Major kudos to BGS for making their 1:50,000 geological maps available online including via a WMS Service.
I’ve been struggling with scanning BGS maps and importing them into Mapyx Quo for a while. Its an arduous process and the scanned maps contain the roads, placenames etc as well as the OS topographic map I have in Quo so its not as pleasing to use as it could be.
I was thus motivated to write a little Windows .Net programme to access the BGS WMS and automate the import into Quo. The process is not completely automated (partially because Quo uses a non-XML file for storing the user-loaded maps) but is still quite simple.
The programme is not as polished as it could be – its good enough for me – and has only been written with the BGS service in mind (although it could well work with other services).
I am making the Windows installer (I use XP still) available (no warranty blah blah) but please do not distribute it (refer people to this web address instead): download installer (about 350k)
Usage is simple:
- In Quo set the coordinates to WGS 84 decimal degrees
- Right-click and copy the location of interest to the clipboard
- Paste it into WMS2Quo (my programme)
- Choose which layers you want. e.g Bedrock and Superficial (bedrock is the default)
- Click “Fetch”. This uses the geonames service to find the name of a nearby location. This will be used in the name of saved files. You can edit/change this in a text-box.
- (the segment of the geological map should appear)
- Save the map and a Quo calibration file
- In Quo “Explorer”, select the “Loaded Maps” tab and use the document-with-green arrow icon to import the map image. This will cause the image AND saved calibration file to be read. I usually now change the transparency to 80%. You should see the geological map in Quo.
- You can “query” the map one layer at a time to find the kind of rock (etc) at a given point by clicking the mouse on the image. This information is remembered and can be saved out as a GPX file containing “waypoints” for each location. Import this into Quo and set it to show the waypoint “note” and you will get geological labels showing.
There is a “settings” button which can be used to alter the save location, image size etc. Take care and NB that the BGS WMS server will sometimes return a blank image if your image size/map size combination are out of its range. A known bug also means you need to restart the programme if you change the save location. I recommend you change the save location as the first thing you do. Also, watch out for your firewall blocking web access; if you get an error on “Fetch” this is the first place to investigate.
If you would like the C# source code for the “WMS2Quo” app please contact me. Similarly, I’d like to hear of any bugs (you know what I mean by “like”).