The MapGazer application is free of charge for non-commercial use;
it is Copyright (c) Mike Cowlishaw, 2014–2020.
||This a ‘packaging’ release.
MapGazer can now be installed from a .msi file – if installed
this way it can also be uninstalled from the Control Panel. The
.zip version of this and earlier versions remain so you can revert
to any earlier version, or manually install, as preferred. You can
also use the .msi version to update an existing .zip install.
Mapgazer.exe is now just a ‘stub’ – it will invoke either MapGazer32.exe
or MapGazer64.exe, depending on which version of Windows you are
The stub, and MapGazer32.exe, both run on Windows XP, and therefore
many emulators. This is neither formally tested nor guaranteed.
Since the install directory may now be ‘protected’ (hard to write
to), you can now specify your own icons and elevation data directories;
MapGazer will use these before searching the default directories
in the installation directory.
||If a tile is missing, MapGazer will now first try to compress 4 tiles from the next most detailed layer before using a (blurred) version of less detailed layer(s) above.
Zoom number for a missing layer is now shown as (e.g.) %13 (was
‘−13’) because tiles can now come from layers above or below.
More accurate fit when Set aspect ratio is used.
Improved handling of ‘empty’ tiles when compressing.
||Fifth anniversary of first release!
Map bounds are now calculated using the layer with the most information
(instead of the most-detailed layer, which might be just a small
Improved algorithm when switching between overlapping maps with
different zoom ranges.
JPGs written as view snapshots, or from an Area, now have Exif metadata
including the position of the centre of the image and (if known)
Erratic Area drag behaviour (introduced in 1.98) corrected.
||The starter map (Globe) is now also used as a ‘fallback’ map to provide context when the user scrolls off other base maps.
The starter map has two new levels (zoom 5 and zoom 6) added to
make it more useful as a fallback map.
New ‘Keyboard shortcuts’ help page lists all shortcut keys
‘c’ shortcut key moves to centre of a map.
||The space bar now toggles between hiding and showing all status data.
Improved behaviour when moving between layers with different map
coverage or using the GoTo dialog.
Loading tiles or images is now faster; MapGazer now uses the libjpeg-turbo
Minor tweaks to user interface.
||New Aspect Ratio dialog allows direct setting of a window’s aspect ratio, as well as rapidly snapshotting views.
Minor tweaks to user interface.
||Route status display now numbers waypoints and shows bearing of route segments.
||Improved reading and writing of XML entities and accented characters in GPX files.
||The current view can now be saved as an image directly (no need to create an Area first), as in PanGazer.
Saving marks as GPX now uses UTF-8 encoding.
Zooming and dragging of maps now constrains the view centre to map
layer bounds (to avoid an ‘empty’ map view).
Add new Area can use either bounds of current layer or map bounds
(most detailed layer).
Monochrome (e.g., off-white) tiles are treated as ‘missing’, which
improves map overlays.
Better handling of maps with missing layers, and display of surrounds
of a map layer.
Various tweaks and tuning of menus, user interface, etc.
||A waypoint can be created at the centre of the view by pressing the ‘w’ key; also a new waypoint uses an icon rather than an ‘X’ by default.
Geographical marks loaded from a GPX file are initially ‘locked
in position’ to prevent accidental relocation; right-click and select
Allow dragging to unlock a mark.
Improved formatting for new or changed items written to GPX files.
Various other minor user interface tweaks, and now internally fully-shared
code with PanGazer.
||Images of many more types (BMP, TIF, GIF, etc.) can now be loaded.
Save all marks now saves Scale and new routes.
Various tweaks and tuning of menus, user interface, etc.
||GPX files can now be dragged to any MapGazer window to open them.
Coordinates can now be displayed in UTM format.
Go to coordinates dialog box last-entered good coordinates are
now saved and used when next opened.
||Accumulated minor improvements; e.g., now no longer have to close all dialogs before exiting.
||Some minor usability tweaks: the Esc (Escape) key now toggles between full-screen and window display; Ctrl-O opens a map (like the ‘m’ key); and a ‘pushpin’ is added when using ‘Browse satellite view’ for a map.
||The base map can now have its transparency varied to lighten it to make it easier to see the details of marks, images (such as cave surveys), etc., that are overlaid on it; use ‘+’/‘−’ (if no overlay map) or the ‘t’ transparency dialog to adjust.
An improved ‘graphics’ algorithm for Image marks is faster and gives
better contrast and colour.
Map bounds have been added to the Details for a map.
||An improved algorithm for positioning the map after loading marks reduces unhelpful ‘jumps’.
Caching and other heuristics make the display of large Image marks
||New map tools for creating composite maps using MapGazer: Copy or Merge map layer, Compress map layer, and Delete map layer.
Under-zoom allows viewing of maps at one level below the least detailed
data (hence a single-layer map can now be viewed at −1 through +3
Improved display of maps with missing layers.
Waypoints can now be drawn as dots (as an alternative to being drawn
as an ‘X’ or using an icon).
More responsive scroll-wheel zoom (in or out).
Improved Progress Box time estimates for background tasks (map tools).
Minor enhancements to menus (e.g., added option to load GPX files
from map pop-up menu).
||All marks now have an individual transparency setting, adjustable using their Properties box or by using the + or − keys.
The Scale has been ‘promoted’ to be a mark; this means that it can
be saved or loaded from GPX, it uses the same Properties and Details
boxes as other marks, and you can have multiple scales, etc.
Images can now display the Image’s caption (if any). The display
of the caption and border is switchable from the Image’s pop-up menu
or its Properties box.
Images can now be displayed as coloured graphics (black in an image
is displayed using the image’s colour property, etc.).
The Waypoint properties box has been simplified (e.g., the colour
selector has its own line, as in other Properties boxes) and now
has a Clear icon button to revert the waypoint to display as
the ‘X’ (by default).
The user interface now lightens inactive marks rather than lightening
active marks, so that colours in view match the colours in the Properties
box for an active mark.
||A new kind of mark, an Image, has been added. Images (.jpg or .png) can be loaded from a file and then be moved and have their size adjusted to fit the geography. The image then zooms in size with the viewed map. Like other marks, Images can be saved to and loaded from GPX files.
Images have an optional border and may be displayed as graphics
(a white background becomes transparent), allowing the overlaying
of surveys and drawings on a map.
All marks can now have an individual transparency setting, adjusted
using a slider in its properties box or by using the ‘+’ and ‘−’
The properties box now makes ‘live’ changes to marks – that is,
as changes are made to marks they are applied immediately; a Reset
button resets any changes made since the properties box was opened.
The documentation has been updated, with many new screenshots, to
reflect these changes.
||Areas can now have a fixed aspect ratio (that is, maintain proportions when adjusted) so that specific shapes of images can be made for printing or illustrations; the aspect ratio is set in the Properties dialog for an Area, or can use the pop-up menu to fix the current ratio.
Area aspect ratios are saved in (and can be loaded from) GPX files.
||Go to coordinates (‘G’) dialog can now add Waypoint at go-to point.
Internal cleanups and improved handling of missing/renamed maps.
Overlay maps only affect base map when tiles exist at current zoom.
||New extension tags for GPX files allow trackpoints to indicate where photos were taken or video was recorded, and the heading of the device at that time.
Maps can now be over-zoomed by three levels (was 2).
Save area as image can now write either JPG or PNG format images.
Improved ‘move between marks’ algorithm for tab keys.
||Two new map tools have been added: copy current map layer and compress current map layer. These (and also Save area as map) run as background threads with an improved Progress Box. In addition, the image conversion processing in MapGazer has been rewritten and simplified; this should not affect users other than some useful performance increases. The lodepng and jpeglib libraries are now used for all image conversions (see Thanks).
||Navigation of marks has been improved; you can move between marks of the same type using the tab key or a mark’s pop-up menu, and you can find the nearest mark by using the Go to nearest mark menu item from the Marks menu or from the map pop-up menu.
||The Measurements units settings menu is now dynamic – you can change the order of the units; this order is used when displaying distances, etc., and the units at the top of the list are used for the Scale.
||An automatic Scale bar is now visible by default; you can adjust its position, width, colour, and transparency.
||Enlargement of tiles (for over-zoom, etc.) now uses interpolation instead of pel replication for more readable maps; these ‘manufactured’ map tiles are now cached, too, which gives over-zoom levels the same performance as other levels.
||Added new sample GPX file (then in MapGazer\gpx\samples, now the MapGazer sample GPX file) with a track and waypoints, suitable for use with the sample map and elevation data.
New keyboard shortcuts ‘+’ and ‘−’ adjust the overlay map transparency
without needing to use the transparency dialog.
The shortcut ‘g’ now opens the Go to coordinates dialog; use
‘L’ to load a GPX file.
Sundry clarifications in documentation and the Go to coordinates
||You can now zoom two levels beyond the most detailed level of a map (‘over-zoom’); this is useful on small or high-resolution displays, and also improves usability when zooming out from a detailed map to a large-scale map (e.g., Globe).
||All views can now have a second overlay map, for direct visualization and merging of maps (for example, topographic and geological).
New Map transparencies dialog allows interactive adjustment
of overlay map, marks, and status transparency.
Added a second, geological, sample map (SampleGeology).
Improved algorithm now used for both Centre map and initial
Minor cleanups and simplifications in menus.
||A new ‘Go to coordinates’ dialog lets you change the map viewpoint to a specific latitude and longitude.
The current window can be changed to full screen from the map popup
Marks → Add new waypoint at centre adds a waypoint at the centre
of the view (which can then moved by dragging, etc.).
Improved elevations interpolation.
||Support downloadable elevation data (3-arc-second, 92.5m).
Added SampleMap (MapGazer\MGMaps\SampleMap) to showcase topographical
detail and elevation data.
Added MapGazer\elevation3\K29\N42W007.hgt elevation data to
||Improved (more accurate) distance calculations, using haversine formula.
New map tile caching algorithm (slightly faster).
||All marks can now be drawn with opacity 50% → 100% (the map will ‘show through’ lines and icons when opacity is less than 100%).
Icons can now be saved (e.g., after changing their colour).
||Improved algorithm for setting viewpoint when loading multiple marks.
||Areas may now be used to create images from maps (make an area, right click anywhere on its border, and select Save area as image); this will create an image showing the map and any visible marks, and then open it so you can check it, save it in a different format, print it, etc.
The area Details dialog now adds the dimensions of the area in pels
at current zoom, and also the bounds of the area as four individual
When changing maps, clicking on a folder that contains an MGMap
will select that map immediately (no need to click the ‘Select folder’
Route waypoints (if no icon) are now drawn as an ‘X’ to match other
Minor cosmetic and other adjustments for Windows 10.
||Route waypoints may also now be displayed as icons.
Area names are now displayed as status, and areas created from map
bounds are initialized with the map name.
Improved dragging of waypoints and route waypoints.
The default colour for tracks is now more visible (golden).
General improvements to documentation and screenshots.
||Waypoint marks may now be displayed as icons, which may be coloured individually.
Sample icons (from the https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com
collection) are included; hundreds more are available from that site,
or you can use/create other icon images.
The Settings→Waypoints style menu selection lets you display
waypoints all as icons, all as drawn ‘X’, or mixed (if no assigned
icon, an ‘X’ is shown).
The properties dialog for Waypoints displays the currently visible
icon or ‘X’, and lets you pick its icon and colour – see the properties screenshot.
||A major rewrite of open and save dialogs so that MapGazer will use the newer (IFileDialog) dialogs for opening and saving GPX files and maps if running on Windows Vista or later (on XP, or emulators simulating XP, the old dialogs will be used).
Internally, MapGazer now allows 32-bit bitmaps with transparency,
which may be used for marker icons in the future.
Icon names are saved/loaded in/from GPX files, along with alternative
||Extra diagnostics (and windows messages) for the console are now user settings.
Cosmetic improvements to some ‘Details’ dialogs.
||MapGazer will now use tiles from a lower (less-detailed) map layer, if available, to fill in tiles missing from the current layer.
Map scrolling is no longer forced to show some part of the current
layer; instead you can now set the view to the centre of the map
if it is out of view (due to loading GPX data that is off-map, for
Improved display algorithm maintains a stable map while changing
the size of a view window.
||Writing a map using an area now merges on a tile basis; if source and target map contain the same tile then the one with more information is used.
Maps may now have missing/empty levels.
||The Area Box has been ‘promoted’ to a Mark (Area, a special case of Route) so now there can be more than one Area and they can have properties (including names and colours). Areas can be saved to GPX files, loaded from GPX files, and viewed with other applications.
The MapGazer Template tag as been changed to <mapgazer:template/>
to conform to XML naming rules.
Snap area to tile boundaries has been removed because of complexities
when there are multiple areas.
||New Details menu item on all popup menus opens a dialog that shows primary statistics (such as length and timings for tracks) and allows any of them to be copied to the clipboard.
The Position format item in the Settings menu lets you choose
the format used for displaying Latitude and Longitude; the default
is Degrees°minutes′seconds″; other formats are Degrees°minutes
and Degrees (with 5 or 6 fractional digits).
Speed is shown in the status display when the cursor is over a track
and time information is available.
All lines in the status display now have a label to identify their
||Set map centre to centre of loaded GPX data.
Add Delete all marks to the Marks menu.
Allow all tags in GPX files (including trackpoints) to be empty
||Extend MapGazer to handle zoom levels 19 and 20.
Move Zoom level display to bottom right.
Add Browse satellite view to Waypoints popup.
||This is mainly a performance release; much improved performance, especially when editing marks that are visible in more than one window.
MapGazer now accepts GPX filenames from the Command line, which
allows .gpx files to be associated with
MapGazer and opened with a click.
||A new Properties dialog lets you change the name, colour, and link URL associated with tracks, routes, route waypoints, and waypoints; any changes can be saved to GPX file(s).
Link URLs or their names will be shown in the status display when
the cursor is over a mark, and can be browsed from the pop-up menu.
New settings to change the size of waypoints and line widths, for
better visibility over cluttered maps.
Improved performance when saving tracks and other marks.
||Tracks, routes, and waypoints can all be saved to a GPX file (individually, or en masse).
MapGazer templates allow the saving of GPX data from multiple
sources and devices.
Sundry improvements to display Z-order, coloring, etc.
Corrected exception after startup (only on Windows 8.1).
||Tracks can be trimmed to allow more precise distance measurements.
||GPX files are now loadable, with multiple Tracks, Routes, and Waypoints supported. Garmin and MyTrails colouring extensions are used to colour tracks and waypoints, when available. Improved status content and display.
||Multiple routes are now allowed.
||Route distance and Area Box coordinates are now only shown while active or being dragged; a less-cluttered display.
||A Ruler can now have intermediate points, so is renamed Route. Left click on the route to add and position new points.
||Area Box and Ruler are now application-level (instead of one-per-view) so they can be seen in multiple windows for fine adjustment. XML parser added (not yet in use).
||Add Area Box coordinates display and copy; improve highlighting and Area Box accuracy.
||First Web release.