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resolution independent mapquest output

online maping sites produce output optimized for a 90dpi screen, yet 95% of the time the output is printed on a 1200+dpi printer, this should be taken advantage of
  [vote for,

This would be not to difficult using a resolution independant format like pdf or postscript. they already must draw the maps from raw data, instead they would just output raw commands (such as draw line here, and draw text here.) into a pdf file. This would allow much greater detail in the printed version and make it readable to boot. Note that this could even save bandwidth for the server, as the resolution independant format's instructions on how to draw the map very well could be smaller than the pre-rasterized image.
johnmeacham, Mar 30 2002

SVG http://www.w3.org/G...s/SVG/Overview.htm8
"SVG is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML...." [bristolz, Mar 30 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       It's not a "gift horse". You pay for it by looking at advertising.   

       There doesn't seem to be a universally supported resolution independent geometry standard. (As [bristolz] points out, SVG is addressing this; but it's not yet widely supported enough for e.g. mapquest to switch to it. Yeah, yeah, chicken and egg, I know.) Browser support for embedded PDF and Postscript sucks.   

       Some systems work around the problem by offering a separate "printable version" of the display; given the current browser limitations, I think that's a good compromise.
jutta, Mar 30 2002

       jutta, I agree with your "printable version" observations. Having been through a period of much map-printing, I think they handle the task nicely.   

       And I'm not about to sit and wait for a 1200dpi image file to download, even on a high speed connection. For a map, I don't see the need for that kind of resolution.
waugsqueke, Mar 30 2002

       Is SVG not up to this task?
bristolz, Mar 30 2002

       Well that's why a vectorized format is being proposed, waugsqueke. It would require less data to be sent than a raster image... and is actually more flexible in that it's not particular about any resolution at all, actually.   

       However, I would be concerned about delivery issues. I routinely use Lexis, and I can have documents pulled up there 'printed' as PDFs. For a twenty or thirty page document of nothing more complex than text, it takes a couple of minutes for the file to be prepared. While there are likely similar issues with whatever they're already using to generate bitmapped graphics on the fly, it could have a tangible impact.
cpt kangarooski, Mar 30 2002

       Yeah, SVG would be pretty ideal for this task. It is pretty much what it was designed for. However a good migration path that would work now is to have mapquest work the same way it does now, but add a link to a PDF printable version. PDF prints up right nice even if it doesnt always display convieniently and is quite compact and very easy to autogenerate.
johnmeacham, Mar 30 2002


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