How objects look on the PC screen is determined in the map.ini file. There is some description of color, outline, thickness, font types etc for the map objects: areas, polylines, labels, points. These definitions can be modified to create custom look of the map. Please see Map look definition specification for the format of the definitions.

PCmapView program can modify existing definition or create a new ones. Typical applications:

1. Custom map was created with MMO. Look of objects was defined while creation. First, this look is very limited, second if you want modify look of complex map you should rebuilt the map. With PCmapView you can modify the look without recompiling the map and enrich the look with new elements.

2. Custom map created with MMO is joined with MapSend map. In this case look of the custom map becomes unpredictable, because there is no definitions in the MapSend suitable for your custom map. With PCmapView you can see all predefined types and assign your objects to these types, or create new definitions for your objects.

3. You don't like how objects look in MapSend, may be you don't accept some colors. You can easily change map look with PcmapView.

All this about look on the PC screen, not on the GPSR screen. To modify look on the GPSR screen, please use joinmap program (by Tim Ford) available at mobilemapper yahoo group, and read FAQs available at the same group.

Here is a simple example (may be not very nice, this was done for demonstration only):

Custom map was created with MMO, Map includes polyline object with some labels, and a point layer with the labels. While map creation green line was selected for the line, and circle was selected for the point layer:


Left image shows custom map how it was created with MMO, right image shows the same map after modification with PCmapView. Line color and thickness were changed, font properties and outline of the labels were changed, label at the line was inserted into the "shield" icon, icon at the point was replaced to a new one.

How to use

1. Run the program and select file with definitions (normally MAP\map.ini)

You will see all definitions for areas, lines and points, including your custom layers (if map was created with MMO), you can select type name of the object and see at the dropdown list type of the object, number of definition, and attributes associated with this type (i - icons, l-line, lb -label, a-area). In the figure shown you see "Freeway" definition, which is a "line" type, for the "Highway" there are 16, 17, 18, 19, 32, 33, 34 and 35 types; for 18 type (for example) there are "line", "icon" and "label" attributes. How this type looks like you can see at the preview area. Also you can select "any type" (left dropdown list), in this case you will see all definitions for the types of "area", "line", or "point".

With the property window you can see details of this type like colors, font, icons etc. For each type of the object (area, line, point) the corresponding window will appear. You can modify look of this type using this properties window, to see how label looks like you can type the text in the "Test label" field of the main window. After modification press "update" button. Since different definitions can use the same fonts and some others attributes, you will see warning message showing what types will be affected with this modification. At this stage all changes are temporary, they are not saved to the file.

If you don't want to affect predefined types you can create new type, for this press "Create new" button. New type will be created with the number next to the last existing one. If you create new type, you should also change numbers in the [GROUP] section of the map.ini file to a new ones (see example below).

Press "save" button (right-top) side of the main window, you can select new file name for the definitions, or select "=", in the later case modifications will be written to the original file.

Here is an example of creation of new type:

NewMap was created with MMO. 2 layers were created, line and point. MMO creates the definitions with the number 77 (line) and 10 (point). These types are defined in the [GLOBALOPTIONS], [LABEL_ICONS], [LABEL_FONTS] section of the map.ini file. MMO also add reference to the [SEM_TYPES], this section does not determine look of the map, needed only for the record (PCmapLook uses this record for predefined types). see Map look definition for details.


42=!Lake! 1 13 59
43=!Ocean! 1 12 66
44=!at_centerline! 1 13 77
45=!at_shelters! 1 11 10


Actual look of these layers is determined in the NewMap\map.ini file:

0=NewMap_BackgroundMap 2 0 ( 77 ) 1 ( 10 )

This means that there are 2 layers in the NewMap, layer #0 has a look of 77 type, layer #1 has a look of 10 type.

With PCmapView we created 2 new types: for the line it will have #78 (next to 77) and for the point #11 (next to 10).

Now we replace the numbers 77 to 78 and 10 to 11 in the MAP\map.ini and in the NewMap\map.ini.

Done, we see the above discussed example.

If existing types are modified, no modifications in the map.ini files are needed.