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Using Maps in Your Slideshows

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Enhancing Your Presentations with the Map Assistant

Dive into the dynamic world of maps with our comprehensive guide, designed to enhance your slideshow presentations. By understanding and utilizing our detailed map tools, you can effortlessly illustrate your travels, highlight specific locations, and create animated travel routes that bring your journeys to life. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on the various features and customization options available within our Map Assistant. Let’s embark on this cartographic journey to elevate your slideshows and engage your audience.

How to get start with the Map Assistant?

To open the Map Assistant start by selecting Map Assistant… from the Slideshow menu or use the shortcut and press ++4.

To edit an existing map layer, select it and open the Map Assistant again. You also can open this assistant via the layer context menu or the Edit Map & Route… button in the Map Options.

Editing Tabs

The assistant displays a large map view and three editing tabs in the sidebar on the right side: MapLocations, and Route.

Use these tabs to setup the map animations. The Map tab controls the overall map area and optional zoom effects. The Location tab let you add markers for specific locations. The Route tab allows to add waypoints and to create a travel route animation.

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Additionally to these settings, there are more options which control the overall appearance of the map animations outside the Map Assistant.

Map Tab

The blue frame in the map view indicates which map region will be rendered. You can move this blue frame by dragging it. Drag the corner points or edges of the blue frame to resize it. A label will always display the map dimensions in pixels.

If you scroll or zoom the map view, the blue frame may move outside the visible area. Click on Reset to Visible to move the blue frame to the currently visible region.

If you want to add a zoom effect to your map, it should be a little bigger than the Stage size of your slideshow, or pixels will get blurry when zooming in. An example: for a 4k slideshow (3840 × 2160) and a 10% zoom range the map should be at least 4224 × 2376 pixels in size. Simply setting the Zoom Range slider to 10% automatically takes care of that.

Map Style

You can choose from a four different map styles or you can upload your custom style.

The visual appearance of the rendered map can later be customised by applying layer effects. The various combinations of map style and layer effects takes a bit of experimentation to find the exact right match.

Locations Tab

The Locations Tab is designed to let you highlight specific places on your map presentation. The spots are displayed as circular dots and are always visible on the map.

There are a few ways to mark a location:

  • Simply click on the map where you want to add a dot.
  • Alternatively, right-click on your desired spot and choose “Add Location”.
  • Click on Import GPX Waypoints… to load the waypoints from a GPX file. This is a file format that records GPS data. Any recorded tracks in this file will be ignored and only single waypoints will be added.

Removing a Location: Changed your mind about a spot? Right-click on its dot and choose “Delete Location”.

With the Locations Tab, it’s super easy to pinpoint all the places you’ve been to, making your slideshow both informative and visually appealing.

If you want a label for a location you currently have to add a separate text layer above the map layer and position it next to the location dot.

Route Tab

The Route Tab lets you create an animated route. Maybe you want to show the paths you’ve taken during your travels. A travel route is displayed as an animated line on top of the map. You have two options to create a travel route:

Creating a route animation

  • Manual Creation: Prefer to draw it yourself? Click on the map to start your route and keep clicking to trace your entire journey.
  • Using a GPX File: If you have a GPS device, fitness watch, or use certain online tools, they might give you a GPX file. This file records your travel path. Just import it here for an instant route on your map.

Importing an existing GPX file is by far the simplest method to create a travel route.

Edit a route

You can easily edit your existing route. A route is based on Route Points and Waypoints. Route Points are simple positions to control the route but during animation they become invisible. Waypoints control the route in the same way, but they are visible during animation.

  • Want to adjust a point on your path? Just drag it to the right position.
  • To delete a point, hold the key and click on it, or access the context menu with a right-click on the point.
  • For curves, hold the key and drag a segment of your route.
  • Right-click on any point to change “Opacitiy from here” to change opacity of the remaining route.
  • Right-click on any point to change Waypoint.

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To create curves, hold the key and drag a segment of your route.

Map Options

Route Segment

Here you can define which part of the route gets displayed. Usually you want to display the whole route (0%- 100%), but for multi-day routes, you may want to animate just part of the route. In this case change the Start and End values until you see the correct segment in the Stage.

If you chose to display a segment for the second or third part of a route, you can optionally display the previous segments of the route with reduced opacity. This helps to see current segment in the context of the overall route.

The Animation Speed curve define when and how fast the travel route is animated. If for example you want the map the be visible for a while before that animation starts, and the map to be visible after the route animation ends, then choose a speed curve something like this:

Route Head

If you want an animated icon at the head of your travel route, then click on one of the included icons.

  • Click on the dashed outline to select no icon.
  • Click on any of the included icons to select it.
  • Click on … to load your own icon. We recommend using a PNG file with alpha.

Depending on the icon you chose, you need to set a couple of options:

  • Check “Rotates” for icons that should orient along the travel route. This is useful for icons that are seen from above, like the airplane, car topview, or the arrow.
  • Check “Flips” for icon that should always appear upright, like persons, ships, etc. “Flips” will make sure they will change their left/right orientation depending on the travel direction.
  • Check “Colorize” if you want to give the icon a color other than black.

Route Style

Here you can select the color, line style and width of the travel route line, and of waypoints or location points. The size of waypoints should be larger than the line width to clearly stand out. You can also set different colors for waypoints to differentiate them from the route line.

Effects

Color Correction, Black & White, Sepia, and Watercolor can be used to modify the visual appearance of a map layer. This requires some degree of experimentation to achieve the desired look. Here are a couple of examples.

By curating your maps with precision and creativity, your slideshows will not only narrate but visually captivate and transport your viewers into the heart of your adventures. Whether pinpointing locations or animating vast travels, our Map Assistant ensures you have the tools to tell your story with elegance and clarity.

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