Online Google Maps Compass Application

Help topics

User Guide

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Getting Started with the Google Maps Compass

1. Open the application and select either Draw Single Leg or Draw Multi-Legged route: Getting started with the Google Maps Compass 2. Select a starting point using the Google Search Box and enter a city, town, place, or a latitude/longitude directly.

3. Clear the Google advertising that appears by clicking the Clear Results link.

4. Click on the Map Style button button button in the upper-right corner and select from the range of map styles and overlays available: Map Style menu Click again to close the Map Style menu. The map style can be changed at any time whilst using the application.

Panning and Zooming with Google Maps

Panning

To move the map click and hold the left mouse button and drag the map to a new place. Google Maps panning arrows

You can also move the map North, South, East or West using the pan arrows. These can be found on the top left hand corner of the map. The central pan button resets or re-centres the map, returning to the last result.

The map cannot be moved if the compass is showing. In this case, click the 'Hide Compass' button, move the map to the required position, then click 'Show Compass' which will return the compass to its last position.





Zooming in and out - changing the scale

Google Maps zoom slider tool Google Maps has 17 different zoom levels. Each zoom level is made of a different style map shown at different scales, each one showing more or less detail. Some maps will be of the same style, but at a smaller or larger scale.

To see a map with more detail you need to zoom in. You can do this using the zoom bar on the left hand side of the map. Click the + sign on the top of the zoom bar. To centre and zoom in on a location, double click the location. To see a map with less detail you need to zoom out. To do this, click the - sign on the bottom of the zoom bar. As the scale changes the map will also change to show a different Google map, one which is more appropriate for the scale.



The key to the Google Maps pan and zoom tools is shown below: Key to the Google Maps pan and   zoom slider tools Centreing the map

Double click on a location to centre and zoom in.



Tip

Once the compass is opened the map scale cannot be adjusted without restarting the application. To restart, select the 'New Routes' option from the left side menu.

Selecting and moving the Google Maps Compass

Click on the 'Show Compass' button that appears in the lower-left corner and the compass will appear on the map near your specified point. Drag the compass so that its centre sits on top of your starting point. Click on the compass to let you rotate it to the desired direction; click again to freeze it.
Show Compass button
Fine tuning the compass bearing

A digital readout of the compass bearing appears in red in the top right hand corner of the map.The compass can be adjusted and fine tuned by entering the number of degrees in the box and then pressing the 'Enter' key on your keyboard.

Digital readout of the compass bearing
Once the compass is opened the map scale cannot be adjusted without restarting the application. To restart, select the 'New Routes' option from the left side menu.

Fine Tuning the Google Maps Compass

A digital readout of the compass bearing appears in red in the top right hand corner of the map. The compass can be adjusted and fine tuned by entering the number of degrees in the box. Press the Enter key on your keyboard to effect the change. Digital readout of the compass bearing The example below shows the map bearing of 96º highlighted in the top right corner in preparation for changing. Enter a new bearing then press the keyboard Enter key. Fine tuning the compass
Fine tuning the compass

Google Maps Compass Menu

When the compass is opened, a Menu Button appears at the top left of the map that lets you:
  • Undo/redo steps
  • Clear everything and create new routes
  • Preview and print the map(s)
  • Preview and print the route information
  • Load/Save/Import a Route
  • Have a unique URL/ID emailed to you so that you can access/import it later
  • Maintain a free online 'My Routes' account.
Google Compass menu options
To open the menu, put your mouse over the 'Compass Menu' button.Google Compass menu button

Move your mouse out to close the menu.

The Menu button disappears when the 'Hide Compass' button is selected. Click the 'Show Compass' button to restore.

Extending the Compass direction of travel arrow

The minimum route leg distance currently available at maximum zoom level using the Google Maps Compass is approximately 30 metres. Increasing the route leg distance at this zoom level requires the extension of the direction of travel arrow and assists in obtaining a more accurate bearing as well as recording an accurate distance for the route leg.

There are two methods available for extending the Compass direction of travel arrow: manually and using a slider. Both options are provided in the left-hand menu and are illustrated below.

Direction of Travel Arrow Manual Resize

Drag the compass so that its centre sits on top of your starting point. Select Resize Arrow Manually from the menu and a green circle appears at the end of the red Direction of Travel arrow on the compass. Adjust the length of the arrow by dragging the green circle. When it is at your desired destination, click the End Resizing button. Click the Draw Route button that then appears at the top right of the map.

Manual resizing of the Google Maps Compass direction of travel arrow
Manual resizing of the Google Maps Compass direction of travel arrow

Google Maps Compass Route Drawing

Clicking on the 'Draw Route' button will plot and draw a route to a marker at your selected point of destination and display:
  • Origin latitude, north or south, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Origin longitude, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Origin magnetic declination, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Negative or positive declination.
  • Destination latitude, north or south, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Destination longitude, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Distance of the route leg in miles and kilometres.
  • Map or true bearing in degrees.
  • Compass bearing, in degrees, minutes and seconds and decimal, adjusted for magnetic declination.
Google Compass route information display Clicking 'OK' on the display will adjust the red compass direction of travel arrow to compensate for magnetic declination. The compass bearing display adjusted for magnetic declination (12.34º in the above example) will appear in the lower right corner.

The map or true bearing display appears in the upper right corner (342º in this example). Red compass direction of travel arrow and compass bearing display adjusted to compensate for magnetic declination. The map or true bearing display appears in the upper right corner (342º in this example) Clicking 'Cancel' will leave the red direction of travel arrow unadjusted, and no compass bearing display will appear in the lower right corner.

For Multi-Legged routes, click the 'Move to Next Point' button to move the compass to the next point: Move Next example for multi-legged routes with map and compass bearing displays Once you have finished, you can hide the compass, save and print your route: Route markers

Google Maps Compass Route Information Display

Clicking on the 'Draw Route' button at the upper right of the map will display a wide range of route information including coordinates, map and compass bearings, magnetic variation or declination and distance: Google Compass route  information
Google Compass route information


Clicking on the Route Markers will display route leg information: Google Compass route  information
Route Marker information


The latitude and longitude are provided for the last route marker: Coordinates for the last route marker
Coordinates for the last route marker


The View/Print Route(s) Information function in the menu provides a route summary: View/Print Route(s) Information summary
View/Print Route(s) Information summary


Tip

Click the 'Hide Compass' button before clicking on the route markers.

Print Google Map Routes

The Google Maps Compass function prints large route maps by automatically centreing the map on the plotted route(s) and cropping the map into horizontal 'slices' which are then further cropped into printable 'tiles'. This overcomes the common failure of printers to handle large images, particularly map areas that lie outside of the immediate screenshot. To retain detail, the printable map is not reduced in size or resolution.



How is the size of each slice defined?

The maximum slice width is 960PX and the maximum height is 600PX. The Print Map function will try to create the slice with this width and height and if there is not enough space in the image, it will crop up to the end of the image width and height.



Changing Print Resolution

The Print resolution is controllable from the user end (Printing settings). The Google Compass Print Map function gives the user printable slices in the same Google Maps resolution without shrinking the image width/height. We recommend a printer setting quality of 300 dpi or higher for best print results.



Changing Printer Layout to Landscape Orientation

Landscape page orientation is where the page is turned sideways, so the horizontal dimensions are longer than the vertical. Printers are programmed to print in 'Portrait Orientation' by default, with text printed lengthways down a page orientated with its vertical dimensions longer than the horizontal. Since the printable map tile horizontal widths are greater than their heights (960PX * 600 PX), we recommend that users select 'Landscape Orientation' from their Printer Preferences options.



Example An online Google Maps Compass plotted routes example shows four routes 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8, which have been automatically cropped into six printable slices or tiles. To print, these routes should first be imported as ID 141: Google Maps Compass Print Preview Example. Option boxes appear next to each map segment, allowing printing to be deselected if not required. Google Compass Print Preview Example
Google Compass Print Preview Example


Width (PX) Height (PX)
Slice #1 1500 600
Slice #1 Tile#1 960 600
Slice #1 Tile#2 540 600
     
Slice #2 1500 200
Slice #2 Tile#1 960 200
Slice #2 Tile#2 540 200
Tip

If the Print Preview window does not appear, you will need to disable your browser popup blockers for this site.

Save and Store Google Compass Map Routes

To save a Google Compass Map route, the 'Save Route' option should be selected from the upper left menu. The menu becomes hidden if the 'Hide Compass' button is activated. The menu becomes hidden if the 'Hide Compass' button is activated
The menu becomes hidden if the 'Hide Compass' button is activated


To view the menu, reopen the compass by clicking the 'Show Compass' button. This activates the menu and returns the compass to its last location. Multi-Legged route with the menu visible
Multi-Legged route with the menu visible


Select the 'Save Route' option on the menu. A dialogue box opens with optional route title, route description and email fields. The 'Save Route' dialogue window
The 'Save Route' dialogue window


The saved route is stored using a unique ID reference/URL. An email containing the URL is sent to the email address provided. The route ID/URL allows a user to access/import it later. The email address can be used to login to the 'My Routes' menu option and access a list of stored routes. The saved route is stored using a unique ID reference/URL
The saved route is stored using a unique ID reference/URL

Import Google Compass Map Routes

New legs can be added at any time to a Google Map route through the Import Route option selected from the upper left menu. The ID number provided when the route was saved should be entered in the Import Route dialogue window. The import map route dialogue window
The import map route dialogue window


The route is opened in the same map style used at the time of saving - in the example below as a Terrain Map. Route 181 opened as a Terrain Map
Route 181 opened as a Terrain Map


To switch to another map style, click the 'Hide Compass' button and then select from the map menu which will appear in the upper right. Select from the map menu in the upper right
Select from the map menu in the upper right


The aerial map option can be selected and clicking the 'Show Compass' button will return the compass to its last position. New route legs can then be added. The Show Compass button will return the compass to its last position
The 'Show Compass' button will return the compass to its last position

Ordnance Survey Maps Compass

Ordnance Survey Maps have been integrated within the Google Map Compass tool. Ordnance Survey Compass overlays an interactive compass on an Ordnance Survey Map that matches the UK Google Map location. Ordnance Survey Map routes can then be plotted, with compass bearings, grid references, latitude and longitude coordinates, distances and magnetic variation or declination recorded. Ordnance Survey Maps Compass
Ordnance Survey Maps Compass


The Ordnance Survey Compass integrated link can be found in the map style menu: The Ordnance Survey Compass integrated link
The Ordnance Survey Compass integrated link


If the Google Map location lies outside the UK, the Ordnance Survey Compass will load its default location centred on Lyndhurst, Hampshire.


Ordnance Survey Compass

Google Compass Map Tips

1. Use the 'Maximize This Map' option to generate a large map window to work with - it makes things a lot easier.

2. The current view of the map can be panned to a new position by pressing the left mouse button and dragging the map.

3.After saving a route and closing the Compass Tool, new legs may be added later by importing the route using the 'Import Route' menu button.

4. Bearings are given in both absolute map numbers, and compass-corrected for the local magnetic declination value, which is also listed. If your compass lets you adjust the magnetic declination, you have the option to do that and use the uncorrected map bearings.

Google Compass Credits

Map Service

The Google Compass Web Application has been built on and is powered by the Google™ map service and the Google™ data feed.


Application Developer and Software Architect

Wessam Raafat Rady El Mahdy
http://www.newvitalsoft.com

My Google Compass Map Routes

The email address used when saving a route can be used to login on the 'My Routes' dialogue window to retrieve a list of stored Google Maps Compass routes. My Google Maps Compass Routes  dialogue window
My Google Maps Compass Routes dialogue window


The retrieved Google Maps Compass Routes list includes the route ID, title, description, URL and the date created. Google Maps Compass Routes list
Google Maps Compass Routes list
1. Open the application and select either
Draw Single Leg or Draw Multi-Legged route
Draw Single or Multi-Legged route buttons


2. Select a starting point using the Google Search Box and enter a city, town, place, or a latitude/longitude directly.

3. Clear the Google advertising that appears by clicking the Clear Results link.

4. Click on the Map Style button button button in the upper-right corner and select from the range of map
styles and overlays available:



Click again to close the Map Style menu. The map style can be changed at any time whilst
using the application.
Map Style menu


5. Drag the Google Maps zoom slider tool to select the
required map scale. The map scale cannot be adjusted
after this stage without restarting the application.
Key to the Google Maps pan and   zoom slider tools


6. Click on the 'Show Compass' button that appears in the lower-left corner and the compass will
appear on the map near your specified point.
Show Compass button


7. Drag this compass so that its centre sits on top of your starting point.

8. Click on the compass to let you rotate it to the desired direction; click again to freeze it.

A digital readout of the compass bearing appears in red in the top right hand corner of the map. The compass can be adjusted and fine tuned by entering the number of degrees in the box. Press the Enter key on your keyboard to effect the change. digital readout of the compass bearing

9. In the upper-left corner, a Menu Button will have appeared that lets you:
  • Undo/redo steps
  • Clear everything and create new routes
  • Preview and print the map(s)
  • Preview and print the route information
  • Load/Save/Import a Route
  • Have a unique URL/ID emailed to you so that you can access/import it later
  • Maintain a free online 'My Routes' account.
Google Compass menu options
To open the menu, put your mouse over the 'Compass Menu' button.Google Compass menu button

Move your mouse out to close the menu.

10. Change the length of the compass red direction of travel arrow by slider or by manual dragging so that its end is at your desired destination.

11. In the upper right corner, the 'Draw Route' button shows up, together with the unadjusted compass or true bearing display.
Google Compass map route bearing display with draw route button


The 'Draw Route' button replaces the 'Map Style' button: Map Style button

The 'Map Style' button reappears when the 'Hide Compass' button is selected:
Hide compass button


The 'Menu' button disappears when the 'Hide Compass' button is selected. Click the 'Show Compass' button to restore.

12. Clicking on the 'Draw Route' button will plot and draw a route to a marker at your selected point of destination and display:
  • Origin latitude, north or south, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Origin longitude, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Origin magnetic declination, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Negative or positive declination.
  • Destination latitude, north or south, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Destination longitude, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • Distance of the route leg in miles and kilometres.
  • Map or true bearing in degrees.
  • Compass bearing, in degrees, minutes and seconds and decimal, adjusted for magnetic declination.
Google Compass route information display Clicking 'OK' on the display will adjust the red compass direction of travel arrow to compensate for magnetic declination. The compass bearing display adjusted for magnetic declination (12.34º in the above example) will appear in the lower right corner.

The map or true bearing display appears in the upper right corner (342º in this example). Red compass direction of travel arrow and compass bearing display adjusted to compensate for magnetic declination. The map or true bearing display appears in the upper right corner (342º in this example) Clicking 'Cancel' will leave the red direction of travel arrow unadjusted, and no compass bearing display will appear in the lower right corner.

For Multi-Legged routes, click the 'Move to Next Point' button to move the compass to the next point: Move Next example for multi-legged routes with map and compass bearing displays Once you have finished, you can hide the compass, save and print your route: Route markers

...and View/Print the route information and maps: View the route information View/Print Route(s) Information summary
Clicking on the start or intermediary route point marker displays its latitude and longitude position as well as the map bearing, distance to the next marker and the compass bearing adjusted for magnetic declination. Start or intermediary route point marker with latitude and longitude position as well as the map bearing, distance to the next marker and the compass bearing adjusted for magnetic declination
Clicking on the last route point marker displays its latitude and longitude: End of route marker with latitude and longitude display
14. Now save your route using the 'Save Route' menu option. You will be provided with a unique route ID/URL and have the option of having this emailed to you. The route ID/URL allows you to access/import it later.

15. Providing your email address at the time of saving your route ensures you can access your routes online at anytime using the 'My Routes' menu option. Your email address is the only identification you will need to access all your saved routes.


Tips

1. Use the 'Maximize This Map' option to generate a large map window to work with - it makes things a lot easier.

2. The current view of the map can be panned to a new position by pressing the left mouse button and dragging the map.

3. Bearings are given in both absolute map numbers, and compass-corrected for the local magnetic declination value, which is also listed. If your compass lets you adjust the magnetic declination, you have the option to do that and use the uncorrected map bearings.
Getting Started Panning and Zooming Moving the Compass Compass Fine Tuning Compass Menu Arrow Resize Draw Single Leg Route Draw Multi Leg Route Route Information Print Route Save Route Import Route My Routes Ordnance Survey Helpful Tips Single Page Credits