Contour line variations

t3hite's Avatar


22 Oct, 2016 05:17 AM

I've been making maps of Rocky Mountain National Park for the guide service where I work. A common problem is that at map scales greater than 1:24,000 sometimes the contour lines are so tightly packed on steep slopes that they just run together and become hard to read.

MapBuilder does a much better job of rendering the contour lines appropriate for the scale. I've been experimenting with having two MapBuilder layers, one with fewer and heavier contours and a second layer with typical lighter contours. I can use the opacity setting at low values to get a very faint contour line at the minor divisions and heavy line at the major division.

It's an attractive effect but it really slows the generation of the PDF files in larger sizes. For some reason it only works at the predefined scales not at custom scales. There is also a problem that the elevations somteimes overlap in a way that appears fuzzy.

It would be great to be able to set the weight of the major and minor contour lines separately in the MapBuilder layer dialog box.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by matt on 23 Oct, 2016 02:13 AM

    matt's Avatar

    I can think about it, but it does not sound like very likely - that ultimately means extra complexity within the mapbuilder codebase that I would have to maintain going forward.

    Not sure why it would only work at predefined scales - there's no real correlation between those and what's going on in the backend rendering process, which if anything would be tied to the web mercator tile pyramid zoom levels. Those do not translate to nice round real-world scales.

    Can you send me some examples?

  2. 2 Posted by t3hite on 08 Nov, 2016 07:43 PM

    t3hite's Avatar

    I've been unable to reproduce the error. I may not have been paying attention to the distinction between the Mapping window and the Print window. I may have been making changes in the Map window and thinking those would propagate to the Print window.

    Perhaps an easy way to make Map Builder layers that could be stacked and blended together would be to provide the option to turn off the elevation text. The only problem I have seen in overlaying Map Builder layers is that the elevation text appears at different locations and is often blurred.

    While trouble-shooting the problem I noticed another quirk.I've created a custom Map Builder layer saved to my account. I use this to print maps of my local bike routes which I use for orienteering practice. This custom layer has Powerlines option turned on. These appear in the Map window, you will see one that crosses N. Table Mtn. The power lines appear in the Print window too but they vanish at lower zoom settings. The powerlines print at 1:25,000 scale but not at 1:50,000. You can see this in the PDF files I'm attaching.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by matt on 09 Nov, 2016 05:35 PM

    matt's Avatar

    I can think about changing the defaults, but all of the features are gradually phased out at lower zoom levels to prevent the map from getting too crowded - there's no way to force feature visibility all the way out.

  4. System closed this discussion on 02 Oct, 2019 04:25 PM.

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