Paper Maps allow you to take your static digital and paper maps, georeference them, and publish them into OuterSpatial Mobile. Visitors will be able to see their location on the map to help them navigate your areas, outings, trails, and points of interest — even when they have no cell or Wi-Fi coverage.
Creating a Paper Map
To start creating a Paper Map, click on the "Maps" section in Manager's left-hand navigation, then click the "New Paper Map" button in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen.
Once in the "Create a Paper Map" interface, you'll need to walk through a three-step process:
- Give your Paper Map a name and description and upload the .pdf, .png, or .jpg file that contains the map you want to turn into a Paper Map. If uploading a PDF file and the file has more than one page, you'll also need to specify which page of the PDF the map is on. If your PDF only has one page, you can leave the "Page number" field blank. After filling out the form, click "Upload" to start the process of uploading your file. This process may take a few minutes to complete based on how large your file is.
- Once the upload is complete, you'll be taken to the "Select Points" page. Here you'll add the "control points" that will be used to georeference your map. You can add these control points by matching up locations on your map with real world locations. To add a control point, click on a location in your map, then click on a location on the map on the right-hand side — matching the locations as closely as possible. You need to add at least three points, but we recommend adding 4+ points to get the best results. You should also try to space the points out as much as possible on your map. Ideally, you would add four control points — one in each corner of your map — but this is not always possible. If you accidentally add a control point, you can click on it to delete it. Pro tip: Road junctions are often great control points because they are easy to find in satellite imagery. Once done, click "Done" to advance. OuterSpatial will run the georeference operation while you wait. This may, again, take a few minutes.
- Once your file is geoferenced, you'll be taken to the "Configure Zoom" page. Here you can configure how many zoom levels you want to be available for your paper map. The more zoom levels you make available, the longer it will take OuterSpatial to process your Paper Map. We generally recommend going no higher than zoom level 17, but if your Paper Map covers a relatively small area and contains precise detail, you may want to go higher. Once you've set the zoom levels, click "Done" to advance. OuterSpatial will process your Paper Map and create all of the map tiles needed to display it in OuterSpatial Mobile. Once complete, you'll be taken back to the Paper Map in Manager.
If you have already georeferenced a map in desktop software like ArcGIS or QGIS, walk through the first step above, uploading your pre-georeferenced map. The georeferencer will detect that your file is already georeferenced and skip past the second step — taking you directly to step 3.