Google Maps, in black-and-white

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white exec
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Google Maps, in black-and-white

Post by white exec »

Sometimes I need to print out a Google Map (street plan), instead of using satnav.
Although clear enough on pc screen, Google Maps printed out in colour has always been disappointing - pale tints disappear, and fine detail (eg street names) really not clear - despite being sent to very high quality printers.

Yesterday, hit the same issue . . . but then had the thought of opting for monochrome (b&w). Bingo! All the detail, and a really sharp image.
___________

Have also has a similar issue with loss of fine detail when printing out scans of Citroen wiring diagrams* (eg Pepon1, Ebaman) which were obviously scanned 'in colour', leaving the end result a mid-grey. Again, pinging the printer into b&w does wonders for image sharpness and contrast, whether done on inkjet or laser.

* Afraid I don't have any Xantia wiring diagrams either.

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Google Maps, in black-and-white

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Hi Chris, there are several reasons:
First Google Maps do not allow their data to be exported or extracted so the resolution for any copied or printed parts are not optimised, resulting in poor resolution and lack of detail when scaled.

Second, any detail like maps or wiring diagrams should be vectorised so that the format retains it's proportional scaling and quality regardless of the size of the graphic.

There are several ways around this:
Maps

Go to https://www.openstreetmap.org and locate an area you want to print.

(Click to Zoom)
Maps A.PNG
Maps B.PNG
Maps C.PNG
Go here:
https://www.openstreetmap.org
On the right is a toolbar - click the 'Share' iconFinally, select SVG which is a vector format
  • Then you can download the area of the map.
  • Next use Opera Browser to open the SVG file.
  • Ensure you have a PDF Writer on your PC and choose Print, then select the PDF printer
  • The resulting PDF will contain the SVG image and can be printed normally retaining all the high res detail.
The same technique should work for wiring diagrams as long as you first export the diagram in an SVG format. It won't work saving a graphic as an SVG file, as obviously the source is not in a vectorised format to start with.

Hope this makes sense :-D

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Paul-R
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Re: Google Maps, in black-and-white

Post by Paul-R »

If I want to print a map out for somewhere after using Google Maps I fire up Bing Maps (or whatever it's called nowadays - bing.maps.co.uk still redirects) and then, assuming it's in the UK, choose to use the OS map display.

These are wonderful for information and I like to printscreen and then assemble the images in a Word document. There is a slight problem for me that if I resize the images they don't print out properly and I have to save to a PDF first but that's probably just me.

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Google Maps, in black-and-white

Post by GiveMeABreak »

The same probably applies Paul - you won't get the detail unless they are in a vector format.

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Paul-R
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Re: Google Maps, in black-and-white

Post by Paul-R »

Screenshots are definitely not vector but that's not the problem when resizing. This is not the only time the problem manifests itself: when I get Word documents sent to me sometimes the graphic in the header (if it's a letterheaded item for instance) doesn't print to size properly. Like I said, probably a problem for me with Word documents.

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white exec
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Re: Google Maps, in black-and-white

Post by white exec »

Thanks for the explanation.
I was just surprised how good the image was in b+w.
Sequence was as follows:
- zoom to section of Google map needed
- hit Print
Quality in colour awful; top-notch in b+w.
No other actions (such as PrntScrn, Snip, or export) needed, so quick and easy.