. create your own language files. Out of the box Walter Maps supports English and Swedish.
  • Fully described JSON-based map document and map package format, for developing own read and write routines in other systems.

Walter Maps Pro contains the following additional professional features:

  • Merge polygon features
  • Multi part features to single part features
  • Split polygons by temporary drawn lines
  • Split polygons by other line layer
  • Clean polygons
  • Single step undo of geometry edits
  • Create new shape files
  • Add new attribute fields to shape files. Deletion of attribute fields is not possible in Walter Maps in order to preserve data consistency with other systems. 
  • Use custom built rules for creating data collection forms to ensure data quality and completeness
  • Tools for assigning date, time, area, uuid etc. to attributes
  • Collect any number of photos/videos per feature
  • Select photos from device album
  • Import points from text files
  • Export vector layers to text files or Excel (*.xls)
  • Download layers from password protected http URLs
  • Email complete map or selected layer
  • Launch web-sites based on feature attribute values
  • Save WMS & WMTS to offline raster layers
  • Cut and resample raster layers
  • Export present map view for fast and easy sharing of map snapshots with other people
  • Any number of conditional symbologies, i.e. symbology by field based SQL-queries
  • Pan to projected or geographic coordinate (x,y or lat,long)
  • Measure raster values
  • View only map (hide tools for better presentation)
  • Quickly alternate layers in the map
  • Local backup of vector data

 

What are the design goals of Walter Maps?

Walter Maps is designed and developed for professionals by professionals. Our goals for designing Walter Maps are:

  • Walter Map should have an  intuitive user interface for cost effective field data collection – You get things done
  • Walter Maps should only use open data formats and data distribution channels – Your data is your data, and your data only
  • Walter Maps should work with offline data – You are able to collect data everywhere
  • Collected data should be easily shared – In areas with internet connection, you can share data with other people anywhere and anytime through dropbox
  • Walter Maps should be able to communicate data with other systems – Other systems should easily be able to produce and consume data to or from Walter Maps through our open, easily maintained and well documented map format
  • Walter Maps should be available on all major app stores -You can share  your collected data with 97.5% of all mobile device users (Android, iOS and Windows 10). Additionally your data can be shared with all users of Windows 10 desktop operating system

 

Who is the primary user of Walter Maps?

The primary target audience for Walter Maps is professional users like urban or landscape planners, engineers, surveyors, prospectors, foresters, environmentalists, researchers, farmers, investigators, military personell etc, having a need for an effective and offline geodata collection tool. Semi-professional users and non-professional users might also find Walter Maps useful for viewing, collection and even playing with geodata. Depending on your needs, you can choose between the Free and Pro version of Walter Maps. If you are  a professional or a semi-professional user and don´t work with geodata on a regular basis, the PPM version (Pro Per Month) might be ideal for you.  

 

Is Walter Maps compatible with my device?

Walter Maps is compatible with almost all mid-range to high-end smart phones,  tablets and computers running iOS, Android or Windows 10. Entry level devices might also work, depending on their memory size and configuration. Your device should have at least 1 Gbyte of RAM in order to work with Walter Maps. The best way to test if your device is compatible is to install the Free version of Walter Maps. If the Free version is working, the Walter Maps Pro version will also work on your device. For Windows 10 computers (notebooks or stationary), a touch screen is required for full functionality.In order to make Walter Maps to work with low-end devices you could try to set the screen resolution to “low”, found in the settings menu of Walter Maps. 

 

Which platforms does Walter Maps support?

Walter Maps works on Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android (from version 4.4 KitKat), Windows 10 mobile (both ARM and X86 processors), and Windows 10 desktop. These versions are available from their stores respectively.

 

Which languages does Walter Maps support?

Walter Maps supports English and Swedish off the shelf. If you want to get support for other languages, you can create your own language files as described in the Manual section above.

 

 

Usage

Which data formats do Walter Maps support?

Walter Maps supports ESRI Shape-files, Tiff (with tfw-world-files), GeoTiff, JPEG (with jgw-world-files), and WMS/WMTS-services. For ESRI Shape-files attributes for integers, floating point numbers, and strings can be viewed and edited. In Walter Maps Pro you are able to create your own point, line, or polygon shape-files. The following color formats and data types are supported by the raster formats:

  • Tiff/GeoTiff
    • 8 bit grayscale
    • 8 bit color indexed
    • 24 or 32 bit color
    • Multispectral (n-bands) 8 bit, where the three first bands will be visualized as RGB color
    • Single band or Multispectral (n-bands) 16 bit (unsigned short or signed short), where the first band will be visualized in grayscale
    • Single band or Multispectral (n-bands) 32 bit (unsigned int or signed int), where the first band will be visualized in grayscale
    • Single band or Multispectral (n-bands) 32 bit (float), where the first band will be visualized in grayscale
    • Single band or Multispectral (n-bands) 64 bit (double), where the first band will be visualized in grayscale
  • JPEG
    • 8 bit grayscale
    • 24 bit color

 

How do you view other people´s data?

You can always use the free version of Walter Maps to view other people’s data. All data collected with Walter Maps use open data standards, therefore you can also use software like the commercial ESRI ArcGIS (http://www.esri.com) and the open source QGIS (http://www.qgis.org) for viewing and editing of your collected data.

 

How do I share my data with others?

The easiest way is to share your data through Dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com). You can also share by e-mail or by making your data available by download from ordinary web-addresses. For the latter case you have the possibility to password-protect your data (works only in Walter Maps Pro)

 

Where are my data stored when I'm working with Walter Maps?

All your data are locally stored on your device. Your original data, copied from your dropbox or your device shared storage (only applicable to Android devices), will be left untouched, serving as an original backup of your data. When editing your data (i.e. adding new data to your map, or editing geometries or attributes) your data are always instantly saved locally onto your device. When you have finished working with you data, you send the data to dropbox, by e-mail or to your device shared storage (only applicable to Android devices). Your sent data are compressed into a zip-file named with present time and date, making the zip-file a backup of your data in itself. In Walter Maps Pro you have the possibility to make local backups of your vector data and for geometry edits you can do a single step undo.

 

Does Walter Maps provide any geographic data from start?

Walter Maps provides Open Street Map (http://www.openstreetmap.org) data out of the box as a web map service. You can use it online in all versions of Walter Maps and off-line in Walter Maps Pro. 

 

Can I use the device GPS-receiver to collect data in Walter Maps?

Certainly, you can use your built in GPS reciever for orientation and collection of tracks and waypoints. If you require high coordinate precision, you might want to use high end equipment, e.g. devices from handheld group or Panasonic. For consumer grade devices you might want to consider external GPS recievers from DualBad Elf or Garmin, in order to improve coordinate precision. If you need even higher coordinate precision you should consider using an external Differential GPS receiver.

 

Which geometry editing is supported in Walter Maps Free?

In Walter Maps Free the following geometry editing is supported:

  • Add lines, polygons, points, and waypoints
  • Record tracks
  • Delete lines, polygons, points, waypoints and tracks

 

Which performance considerations shall I take when working with Walter Maps?

For boosting viewing and editing performance you can consider to:

  • Only use the map layers you need for the moment
  • Consider using smaller sized layers
  • Use raster data with a resolution suitable for your application. 1-2 m resolution is often enough. In Walter Maps Pro you can easily cut your rasters and change resolution.
  • Consider creating offline WMS/WMTS layers (only available in Walter Maps Pro) instead of using them online.
  • Turn off the background map (in the “General Settings” section)

 

Which coordinate systems does Walter Maps support?

Walter Maps supports a wide range of projected coordinate systems (X and Y coordinates). The first time you use Walter Maps, you ought to select the coordinate system you are using. You can of course change your projected coordinate system at any time. If you haven´t selected any projected coordinate system and you are adding a map layer containing information about a projected coordinate system, Walter Maps will select that as your presently choosen coordinate system. You should be aware of the following:

  • Offline map layers like shape files or rasters (JPEG or TIFF) will not be reprojected by Walter Maps, and will therefore get misplaced in the map if their coordinate system differs from the presently choosen one. If you add a map layer with a coordinate system in conflict with the presently choosen one, Walter Maps will give you a warning message about that.
  • Online sources like WMS and WMTS maps will be reprojected to your presently choosen coordinate system. This is also valid for WMS and WMTS maps using geographic coordinate systems (Latitude and Longitude coordinates).
  • If no coordinate system is choosen, you will not be able to use your GPS. Consequently, you will not be able to zoom to your location, records tracks, etc.

 

Advanced usage

Can I build my own data collection forms in Walter Maps?

Yes, in Walter Maps Pro you can build your own forms by setting up data validation through user-specified ranges, sets, or regular expressions. Please look for more information in the Manual section above. This means that you as a user will:

  • only see/edit attributes according to the rules
  • only enter valid data
  • be reminded if required data is missing
  • have the possibility to automatically register data for time, date, uuid etc.

 

Which geometry editing is supported in Walter Maps Pro?

In Walter Maps Pro the following geometry editing is supported:

  • Add polygons, lines, points, and waypoints
  • Record tracks
  • Delete polygons, lines, points, waypoints and tracks
  • Cut polygons by temporary cutting lines or by lines in other layer
  • Merge geometries
  • Split multi-part geometries
  • Clean polygon layers, e.g. remove spikes and micro-gaps
  • Create new point, line, or polygon vector layers

 

 

Troubleshooting

How do i prevent my screen from getting locked on my Windows 10 phone?

In order not to interrupt recording of tracks, Walter Maps must be in focus during the recording time. On Android and iOS devices, Walter Maps automatically prevents the screen from getting locked while using the app. On Windows 10 phone devices you have to configure this manually. On most Windows 10 phones the maximum time until the screen gets locked is 5 minutes. In order to extend that to 30 minutes or forever you have to follow the steps descibed in the following link. Follow the answer beginning with “As a matter of fact you can set the timeout to be never”.