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Is there any internet map source (zoomable, tiled, i.e. "google like") with good display of rivers? I.e. well labelled even on larger scales? So that I'm for example able to track Donau river (with label) on scale like this.

  • Basic google map is just terrible, rivers are not well displayed, often lost on larger scales, and in 90% cases not labelled.
  • OpenStreetMap - similar, furthermore they denote roads as blue (!!!) which is even more confusing! (really bad practice)
  • OpenCycleMap - even worse...

Thanks in advance!

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for whole world? or do u have a particular country in mind? –  Simon Apr 24 '12 at 11:10
    
@Simon, I have Europe & Africa in mind... but the more general the better. –  Tomas Apr 24 '12 at 11:13
    
Please define track. Do you just mean visually by looking at labels along the blue riverlines? This GIS stuff can do networking you know, think google directions, but with rivers. So click a river and it goes and selects all upstream/downstream for you. –  Simon Apr 24 '12 at 12:09
    
@Simon, with "track" I mean just by eye. The tracking you speak about, is it somehow available via google maps? –  Tomas Apr 24 '12 at 16:51
    
Short answer is no - With native Google Maps API does not offer any sort of routing with rivers. Your Q does not specify that your restricted to using Google. –  Simon Apr 25 '12 at 10:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

With your requirements being 'google-like' I would recommend taking a look at The National Geographic basemap, available via ArcGIS Online.

Although the basemap is not designed specifically with hydrology in mind, it has more emphasis on natural terrain and also has good labelling (including rivers). Maps like Google/Bing/OSM usually have more focus on features such as urban areas and roads.

Take a look to see if it meets your needs.

enter image description here

Cannot be argued that National Geographic do some sexy cartography.

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This one is simply great, thanks Simon! Definitely must put this one to my google map application. –  Tomas Apr 24 '12 at 16:54
    
U do not mention that you are restricted to using the Google Maps API in your Q. If you are, then this is not the correct Answer. In ur Q you ask for 'internet map sources' –  Simon Apr 25 '12 at 10:22
    
Simon, I didn't mention it intentionally :-) As you see, people get confused if they get too many facts. Why it's not a correct answer? Works perfectly in google api. –  Tomas Apr 25 '12 at 10:53
    
Simon, your answer is just great - exactly what I needed! –  Tomas Apr 25 '12 at 10:56
    
@Tomas id be interested to hear how you got that ArcGIS Online cached map in the google API. Did you use this: arcgis.com/home/webmap/… –  Simon Apr 25 '12 at 12:51

Maybe you could do this with a custom styled google map (via http://gmaps-samples-v3.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/styledmaps/wizard/index.html) :

enter image description here

or you create a custom OSM map via http://maps.cloudmade.com/editor (you need a login for that).

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thanks @chriserik, nice idea, but you've clearly shown the limits of the basic google map (maybe styling the OSM would yield better result?) –  Tomas Apr 24 '12 at 16:53

I think the best option would be to try and find a WMS service that has world rivers on it and use that in a GIS (i.e. QGIS, gvSIG, uDig etc) overlaid with other general mapping provided by either another web-service or your own local data.

Some possible starting places (I've not tested them myself) might include:

Etc. A search for "WMS world rivers" should probably work (where I got those from).

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thanks Jonathan. –  Tomas Apr 24 '12 at 17:45

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