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Nolli Maker

Features of Nolli Maker (Updated 1, July, 2016)

  1. Batch download Google map and combine the tiles into a large map;
  2. GB size file supported;
  3. Multi-threads downloading supported;
  4. China servers supported;
  5. Customized style supported and Snazzymap style library included;
  6. Contour generation for any place.

 

When I studied architecture, I often used Nolli map as one of the most useful tools for urban space analysis. Honestly, a great deal of information are hidden in the maps we see everyday, from the worsening environment to the expansions of cities. However, it appears to be difficult for people to extract information from the map, I mean, the Google map. During the time when I studied architecture, most of our classmates will printscreen the Google Earth, merge the screenshots one by one in Photoshop, and then trace the map in AutoCAD or Rhinoceros. The task always makes us crazy because it is really time-consuming.

 

Therefore, inspired by some forerunners (Sherlock Chou and Praeclarum), I wrote the code and developed the following program, which can help you to merge google maps and can even do more than you can imagine. With this program, you can get the map you need with several simple steps: select the area, select the save path, and then enjoy. Some other useful options are provided: you can choose the style–either the preseted style or the customized style, you can choose the zoom level, and you can change the number of threads that the program uses to get the map–a higher number will bring a faster experience.

 

Some sample maps are demonstrated below, and some guidelines for users are followed. Further stories associated with the development of the program are here.

The water system in the Pearl River, Guangzhou, China

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The Victoria Harbor and the Island, Hong Kong

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The Palace, Beijing, China (this is done using the Nolli map style. You can vectorize the map using the Trace tool in Adobe Illustrate easily, and then you can export it to file in DWG format or other format, formats that can be wonderful for many other uses)

 

Here are some simple guidelines:

Step 1: Define the map style

You can choose from the five preseted styles or use customized styles. If you want to use customized style, just click the last button and a new window will show up.

In the new window, you can choose from a great deal of styles from the Snazzymaps. Just choose one, and see if you like it. (Here, you can also define the tile URL if you are an advanced user, the tile URL often looks like this: https://wenfan.cn/g_googlemaps/maps/vt?pb=!1m…… you can find the tile url in any opened google map by pressing F12 in chrome and looking into the resources of the loaded map.)

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If you like the style, just click “Get it”.

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You can also define your own map style using standard codes. The codes can be generated on Google Map style wizard or the Snazzymaps. Just copy the codes there , see if it works, and press “Get it” if you accept it.

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Step 2: Define the area

After defining the map style, you need to define the area. You can enter the boundary coordinates directly, if you know exactly, or you can click the label “Click here to find Latlng” to crop the area from the map.

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Step 3: Other settings (Optional)

You can change the scale level if you want to zoom in a bit. However, the higher the level, the larger the final file. Besides, you can also define how many threads that are used to download the map at the same time. The more threads, the faster the process.

For Chinese users who are always limited to use Google service, you can try to download the maps from servers in China.

 

Step 4: Choose the save path and click Start!

Step 5: Generate contour lines (Optional)

If you would like to generate contour lines for the selected area, you can simply click on the “Generate Contour” button beside the “Start” button after you set the save path.

You will see a new window with several similar settings. The four boundaries are also required here, and the values are inherited from the main window. Another three variables are needed here: X grid, Y grid, and the Interval.

The X grid and Y grid numbers decide the total number of sample points for the contour generation of the selected area. (The program will divide the rectangular area into X*Y grids, and then find the elevation data for the X*Y sample points. With the elevation data of these sample points, the program can generate contour lines through some complicated calculations.)

X grid – divide the selected area by this number in X axis.

Y grid – divide the selected area by this number in Y axis.

Interval – the interval between the neighbour contour lines (unit:meter).

Attention: The larger the X grid and Y grid number, the more accurate but more complicated the final drawing and the more difficult for further usage. Consider carefully whether you need such accurate contour lines.

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You will get a DXF file containing the contour lines, and you can then import the DXF file into Rhino for further study. Each of the contour lines has been assigned to a layer named with its elevation data (unit:meter).

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If you need this tool, please leave your email below. (ATTENTION: This tool is designed for academic use ONLY.)

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