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  • PimaMaps - Optimizing Tall and Narrow Maps

    Use the PimaMaps Export tool rather than the Print tool to have more control over the maps exported shape and size, reflecting what you see on the screen.

    North is always "up" on PimaMaps. You may find you can't get enough detail when making maps that you want be tall and narrow, such as a map to print a linear area that runs north to south. There's no way to rotate the map inside PimaMaps 90 degrees so that north is on the left or right to take advantage of your wide screen. Here are a few ideas to deal with the situation.

    The problem comes from most monitors that are wider than they are tall. We naturally make the map window about the same shape and size as our monitor. With the advent of "wide screen" monitors, this problem is even more pronounced.

    The PimaMaps viewer window can be adjusted to any aspect ratio, from short and wide to tall and skinny to accommodate exactly the area we want on our maps. The map may not fill the screen, but it will at least be the right shape (or aspect ratio). The map can then be exported with appropriate portrait or landscape orientation to best fill a printed page.

    While we can make tall and skinny maps on any monitor, on monitors that aren't "tall" enough we may find the scale changes when making the map window tall and skinny and we may not be able to see all the detail (like parcels) that we could see on a wider map. Also, orthophotos may have fewer pixels on the screen and may not print as clearly as we would like.

    What we need in this case is more screen pixels along the vertical axis. There are a few ways to do this.

    • Your monitor may actually support physical rotation to portrait orientation, although if it does, you may need to change your display properties.
    • Your advanced display settings may allow you to rotate your entire displayed desktop by 90 degrees. (ATI display drivers support rotation. nVidia and others probably do too.) Of course you'll be turning your head to read the screen, but you'll at least have the longest dimension of the monitor available for your tall and narrow map and north will appear toward either the left or right of your screen -- unless you turn your display on its side!
    • You can get more vertical (and horizontal) pixels on your screen, effectively making it larger in the vertical dimension, by following a number of techniques we suggest for getting the most detail when printing orthophotos. See Optimizing Orthophotos, Imagery and Map Details.

    While these options may be too much work or too confusing, it should be possible to export and print tall maps with PimaMaps that look just as good as the more typical wide maps.

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