RoseLine FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Hmmm. 40 "best" peaks. What do you mean by "best"?
A: The program gives a numerical "prominence" score to each peak. The higher scores are given to peaks that stick up more. We measure the vertical angle from the top of a peak to where it is obscured by the foreground, so generally closer peaks stand out more and make the "best" list.  We also give higher scores to taller, distant mountains that tend to stand out amongst the others.

Q: Help! There are too many peaks !
A: Some viewpoints can see over a 1000 distant summits. Play with the filter settings to limit the number of visible summits. If you find that you've gotten "lost" in the filters and there are too many peaks, press the "Reset Filters" button. The display will be reset to the 40 best peaks.

Q: Why do some peaks have a state and county in brackets following their name?
A: The database contains all the peak names from your state plus an approximate 150 mile extension into the surrounding states. If a peak's name is not unique within that group, then the state and county where the peak resides are added to distinguish them. If the name is still not unique then "_1" or "_2" is appended to the name.

Q: What is the difference between "naked eye" viewing and "binocular" viewing?
Mountains that only stick up a small amount may technically be visible but for practical purposes are probably not (given weather, haze, lighting, and the accuracy of the human eye). The cutoff is fairly arbitrary. See the documentation for further description. When you select "binocular" viewing the program will list mountains that stick up even the tiniest amount above their surroundings.

Q: The Google map is slow to scroll and adjust.
A: The adjustment controls mainly allow you to adjust the map for display and printing purposes. They aren't meant so much for exploring.

Q: The Google map has disappeared and now I only see a little map covered by a big red 'X'.
A: Google limits the total different map requests to about 1000 per day to avoid abuse of their mapping system. If you see a big red 'X' you have exceeded that limit.

Q:The elevations you display for peaks don't always seem to be correct.
A: The peak names and elevation data used by the program are derived from USGS data. Some individual peak elevations are modified to match the elevation data base and so may be different from other published elevations. Sometimes the geographic community is not in agreement re the elevation of a peak and sometimes the USGS data is simply in error.

Q: I can't find the peak I'm looking for in the viewpoints list.
A: It's possible the peak may be recorded under a different name or spelling. The peak list is not exhaustive and some peaks may be missing. You can use the "Create Custom Viewpoint" button to add any missing viewpoints.

Q: I can't find the peak I'm looking for in the Visible Targets list.
A: If you are pretty sure that a particular peak is visible from your chosen viewpoint but it doesn't appear in the Visible Targets list it is probably being excluded by the current filter settings. To make sure that the list is showing you ALL the visible peaks, first click the "Reset Filters" button. Check "binoculars".  Uncheck "Limit display to nn best peaks". The list will now include EVERY peak visible no matter how distant, faint or obscure. Please note that minor summits below 3500 feet are never included in the Visible Targets list.

Q: Where can I get the latitude and longitude values to use to create a custom viewpoint?
A: The easiest way is to go to and navigate to your point of interest. You should zoom to the maximum level and then right click on your viewpoint. Select "What's here?" and Google will put the latitude and longitude values in the search box at the top of the screen. You can cut/paste these values when you create your custom viewpoint.

Q: I thought latitude and longitude had degrees and minutes and seconds?
A: They do. But an alternative format is decimal. For instance a latitude of 48.51542 is the same as 48 degrees, 30 minutes and 56 seconds. When you create a custom viewpoint you can use either format. There are other formats as well but these are the two that the program allows.

Q: The "Prominence greater than" filter never seems to be enabled.
A: This filter is only enabled if you uncheck the "Limit display to nn best peaks" checkbox in the upper right.

Q: OK I don't care whether they are hard to see, I just want to know every single mountain that is visible.
Click the "Reset Filters" button. Check "binoculars".  Uncheck "Limit display to nn best peaks". The list will now include EVERY peak visible no matter how distant, faint or obscure.  Please note that minor summits below 3500 feet are never included in the Visible Targets list.

Q: What does "[User]" mean when it appears after a viewpoint name?
A: These are custom viewpoints. The program comes with some predefined custom viewpoints and you can create more: Press the "Create a custom viewpoint" button.

Q: I set the filter to show the 40 best but it sometimes shows less than that?
A: The way the filter works is that it scores the visible peaks and then shows the 40 with the highest scores. If the 40th peak and the 41st peak have the same score it would result in 51 peaks displayed. So in this particular case it shows peaks using the next best score which results in a few less than 40 peaks.

Q: Is there any way to send a Google based map to someone?
A: Yes. When you create the Google map be sure to click the checkbox labeled "make this map permanent". Click "generate" and when the map appears in your browser you can "cut" the web address of the map. When you compose an email you can paste that link and send it to someone. When the email recipient clicks the link, they will see your map.

Q: I save the Google based map in my favorites and come back later and it says it has expired?
A: The Google based  maps that you create are temporary unless you click the checkbox labeled "make this map permanent". Otherwise, when you try to access the map later you will see a message telling you that the map has expired.

Q: Is there support for other means of entering latitude and longitude (universal grid coordinates  etc.) and other datums.
A: the only latitude/longitude format used by the program is decimal degrees. The only datum is NAD83

Q: How can I save the picture of a map?
A: Right click on the map itself and choose "Save picture as...".

Q: How do I save a map?
A: Before you press the "Generate Output" button be sure to click the checkbox labeled "Save this map permanently". This will cause the map to be saved permanently on the server. You must also be sure to save a link to your map or you won't be able to reference the map at a later time. User your browser save-favorite or save-bookmark feature to save a link to the map. You can also simply cut/paste the web address of the map in order to save it wherever you like.

Q: Can you show me a list of my saved maps?
A: There is no mechanism at this time to show you your saved maps. You must manage your map collection by saving favorites/bookmarks in your browser.  You can also cut/paste the web addresses of your maps and insert them in emails, on your desktop, in your file system etc.

Q: In the viewpoints list, I'm looking for a a popular hiking destination and I can't find it.
A: The viewpoints list only contains summit names. So any hiking destination that is not a summit will not be included. Also it's possible that our peak list is incomplete. There are some non-summit viewpoints included in the custom viewpoint list and you can add your hiking destination to that list as well. Click the "Create a custom viewpoint" button.

Q: There are lots of mountains near my viewpoint but the rose lines only show mountains that are far away?
A: The mostly like explanation is that the nearby mountains have elevations less than 3500 feet. Minor peaks below 3500 feet are not included among the Visible Targets. Also, you may have set your filter settings to not show nearby peaks. Click the "Reset Filters" button.

Q: Hey my favorite mountain isn't in the list of possible viewpoints?
A: The viewpoint list is derived mostly from an official USGS place names list. If your favorite mountain isn't on the list I suggest you tell them <>. Sometimes your peak may be listed under a different name or different spelling.  In the mean time you can use the "Create custom viewpoint" button to add your own viewpoint to the list.

Q: I understand that minor peaks below 3500 feet in elevation are not included in the Visible Targets list but my area of interest only has relatively low level peaks. Is there a work-around?
A: Custom viewpoints are immune from the elevation cutoff. So it may be a solution for you to create custom viewpoint for the summits you are interested in.

Q: The peak I'm looking at seems to only have visible targets on one side. Why is that?
A: There are a few reasons this could occur: 1) The peaks on the empty side are all below 3500 feet elevation. 2) A high ridgeline may be blocking the view in one direction. 3)  the viewpoint is not on the highest point and so the bulk of the mountain itself is blocking the calculation of the view. If this is a custom viewpoint you need to reposition it on the highest point. If it's a viewpoint included in the program then it is an error - please report it to us at Thank you!

Q: I have National Geographic TOPO.EXE installed but the option for TPO file output is disabled?
A: This means your TOPO.EXE installation is at least a little incomplete. Run TOPO.EXE by itself just to make sure that works ok. If it doesn't, uninstall and reinstall TOPO.EXE. If TOPO.EXE is working ok then it means that the TPO file extension isn't associated with the TOPO.EXE program. This means that windows doesn't know what to do with files whose filename ends with .TPO. This is easily fixed.

If you are using Vista or XP:
Right click on any already existing TPO file
Choose properties
Choose the "general" tab
Near the top where it says "Opens with" click the "change" button.
browse to your TOPO.EXE program install point (probably c:\program files\TOPO!) and click on the TOPO program executable file (TOPO.EXE).
Press OK twice and you're done.
Restart Rose.exe and the TPO option should now be available

For more detailed instructions see:
If you are using XP:

First you must set your system to display extensions:

  1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. In the Advanced settings box, click to clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box.
  5. Click OK.

Now follow these steps to associate TOPO.EXE with the TPO extension.

  1. Open Windows Explorer by right-clicking the Start button, and then click Explore.
  2. Click a folder that contains an existing TPO file.
  3. Right-click the TPO file and, depending on the programs installed on your computer, complete one of the following steps:
    bulletClick Open With to choose the program that you want.
    bulletPoint to Open With, and then click Choose Program to choose the program that you want.
  4. The Open With dialog box is displayed. 
    bulletIf TOPO.EXE is in the Programs list, click that program
    bulletor click Browse, locate TOPO.EXE (probably in c:\program files\TOPO!) and then click on it.
  5. Click to select the Always use the selected program to open this kind of file check box if it is not selected.
  6. Click OK.


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