Trans Australia Trails - Share your GPS Tracks

Discussion in 'Australia' started by PeterWebtrax, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    I think once we make the uploading of tracks a little easier we can start promoting it more then.

    Re types of tracks, there's not really any rules at the moment. The hope is it will cater for everyone's needs, from one day loops, weekend trips, to the full blown 'trans australia trail'.

    We'll probably need to get the tagging system worked out better to make it easy for people to search for just the type of trail they want. Eg, there is a 'loop' tag, so if you are in Sydney and want a short loop ride you should be able to search for 'Sydney' and set the tag to 'loop' to get a selection.

    Currently there are a lot of 'location' tags in the tag list, which are probably superfluous as they can be found by searching on the title or description. So might try to cull them down to a smaller, more useful set.

    Also I have gone through and tried to standardise the naming of the tracks, so they reference Start location, location 1, location, 2, etc, end location. Mkes it much easier to browse down the list and get a good idea of where each track goes. Will be especially important once we start to get lots of tracks going from A to B via different routes.

    Re the offer of help, thanks, I will get back to you via PM. I certainly need some. Only reason I've got back into it lately is that I've got rid of all my outstanding jobs and just doing something for myself for a while.

    GPS knowledge would be great, as they all seem to do something completely different when saving tracks in various formats. Took me days to get a single set of conversion parameters that would bring them down to something like a standard format.

    Cheers
    Peter
    #81
  2. V8R

    V8R Been here awhile

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    nice work guys, i stumbled over this again the other day. keep it coming :)
    #82
  3. nazza

    nazza Trouble Supporter

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    Good job guys! I will probably use it from time to time so will link to it on my new blog / site :D
    #83
  4. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Version 3 has arrived.

    Ok, so it's 5 weeks since Version 2 went up. I did say 3-4 before Version 3. That's pretty good given my track record for delivering software.

    First things first. Many thanks to the over 100 people who have gone to the trouble of registering on the site. I was surprised when I saw the number. You don't need to register to find tracks, so it's a good number.

    What's changed you say?

    You can now upload your GPS tracks direct from (almost) any type of GPS, so no more hassle manually converting your files into GPX format so we could process it.
    Courtesy of GPSBabel (http://www.gpsbabel.org/), when you upload your file, we should be able to recognise the type and do the appropriate conversion. There are over 50 different file types supported.

    Now obviously we don't have 50 different GPSs to test this shizzle with, so what do we need now? We need you! Get your Garmins, TomToms, Magellans and IGN Rando(!)s out, upload a track to your PC, then put it in to TAuT.

    There is a new option in the 'Edit tracks' list to quickly view just the track you have uploaded, so you will be able to see if it gets converted properly.

    If it does, all well and good, if not, contact me (attach the file to your message) and I'll try to see what the problem is.

    The system tries to work out what type of file it is from the extension on the file name, eg .gdb is Garmin, but there are some that it can't work out, so you may need to choose the appropriate type from the menu supplied.

    If this works well, we could even go 'live' soon.

    Cheers
    Peter

    PS If you've forgotten the address it is:
    http://transaustraliatrail.com.au/
    #84
  5. Silky

    Silky Awaiting Baby...

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    Hi Pete,

    I'm getting a few "Unable to display track" errors coming up.

    The first track and the Colo Heights to Bilpin are two, third track I tried worked.
    #85
  6. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Hmmm, that 'Alice' track has had some problems loading at various times, but not sure if it is related to being the first track loaded, or the track itself.

    Then if one fails to load, the next one usually fails as well, which is probably a bug on my part. Will look into it. Colo heights should definitely load ok. Try repeating the load and see if it comes through the second time.

    I have checked all the tracks and they do all display, but I might have to increase the timeout on the first one loaded.

    If others have the same problem could you post here.

    Cheers
    Peter
    #86
  7. holmesie

    holmesie I like stuff...

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    I was trying last night, and the Birdsville, Simpson Desert, Alice Springs track won't appear - I just see some flashing flag icons on a world map.

    Like the site though/ Thumbs up!
    #87
  8. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Couple of changes/fixes.

    The 'Alice' track was a bit too large for GoogleMaps to handle reliably. I thought I was slimming them down, but I wasn't. I am now. It may mean that a tight, short track may not appear to exactly follow the actual path, but it is pretty close.

    It doesn't affect the original GPS file, just the display on the map.

    So 'Alice' should display reliably now. Tell me if it doesn't.

    The 'Birdsville' track was displaying a whole set of unrelated gumpf, eg Garmin Offices around the world, and a trip to Bali. I've edited the track to remove this stuff, so it should be ok now.

    It does highlight though, that you need to be careful with what you upload. You are making a precise record of your movements available to the public. So if you switch on your GPS as you leave home, you will be broadcasting your home address to the world. Not an issue if you don't care, but if you do, remember to edit the track to get it started from some generic point.

    I've also updated the track view page to look exactly like the 'find a track' page, so you can see the waypoints etc.

    And, big change, the track colour is now plain old red. It is the best compromise that a colour-blind old fart like me can find that will display on all 3 backgrounds, ie Map, Map with terrain, and Satellite. If you think another colour would be better, let me know.

    Cheers
    Peter
    #88
  9. holmesie

    holmesie I like stuff...

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    Birdville,Simpson,Alive track working now. I like the red, easy to see on all background. nice work Peter :thumbs
    #89
  10. APC Rally

    APC Rally Banned

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    Could someone please give me any advice . I down loaded the gps babel but it did not make a difference.
    #90
  11. slowbike smallpenis

    slowbike smallpenis Tester of Tooheys Old

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    Nice picture of George on the GS there Pete ...
    #91
  12. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I think google has an API for changing what gets displayed based on the zoom level? Perhaps you could show the fully detailed path when zoomed in close?
    #92
  13. alexgg

    alexgg Been here awhile

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    great site. I tried to check few tracks and dont understand the difficulty level. What does it mean? Ok Ok I know BUT last time few folks suggested me to take shortcut to the highway telling me that THIS TRACK IS EASY. They sought that I am on big bike R1200GSA. Well, it was bad joke and I was swearing in all knowing languages trying to get out of that easy track. May be it could be a good idea to add type of the bike that can get through the track?
    #93
  14. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    Yeah, and also even though I ride a bike that can go just about anywhere I don't always have off road tyres fitted and would like to know beforehand if I need to be running knobbies.
    #94
  15. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

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    That site is fantastic. I can see alot of work went into it.
    Been after something like this for ages.

    A feature i'd suggest would be a link up tool, say if you want to ride from Sydney to Perth, perhaps it would look up all the submitted tracks and link them together to form 1 big trip with the best stuff to see on the way?

    I'll be submitting some GPX files of my interesting adventures over the coming days :)
    #95
  16. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Can you give me a bit more detail?

    Are you clicking on the last icon before the name of the track, or one of the 'GPX' links in the popup info windows?

    What web browser are you using, and what version?

    The GPX files all have the '.gpx' extension on them, so when you click it should ask you if you want to save or open the file. Save it, don't open it. If you try to open it, it will depend on what program is capable of opening .gpx files, and your machine may be silly enough to try using Word.

    You shouldn't need the GPS babel program. We use it to convert the files when they are uploaded to the site.

    Cheers
    Peter
    #96
  17. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Yes, it does if you are drawing the tracks yourself, but I am using their KMLOverlay feature, which has limited capabilities. Doing it myself is next on the list.
    #97
  18. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Yes, one of the problems is that many people don't seem to be changing the default setting from '3 Moderate'. So, doesn't matter what the scale is if they don't choose an appropriate one.

    I picked a 5 level scale as it was relatively easy to describe, rather than relying on a number, eg 1-10, where people's ideas may differ. It is meant to be generic, ie not specific to a particular type of bike. Ie, a 'difficult' ride would be considered difficult regardless of what bike you used.

    There is a similar problem with the 'track type' classification. Should we use percentages, or more generic descriptions like we have.

    I don't have any good answer.
    Cheers
    Peter



    #98
  19. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    I still smile looking at that photo with Lorraine left behind while George did the mud. She had to walk all the way across that one, and some mongrel in a 4WD drove straight past and didn't offer to pick her up.

    Which reminds me, I've been meaning to ask for contributions for the banner photo. I'm sure George won't mind sharing the banner spot with others.

    So if anyone has any photos they think suitable, send them through.

    Cheers
    Peter
    #99
  20. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Yes, not sure I can physically join the tracks, but I envisage using the 'tags' to do something similar. Ie, the tag for 'Across Aus, East West' should bring up only those tracks people think are suitable to be part of a cross-country journey.

    I guess this was half the reason I designed the site this way, so that you could pick and choose tracks from the list to join them together on the map and make a good journey out of it. None of the other sites offered this.

    Cheers
    Peter