Q: Who is Maploom for?
A: Maploom is primarily aimed at people who are not specialists in location analysis or mapping. It is designed to provide a powerful set of mapping, visualisation, analysis and reporting tools and a set of prebuilt datasets to work with. It requires no specialist software install, experts or training. That said, the data collation and automation capabilities are likely to be of inetrest more widely, including the geospatial / GIS industry.
Q: Are there plans to add more data and functionality to Maploom?
A: Yes absolutely! We have been focussing until now on developing our core platform and the terrain tools are just the start. We already have many other tools under development using a variety of mapping data and imagery. We are also launching with England but will be expanding the coverage to other countries very soon. Keep an eye on the website or follow us on Twitter @maploom, to see the latest developments.
Q: Can I get a version of the map without watermarks?
A: Yes. Registered users can export up to 50 maps without watermarks for non commercial use. This gives you an opportunity to try out the app and the number of maps you have available are shown on a counter. After this, watermarked versions will be created so you can still use the app for exploration purposes. At any point you can choose to buy a map without water marks which is a commercial product and the price will be shown.
Q: Can I use the Maploom for my work?
A: The free maps provided when you register to the Maploom App are for non-commercial use only. After the free maps are used up, maps will be water-marked and are also non commercial use. If you wish to use Maploom for commercial projects, you can chose to buy a map or data. The price of the product will be shown. If you have more specific requirements or a tailored solution for your organisation, please contact us about our Enterprise options.
Q: Why are there different choices for Elevation data inputs?
A: Elevation data is provided in different forms depending on the intended purpose. Some is detailed and designed for local use, others are coarser for use over wider areas. Moreover, different datasets may or may not include surface features such as buildings and trees. We provide a number of different elevation datasets including those flown by UK Environment Agency using LiDAR (DSM & DTM – see below) and a global dataset called ASTER GDEM (DTM only) which has been derived from satellite data. Click on the “Source” button to change the input dataset used.
Q: What do DSM and DTM mean?
A: DSM stands for Digital Surface Model and DTM stands for Digital Terrain Model. When both ground level and surface features are included these are known as Digital Surface Models (DSM) and are used in applications like telecomms and visibility modelling where modelling the surface features is important. Conversely, if you are a geomorphologist or archaeologist, you are less interested in these surface features and want to focus on the form of ground surface itself, which you can see with so-called “bare earth” models or Digital Terrain Models (DTM).
Q: Why does my map show both DSM and DTM data?
By default we use the DSM for the hillshaded relief as this picks out the surface features. You can switch between DSM and DTM for the actual main map content slope, aspect etc depending on whether you want to bring out surface features or the “bare earth”. For example, mostly one would use the bare earth (DTM) to calculate contours and to see the lie of the land. However, you can choose which you prefer for your particular application.
Q: Can I download the data?
A: Yes, but currently only by selecting the relevant commercial export option.
Q: Can I view (or download) bigger areas?
A: The Maploom app is limited to 64 sqkm / 6,400ha. If you wish to obtain bigger areas, please contact us about our Enterprise options. The embedded preview version of the app (no registration required) is limited to 1,000ha.
Q: Can I use the LiDAR data for depths in water features?
No. LiDAR data uses a laser mounted on a light aircraft to measure the distance from the aircraft to the ground, from which land elevations can be calculated. This method is called laser altimetry with the laser signal being bounced back to the aircraft’s collector from the ground. Unlike hard surfaces such as land and buildings, the laser signal gets scattered on water surfaces, which is why water areas such as lakes, rivers etc. have speckle / noise and gaps. The data is not reliable in these circumstances. However, other wet areas (e.g. exposed estuarine mudflats) should in most cases be free of speckle away fromt the water margin and indeed, are specifically flown at low tide for flood management purposes.
We have chosen (at this stage) not to try to smooth out or remove these areas, as this gives greater control to users who are planning to use the data in other applications. In addition, we plan to include bathymetric data showing water depths which are gathered using different methods (echo sounders, satellite sensors etc) and are more suited to underwater applications.
Q: What is a Raster dataset?
A: Raster is a data file format and is like a digital image in that it is made up of a grid of pixels. In location data, each pixel has a value (or sometimes multiple values in the case of aerial imagery where you might get one value for the different image colour bands Red, Green, Blue (RGB). In terrain models the pixel value is the elevation height but rasters can also be used to store other model values where the value changes continuously over space such as temperature, pollution concentrations etc.
Q: How up-to-date are the data?
A: We aim to keep our curated datasets as current as possible and where feasible have scripts to automatically harvest data from the provider when they are updated. In other cases we regularly check for updates. For further information about the currency (and other information) of the datasets, you can explore via the “help” button. Currently for UK elevation data we mostly use the Environment Agency’s LIDAR composite datasets which maximise coverage but may be based on multiple images spanning several years. We are continuing to work on our metadata system which will provide further information on the date ranges where possible.
Q: Can I run tools for multiple sites?
A: ***Coming soon***as a commercial option.
Q: Can I define my own area to run the tools on?
A: Yes you can draw and area of interest and ***Coming soon*** you will be able to upload a file.
Q: Are there other elevation functions available?
A: ***Coming soon*** as commercial options.
Q: Are there other Map templates I can use?
Currently we provide a standard template but will be adding further templates in due course.
Q: How do I provide feedback / report bugs?
A: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How do request a new feature or dataset?
A: email us at email@example.com We review all customer comments and feedback and use this to help us develop the roadmap for the platform.