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Description of Custom Maps

Custom Maps makes it easy to create GPS maps from map images, and those maps can be used anywhere, even when you have no data signal for your Android device (it works on both phones and tablets).

Custom Maps can use photos of paper maps or brochures, and pictures of maps posted at trailheads or at the entrances to amusement parks. It can also use .jpeg or .png images downloaded from the internet and screenshots of PDF maps.

All you have to do is choose two (or more) matching points that are common to both the map image and Google Maps, and Custom Maps can then show your GPS location on the map. Data connection is required at the time the map is calibrated (created).

As the map images are stored on the phone, Custom Maps works offline without data signal. This is useful if you go hiking in national or state parks, and it can help you avoid international roaming charges abroad.

Custom Maps can use almost any map image, including photos, as GPS maps so it can be a helpful map application when visiting zoos and amusement parks which typically post large maps of the park layout at the entrance of the park. Just take a photo of the posted map, line it up with Google Maps, and you can see your location on the map photo wherever you are in the park.

Custom Maps can show the distance from your current location to a point on the map, so it can give you an idea how far different points are. This is especially useful for golfers who could create their own GPS maps for golf courses they play.

Custom Maps uses simple image files for maps so you can add your own markup on the maps in a graphics tool (not included in Custom Maps) or draw entirely your own maps. Created maps can be shared using email from the app itself, or by hosting the map on a web server and posting QR codes for others to scan to trigger downloading of those maps.

Custom Maps supports displaying placemarks on the map (starting in version 1.3.0). Placemark editing is not supported in Custom Maps itself (will be supported in a future version), but placemarks can be added in Google Earth. To add placemarks to a map, copy the kmz map file from phone to desktop computer, and open it with Google Earth. Create a folder in Google Earth containing the map overlay and add placemarks to the same folder. Then export the folder from Google Earth as kmz file, and copy back to phone.

NOTE: Custom Maps app does not come with any maps included. The help menu for the map listing contains a link to www.custommapsapp.com website where you can download some sample maps to try. However, the best way to try Custom Maps is to take a photo of a paper map (or of an online map displayed on your computer screen) or download a map image from the web to your device, and then use Custom Maps to create a GPS enabled map from it.

NOTE: On some devices, newly created maps don't show up in map list until the user returns back to map list from normal map display or after exiting and restarting the app. This seems to be an issue only with very few Android versions on specific devices, in most versions newly created maps show up immediately after they are created.

NOTE: You can sign up to be a beta tester for Custom Maps at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.custommapsapp.android. Same page allows you also to leave beta testing. If you try out the beta version of the app, please send an email to custom-maps-users@googlegroups.com telling me what device and OS version you tried it on, and whether the beta version worked for you.

You can find more information about Custom Maps at the application web site http://www.custommapsapp.com/.

Custom Maps is an open source project. Its source code can be found at https://github.com/markoteittinen/custom-maps

Version history Custom Maps
New in Custom Maps 1.7.1
- Updated Polish translation
New in Custom Maps 1.7
Version 1.7
- When adding alignment points after first two, the map is automatically moved to approximate location of the selected image point. Note that Custom Maps only uses the first 4 alignment points.
- Bug fixes to reported crashes
New in Custom Maps 1.6.2
Bug fixes:
- Restores missing location arrow to devices running Android 6 (M) or earlier versions
- Prevents map image from turning upside down when zoomed out very quickly with "tap-swipe"
- Makes sure map image stays on screen even when zooming far out
- Improved initial license screen layout to make sure buttons stay visible on screen even on small phones
New in Custom Maps 1.6
Version 1.6
- Added scale display to map (optional)
- Support for nautical miles
- Map name displayed on title bar
- Improved German and Hungarian translations
- Tutorial video
- Install to SD card
- Bug fixes
New in Custom Maps 1.5.2
Version 1.5.2
- Map labels visible during tiepoint alignment and preview on satellite map
- Fixes issue that causes selected map to not be drawn when returning to app
- Map sharing fixed
- Switching languages fixed
New in Custom Maps 1.4.1
Adds support for Hungarian language.
New in Custom Maps 1.4
1.4- Fixes crashes on LG devices on Android 5.x and Motorola devices on 6.0- Adds preference to select software rendering (recommended) or GPU rendering- Adds preference to select 16-bit color mode (recommended) or 32-bit color mode- GPU rendering is needed on LG devices running Android 5.x to avoid crashes- 32-bit color mode is needed on Motorola devices running Android 6.0 to avoid crashes- Both options limit maximum map image size- Known issue: Missing translations for new features
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