Archive for June, 2007

Tweaking the number of the MGRS layer

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Ever since releasing the MGRS layer for Google Earth, I’ve been asked a number of times (well about 10) about tweaking the numbers on the gridlines, to be more ‘MGRS like’. To be honest havent had a clue what this means, but a recent email made me twig whats going on.

Basically the numbers included the hundreds of KM, but in fact that number is already represented in the Grid Letters so doesnt make sence to include again (it was there because the layer was an almost direct port of the UTM code, which of course needs it).

So the server hosted version has been updated, and also the file inside the zip for the offline version (which are in fact identical code!), and if really interested heres the diff.


OpenSearch (with Geo) Description File Tester

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

(Very) Simplistic tool for trying out a OpenSearch Description file :

… includes a Gmap to make defining the lat/long and/or bbox easy. (if the file has geo extensions)

(Just submit the same file again, if you update it. btw don’t submit a definition file you don’t want to become public, but remember it is called ‘open’ ;)

I realised after mentioning we updated the description file on, that it wasn’t fully tested, (hate testing, but not adverse to spending 2 hours scripting a tester), and in fact this tool highlighted a mistake!

Hope it of interest, feedback welcome,

opensearching the geoweb… (and limiting it)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Andrew over at recently put together a proposal for a Geo Extension to Opensearch.

Naturally I couldn’t not add it to the Geograph OpenSearch definition, will have to keep an eye on the logs to see if there is any take up…

This also reminds me that is in need of some loving, there are some datasets locked away within that could be made searchable (of course geographically!) in this way.
One thing that struck me reading the proposal, is that a method to specify geographical extents that the engine works with. Thereby a sane search initiator could know that searching Geograph for locations in Austrialia is likely to end in tears….

Something like a simple:

<georss:box>49,- 9.5,62,2.3</georss:box>

Would probably do it :)

Update: Sorry, just relised the tags didnt show up, seems TinyMce inside wordpress, decodes entities on its own, so double(!) encoding it is then.

MGRS Layer for Google Earth – Offline!

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Thanks to help from Mark Ferneau, have finally the MGRS layer packaged up ready for use off-line (and GPL licenced!), an often requested feature.

These instructions assume Windows, and that you don’t have a local webserver running. The zip file should be usable to set it up on any local server capable of running PHP, just don’t forget to edit the link in the network link to the path of your webserver.

Without further ado, the instructions:

  1. Download Appweb web server from: (Tested with 2.2.0)
  2. Install with the general default options
  3. Save AppWeb.conf file in C:\program files\MBedthis Appweb\, overwriting the default (this just sets up the minimum needed for PHP to run, removing some of the extra stuff)
  4. Copy php5ts.dll from C:\Program Files\Mbedthis Appweb\lib\modules\ to C:\Program Files\Mbedthis Appweb\bin\ (not sure why this step is required but Appweb seems to need it)
  5. Extract into directory C:\appweb\web\offline_nearby\
  6. Start up the appweb server, using Icon in Start Menu. (if it’s already running, icon in System Tray, exit it)
  7. Open the network link – save it to your My Places :)

If there is interest could possible package up some of the other layers run on a local webserver in a similar fashion.

Finally, use at your own risk, it works for us, but your mileage may vary. We welcome any and all feedback (esp. patches!)