Last updated 1Jul22
OziExplorer Tips and Tricks
An OziExplorer Project is a collection of links to other OziExplorer data files such as waypoints, tracks, routes, points and events, a .map file (NOT the large digital map – the .map file points to this) and the position to use to load the map. It allows the components to be manipulated as a group. For example, instead of loading a map, then loading a waypoint file and then loading a track file, load the project file and all its components will automatically be loaded.
Create a Project It’s probably best to ‘set up’ your project before you create it. Load and position the map you want. Load the data files that you require – only one waypoint file, multiple track and point files are allowed, only one each of route and event files. Access the Project Manager via Options, Project Manager in OziExplorer. Click the Create a new project button, then click ‘Create a New Project from the Current Map’. The Project Manager window will show you the project components. Click the ‘Save the Project’ button, then name the .ozp file (you can save the .ozp file in any directory, but the default directory is C:\OziExplorer\Data. There is no way to reconfigure this default directory, but you can always put a shortcut in …\Data to point to the directory you use and your directory will remain the default for the current use of OziExplorer).
Load and use a Project Click the Load button on the Toolbar (or do File, Load File), then Load Project File (the Open a Project File dialogue always defaults to C:\OziExplorer\Data, so if you store your project files elsewhere, you’ll always have to navigate to the directory you use). Open the project file. When you make changes to an OziExplorer object, the relevant file component (Map, Waypoint, Event, Track, Route) button on the right hand end of the status bar turns red. Click the relevant button to save the file (you can also use the Save button on the Toolbar). If you make changes to multiple components, you can click the ‘Save All Files’ button.
Search by Place Name
OziExplorer provides a Search by Place Name facility. Access it via Options, Name Search (or the Name button on the Main Toolbar). Use it to position the current map/find maps at the location of the Place Name. The installation of OziExplorer includes a set of Australian Place Names, located (by default) in C:\OziExplorer\Name Search\Australia.names (there are also New Zealand and World City place names).
Extra Name Search Files The initially installed Place Names can be augmented. From GPSOZ at www.gpsoz.com.au/OziExplorer_Users.htm, download the Australian Names Database (7.1 MB) files. Unzip the files into your OziExplorer\Name Search directory. In OziExplorer, start the Search by Place Name function and Load the desired Place Names file (only one Place Names file can be selected at a time). This will provide a greater range of locations than the standard Australia.names
Creating Custom Name Search Files You can create your own Name Search Files to further extend this Search facility and enhance your use of OziExplorer. From OziExplorer at www.oziexplorer.com, go to the Utilities page. Read the section on Name Search Creator. Go to the Name Search Information Page. Read all the documentation and implement the option you want (eg. ‘Creating Names Database from Waypoint Files – See this web page here for information on compiling your own waypoints into a Name Search database’ or ‘Creating Names Database from User Files – Creating your own Text Files acceptable for Name Search Creator, instructions are here’. Go to Download Name Search Software from here. Download the software from Download Software here and install it (eg. in OziExplorer\Name Search).
Example use of Custom Name Search Files I have waypoints for several thousand points of interest (to me ;-)) in the ACT. How do I quickly go to the location of a desired waypoint on a map? I could load the waypoints; Show the Waypoint List; then tediously scroll through them, eye-balling for the one I want; highlight the entry and click the ‘Plot Location of Selected Waypoint on Current Map’ button. Alternatively, I could create a Custom Name Search file (as in 1.2 above), store it in OziExplorer\Name Search and access it via the Search by Place Name, Load Name DataBase button in OziExplorer. For best use, I combine both techniques, loading the waypoints, then using the Name Search function on the custom file to find and position the map on the desired waypoint.
Want to try it?
(1) Download my ACT Oracle.wpt file. Do File, Save Page As… in your browser.
(2) Download my ACTOracle.names file. Store it in your OziExplorer\Name Search directory.
(3) In OziExplorer, Load the ACT Oralce.wpt file. Use the Load button in the Search by Place Name function to load ACTOracle.names. Have fun!
.map files are not the actual digital maps. The digital maps may be in .ecw format (eg. NSW TopoView 2006, NatMap 100K), .tif (eg. ACT 1 in 250K) or .ozfx3 (eg. OZraster NSW). .map files contain, amongst other things, the map calibration points and any Comments or Features associated with the map. You can open a .map file and see its contents using Notepad. .map files for use by OziExplorer don’t necessarily come with the digital maps you purchase. Many are available via GPSOZ‘s web site at www.gpsoz.com.au/OziExplorer_Users.htm#map.
OK, I come back from a walk with a GPS stuffed full of actual track and a camera stuffed full of photos. Where did I take them? I find both the photo geotagging and my memory are a little flaky. So I manually match the time stamp associated with the photo with the time stamp from the track points and there I have it. There must be a way to automate this – yes, the OziPhoto Tool! Go to www.oziphototool.com and download – the free version will handle 5 photos. I haven’t played with it much, but ‘out of the box’ it generated a waypoint file of where up to 5 photos were taken. I’ve appended this file to the walk’s waypoint file and it makes a handy record. Another path into the OziPhoto Tool site is via GPSOZ’s web site at www.gpsoz.com.au/OziExplorer_Users.htm.
Things change rapidly in the digital world! I have a new camera that does not geotag photos. But I also have GeoSetter!! Point it at your photos and at the GPSr track file and it geotags the photos. Fantastic.
OziExplorer and Google Earth
OziExplorer can output your data to Google Earth, either just to view or to save a kml or kmz file. Do File, Save to File (or click the Save button on the Toolbar), Export to Google Earth. Either Save the kml file in OziExplorer, then fire the file in Google Earth; or click the ‘View Data in Google Earth’ button which will start Google Earth (if you have it installed) and display the data. In Google Earth, you can then save either a .kml or .kmz file.
What’s the total ascent on a walk?
For a planned walk track:
(1) estimate from the contours on your map;
(2) if you have elevation data (I use 9 Second DEM of Australia), the OziExplorer track profile function will work (know the limitation of your data – eg. 9’DEM gives heights at ~250m intervals).
For an actual (recorded) track:
(1) the OziExplorer track profile function provides a graph from which you can estimate the total ascent;
(2) use Trackan, download it from http://people.ksp.sk/~tino/gps/help.html;
(3) load the track into Google Earth, right click on the track and Show Elevation Profile.
Map Merge for OziExplorer
Amongst others, I use OZraster digital maps of NSW supplied by GPSOZ. An advantage is that they are prepared from NSW LPI 2012 data (more recent than TopoView 2006) and thus show more up to date/different features in some locations. A disadvantage is that there is currently no mosaic available to assist with panning across maps (as with TopoView 2006). You can make your own mosaic (albeit of a limited area of NSW) using OziExplorer Map Merge. Ensure your OziExplorer is at version 3.95.5q or later from the OziExplorer download page. Download OziExplorer Map Merge and install it. I made a mosaic of the ACT from the Bedulluck, Umburra, Hall, Sutton, Cotter, Canberra, Bungendore, Tidbinbilla, Tuggeranong, Corin Dam, Williamsdale, Rendezvous Creek, Michelago, Yaouk, Colinton, Shannons Flat and Bredbo maps. I drew a region on the thumbnails to exclude unwanted areas (eg. the northern part of the Bedulluck map, the southern parts of the Shannons Flat and Bredbo maps, the eastern parts of the Sutton and Bungendore maps) and created the map from drawn region (all maps) at 4 metres per pixel. It took around 20 minutes on my laptop and produced a .ozf4 file of 76.5MB. It displays well in OziExplorer at zoom levels from 50-150%. It’s a matter of balancing the time to produce the mosaic (process is heavy on computing power), the size of the area you want for the mosaic (the larger the area, the larger the size of the .ozf4 output file) and cost (I used the freeware version of OziExplorer Map Merge. The licenced version can produce different output formats, providing compression and maps usable in other than OziExplorer).
OziExplorer and Internet Maps
OziExplorer can load some internet-based map products, such as Google Maps, Open Street Maps, Google Satellite. You need to be online to access the various map tiles, which are cached and can be used later when off-line.
Read the good oil at http://www.oziexplorer3.com/eng/osm.html .
After the 2 downloads/installs, you should end up with C:\OziExplorer\Maps\Internet Maps\Internet Maps.map and C:\OziExplorer\im.dat .
Have a play and see if that is a useful planning and/or analysis tool.
OziExplorer and SIX Map Segments
You can calibrate any map in OziExplorer (as long as they are in certain formats). This includes NSW SIX e-Topo Geo PDF maps. Have a look at the Using SIX map segments in OziExplorer on my SIX Maps page.