ExplorOz Podcast Episode 5 : The Making of EOTopo Maps

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2023 at 02:27

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

This podcast will be available on Tuesday 31st October. Listen in on Spotify (or your favourite streaming platform) or watch on our YouTube channel.

You'll find the full ExplorOz podcast series on Spotify or Watch on YouTube.

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Ever wondered about the magic behind creating digital maps? If so, this blog post, based on our recent podcast episode, is just for you. It's time to cue the nostalgia as we take you back to the birth of our first mapset, EOTopo 2013. The intricate process of digital mapmaking, which allowed users to easily download and use our maps on various devices, was quite an endeavor.

We managed to sidestep the need for expensive hardware by focusing on maximizing our users' existing devices. This strategy was unique to our business and stood out from what our competitors were offering at the time. Digital mapping was not merely about creating a standalone hand-held navigation device but about developing a digital map in a software system that would work on existing devices.

The journey of mapmaking was not always smooth. There were challenges to overcome, particularly during the transition from raster to vector mapping. This transition was necessary to enhance the user experience, despite the technical complexities involved.

Raster mapping was akin to a photograph that would get pixelated and blurry when enlarged. This limitation led to the advent of vector mapping. Vector mapping, on the other hand, allowed for clearer, high-resolution maps that could be zoomed in without loss of detail. This was a significant advancement in digital mapmaking.

Over the years, we faced many challenges in building our maps. Each map consists of over 260 different data elements, each backed by its own database! Imagine the effort and precision that goes into managing such a vast amount of data. Despite the complexities, we were able to produce a national product, integrating data sources to compile an outback topographic map that suited our users' needs.

In conclusion, the journey of digital mapmaking from EOTopo 2013 to the present day is a fascinating tale of innovation, technological advancements, and overcoming challenges. It serves as a testament to the incredible effort and detail that goes into building digital maps that are user-friendly, detailed, and accurate. The story behind the map is as captivating as the map itself.

We hope you are enjoying the ExplorOz Podcast - available both to listen in or watch on YouTube.
Please leave us a rating on the Podcast or leave a comment on the YouTube episode. Remember Podcasts drop every week. Please share!

Regards Michelle and David



This episode on Spotify or Watch on YouTube

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David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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