Please help me print a large copy of my race route!
October 17, 2011 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Hi all, I am helping to organize a charity walk/run in Quebec and we are looking for a solution to print a large quality version of the route to have around at the race site. Do you know of any way to do this? Screenshots of a googlemap printed on legal paper are still less readable than I would like. Thanks for your help!

The route looks like this if that helps:
posted by anewnormal to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Vectorize. It might be technically possible to save the google map as SVG, but if not, you can take a cropped screenshot of your map, place it in Inkscape, and run the Trace Bitmap command on it. Then scale it up to fit the size of paper you're looking for, and it should print very nicely.
posted by pwnguin at 11:42 AM on October 17, 2011

Here's a tutorial on youtube of how to use the Trace Bitmap tool, just in case.
posted by pwnguin at 11:49 AM on October 17, 2011

There's a website, blockposters, which will take an image and split it into any number of printer paper sheets (A4 or US Letter) you request so you can print it out yourself with your own printer. It's kinda goofy 'cause there's a 1MB limit on your file, so no high-rez blowups, but this does provide for a simple DIY alternative.
posted by MustardTent at 12:20 PM on October 17, 2011

Seconding pwnguin's suggestion to vectorize. Inkscape is a great program, but if you have the standard Microsoft Office PowerPoint, you can use this program too.

The route is pretty simple, and you could really simplify it by just drawing a rectangle.

I imagine that you will have plenty of direction (i.e. arrow) signs posted along the way? Also, if I were to think about the more complicated walks (i.e. Weekend to End Breast Cancer), I think these groups relied more on the signs on the road rather than a map in their hand. Just check with the city to make sure you are allowed to post signs up! Also, use fluorescent colours maybe (i.e. neon pink arrows with a black border posted on white paper, maybe)

If you are not that familiar with using these tools or if you are pressed for time, you could always go the old-fashioned way and just draw the map nicely with a marker and photocopy that.

Good luck!
posted by bitteroldman at 12:22 PM on October 17, 2011

When I've done this, I've captured a series of screenshots while zoomed in to show sufficient detail, then used a graphics program to put those screen shots together. Then print.

At the time I worked at a large-format printer manufacturer, and printed 3ftx3ft maps of my neighborhood and town that looked great.

Maybe something like this would look good enough at legal size? Might be a starting point, anyway.
posted by chazlarson at 12:44 PM on October 17, 2011

This thing will do the image capture for you if you don't care about saving the arrow you had on your sample. I just dragged the view around and copied screenshots into
posted by chazlarson at 12:48 PM on October 17, 2011

I found this site in a previous question and it looks like it will let you specify any size you want. You could add the route "by hand" in a graphics program, but if you only need one copy, I'd print out the map and draw it in with a marker.
posted by desjardins at 10:05 AM on October 18, 2011

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