Converting Google Maps into something Useful

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by klebel, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. klebel

    klebel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    643
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    OK so one of the most awesome features of Google maps in my mind is that I can create a start and stop point and then quite literally DRAG the route line to whatever funky fun looking forest service road I find that looks fun. It on the fly will rebuild the route and show the path. For in the Northwet where there are 1000's of forest service roads this is amazing. I can drag the middle of the route to the far end of a maze of forest service roads and it will automatically do the routing asap. I built what looks to be a pretty d@mn cool loop of the olympic mountain national park in Google maps that is 90% gravel and 10% blacktop. Is there anyway to export this so that I can use it in Garmin Mapsource so that I can upload the route to my Garmin 60 CSx???

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    P.S. - If anyone wants to see the route here it is.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=...7237,-123.431396&spn=1.39094,3.24646&z=9&om=1
    #1
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,383
    Location:
    Around Denver
    I've posted this several times already, but it's worth posting again, I guess.

    http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/gmaptogpx/

    There's a couple of different websites which explain the process (some with pics). The procedure is a little tedious the first couple of times, but after you do it more than twice, it's easy. It'll do exactly what you're looking for. And I'd be happy to help you if you need it.

    Jamie
    #2
  3. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,383
    Location:
    Around Denver
    Here's the GPX file for your route. Took about four minutes.

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,728
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    Nice route, I see considerably overlap with the Griptwister Oly circle route which is superb. But a caution that unless you actually go back and verify some of these back roads, they often don't go through, either due to changes in the road network not being reflected in the datbases that Google relies upon, or because many of these roads are private, gated, and/or closed due to washouts. These days, the forest service has very limited funds to maintain these roads so when they go, they're gone indefinitely and it may be tens of years before the databases get updated. GPS's and their electronic maps will only get you so far. So have extra gas and extra maps to be able to find alternative routes or worst case, return the way you came.

    - Mark
    #4
  5. klebel

    klebel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    643
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Hey thanks Jamie. I apologize for posting if this was talked about before. I did a search first and didnt see anything. Thanks for posting the link. I'm going to bookmark it!

    Mark, thanks for the word of warning. I don't know the griptwister routes so I dont have much to go by. I'm not surprised though. The number of roads that really go through are pretty limited. Besides for maintenance and funding issues for the roads, you also have to deal with seasonal closers. I won't be doing this route for a few months. Its a pretty high elevtaion and the snow is down below 700 ft right now. When I DO do the route I am going to take my time and take light camping gear. I am trying to get some shorter shake down runs done before I head to Prudhoe Bay, AK next July. :)
    #5
  6. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,728
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    When you get the route built and before you go, post it here and I'm sure you'll get a good idea of what will work and not. But overall, you've got a nice route that should be a lot of fun. Just don't expect it to go off like clockwork.

    - Mark
    #6
  7. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Ex-Gov

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    36,130
    Location:
    Springfield, VA
    I'm impressed. I downloaded the route and looked at the waypoints, most line up perfectly, and it recalculated to 429 miles with things going where I think they were meant to be.

    The only thing I noticed was that there were probably more waypoints than there really needed to be, at least to get Mapsource to come up with the same route consistently.
    #7
  8. klebel

    klebel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    643
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Whenever I hop on my bike I never go out with the expectation that everything will go perfectly. That is part of the "adventure" in adventure riding right? :evil

    As for the number of waypoints I put in google maps...that was for google maps use not for Mapsource. Google maps came up with all kinds of funky routes unless I added more waypoints. It also kept trying to pull me back onto the pavement. Yuck!
    #8
  9. Zombie73

    Zombie73 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    269
    Location:
    Castleton, VA
    Thats a great link Jamie. Thanks!
    #9
  10. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,383
    Location:
    Around Denver
    #10
  11. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,638
    Location:
    The Center of my Own Universe
    just used this plugin this morning, works like a charm!!!
    #11
  12. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,950
    Location:
    Nebraska
    You do know you can do basically the same thing in Mapsource..(drag the route where you want).

    I'm so used to using Mapsource (started before there was such a thing as Google Maps) I find google maps a PITA to use :dunno :gerg
    #12
  13. marco polo

    marco polo Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,253
    Location:
    Alexandria Virginia and Ottawa, Canada
    Mapsource is not particularly intuitive, but once you've "mastered" it, you can do quite a lot, like dragging and dropping a route. I'm not sure what the advantage of Google Maps is in this instance. Big pluses for Google maps are: it's free; no need to go through the hassle of acquiring map updates; and it's Web based.
    #13
  14. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,383
    Location:
    Around Denver
    How do you drag and drop a route on Mapsource?

    And to add to the Google info (thanks for bringing this thread up again, Tim) if you create a route and click on the LINK button in the upper right corner of the map, copy that link and add "&output=kml" to the end of it. When you paste it into your browser, it will prompt you to download a KML file of your route for plugging into Google Earth.

    Jamie
    #14
  15. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,950
    Location:
    Nebraska
    #15
  16. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,728
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    The tutorial is great, but if you want the cliff's notes version.... click on the route with the pointer tool to select it, then click it again and it rubber-bands to allow you to click on the via point you want the route to go through. Two stumbling blocks that trip people up: 1) you use the pointer tool throughout, not the route-builder tool; and 2) you click rather than drag.

    - Mark
    #16
  17. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,419
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    RoadTrip (the Mac version of Garmin's software) works much like Google Maps in its ability to modify routes by dragging, but I still find Google Maps easier to use. Two primary reasons for this: RoadTrip's scrolling is very slow, even on a high-end Mac Pro with tons of RAM, and it doesn't display as much map detail as Google Maps at further-out zoom levels.

    --mark
    #17
  18. marco polo

    marco polo Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,253
    Location:
    Alexandria Virginia and Ottawa, Canada
    The question has been answered, but I just wanted to add a point about Mapsource and Google Earth and that is that you can easily view, in Google Earth, a route you have created in Mapsource. Just open your route in Mapsource on your PC, click on "View" in the menu bar up top, then select "View in Google Earth". It will then open Google Earth (assuming you have it downloaded on your PC) then "fly" your route. Very interesting and sometimes even useful to see the topography you'll be riding through.
    #18
  19. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,383
    Location:
    Around Denver
    Wow. That does work. I never knew about that.

    It's not as handy as Google Maps... I like the UI much more in Google Maps, but at least it works. Good for those times when I want to put together something quick.

    Thanks!

    Jamie
    #19
  20. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    30,276
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    What if one wanted to use Google maps in some part of the world where one doesn't have Garmin map data for?

    :augie

    Would this technique work in this situation also?

    :lurk
    #20