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Old 11-11-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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Boondocking Map Help Needed

I've always thought it would be helpful to be able to look at a digital state highway map with boondocking spots identified by digital pins. Pick a state like Texas from the national map, a map of Texas pops up with Boondocking spots identified by a digital pin. Pick a pin and it gives info about the boondocking spot. This would be great for plannning a trip. I have no idea how to pull it off. Can anybody offer some guidance or thoughts?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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Using Google Earth, locations can be marked and saved as a .kmz file. This is one of the allowed filetypes for uploading here at the forums. I have attached an example, the intersection that is the official address for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I work in the building on the southeast corner of 28th & University.

If I had added a pushpin symbol to the marker, it would show up whenever I opened Google Earth. This place is loaded into temporary places when the file is opened and the user has the option of saving it.

You could create the pushpin markers in Google Earth and save the locations as .kmz files. There would be no monetary cost to you or others.

Others may want to discuss opportunity costs on another forum.
Attached Files
File Type: kmz University of Arkansas at Little Rock.kmz (675 Bytes, 131 views)
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
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Awsome! I gave it a try and figured it out pretty quick! I've started a map of Texas, using standard Google Maps "Points" to identify Boondocking locations. Will get back when I have the state mapped and we'll figure how to post it. Great stuff!
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:08 AM   #4
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Great! I look forward to it. I think there is still free parking with electric in Dumas.

One caveat, Trains! Only half as many as Dalhart, though.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:28 AM   #5
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Here you go...it's been done...with tons of info on most all public camps with space for RVs. You can even get this same info on an iPhone/ipod Touch application as well...enjoy...

All State Campgrounds, National Park and Forest, many near lakes and rivers, California Oregon Washington Wisconsin Michigan New York Florida Pennsylvania Texas Others
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the hook up! It is basically the same concept as I envisioned but with state and national parks instead of boondocking locations. I'll get back to this thread after I have posted all the Texas boondocking spots along I-10 to my map and we can give it a trial run to figure out how to best refine it.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:07 AM   #7
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The State/National Park and Forest site is a great resource, and I love the idea of adding boondocking sites throughout the country.

We have no skills to help set this up, but may have some boondocking sites to give to those with the expertise.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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just a novice, here, when it comes to KMZ files. Could we have a forum section under the current boondocking threads that keeps a file for each state?

How easy is it to add new points to a KMZ file? Like, get an additional set of points for a state from someone and have a moderator "insert" them into the archived state file?

I use a program called OziExplorer (www.Oziexplorer.com, about $100 for a license, this is a super excellent program if you are interested in digital mapping) for moving map in my tow vehicle. Great program. Many free maps are available and you can scan your own maps into it. All the USGS raster maps are directly useable in Ozi, as well as coastal navigation BSB charts. You can also get FAA sectionals, maybe a little bit dated, but still useful. If anyone is interested, I have a complete set for the 11 western states and a more modest set for the 48 conus states, some southern Canada, and the AlCan highway up to and including SE Alaska. Northern Mexico (down to Mexico City), too.

Ozi can import/export waypoints from a Google Earth KML file. I'm going to run a little test and see how much attached info can be exchanged in this format.

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:08 AM   #9
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Ok, now I'm stuck. I created a map in Google Maps using the "My Maps" function. It's doing a fine job of remembering what I put in, but I have no idea where the data is stored and in what file type. I do know I can email it to someone, but don't know how to just isolate the file for storage and retrieval. If someone want's to look at what I have so far, PM me and I'll email it to you.
I just determined that I have created a .KML file to my "documents" folder.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
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With Google Maps, the data stays at the Google mothership. I haven't figured out a way to Save As to my local computer either. A way to export from Maps to your local computer for use in Earth while disconnected would be really useful. Or even better, into a common file format GPS units could import also.

We have a shared map with a few friends with a huge number of Must See Sights based on the travel tales here and else where, but at this point we need to plug them in the GPS before we leave.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:48 AM   #11
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OK, I did the experiment in Ozi. I put three waypoints on the map in Utah, named them, and entered some descriptive text. Here' how they appeared in Ozi (small scale, then larger scale, then with the "properties" window open).

Click image for larger version

Name:	utah-11.jpg
Views:	130
Size:	537.3 KB
ID:	90749 Click image for larger version

Name:	utah-10.jpg
Views:	125
Size:	435.9 KB
ID:	90750

Click image for larger version

Name:	utah-10-window.jpg
Views:	124
Size:	402.0 KB
ID:	90751

Here's how they appeared in Google Earth when exported from Ozi, just as waypoints and then after double-clicking on a pushpin.

Click image for larger version

Name:	google-E.jpg
Views:	116
Size:	698.6 KB
ID:	90752 Click image for larger version

Name:	google-E-window.jpg
Views:	139
Size:	770.6 KB
ID:	90753

When you open the file in Google Earth, it zooms to the first waypoint in the list, so you have to zoom back to see the location of all the waypoint. I don't know how many characters you can put into the descriptive text, but quite a few, enough for detailed directions to the location.

The following is the text in the KML file for one of the exported waypoints (just for those who are interested). The pink text is user entered. The coordinates are automatic from where you graphically clicked the waypoint. It also appears that the waypoint is time tagged. This isn't relevant for manually entered points, but Ozi can convert GPS points to waypoints, so for those who are interested in coordinating their digital photos (set the clock in your camera!), this could do that, too.


<Placemark>
<name>WICKIUP</name>
<description>Exit 127, north side. Many spaces in the Pinon trees. See a photo at www.mindseyephoto.com/wickiup</description>
<styleUrl>#waypoint</styleUrl>
<Point>
<coordinates>-110.6526144,38.8949921,0.000000</coordinates>
</Point>
<end>
<TimeInstant><timePosition><time>2009-11-12T16:21:03Z</time></timePosition></TimeInstant>
</end>
</Placemark>

The full file is uploaded here as a .txt file. All you need to do to convert it back to a .kml is change the extension. The .kml file seems to be a native text file. Just click on the link below to save the file to your computer.

OZI KML file.txt

Happy mapping,
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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here are two examples of how the waypoint looks in two different maps, the free Utah state highway map and the USGS 1:24,000 topo maps.

Click image for larger version

Name:	ut state.jpg
Views:	122
Size:	428.0 KB
ID:	90756 Click image for larger version

Name:	ut-usgs.jpg
Views:	123
Size:	616.5 KB
ID:	90757

Happy boondocking!
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:58 PM   #13
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I've decided to take my approach into a slightly different direction. I'm not feeling all that altruistic on this venture so I'm going to offer to sell, buy, or trade state boondocking maps with others who are willing to make maps for their own state using Google Maps - My Maps. Creating all those "Cheap or Free" postings took hours and hours of time and most people wondered why "their" favorite spot was overlooked. Or they got fussy when the spot they tried wasn't manicured like a state park.

So here's the deal. If you have a state you want to swap for my map of Texas when it's complete, then please PM me. If you have nothing to swap, but still want my state, PM me and we'll negotiate a price. This is just I-10 on my Texas Map:
<Texas Boondock Spots - Google Maps>

H
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:12 PM   #14
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This is good. Nothing like good ole' capitalism to make things happen. I'll get back to you when I get a decent set of waypoints entered! I know of what you speak when you say hours...

Just for kicks, here's the text version of the locations for members who I consider to be "active." Forums-western members.txt It's 191 names. Just change the extension back to .kml and open it in Google Earth. I expect the same bee-aches about what "active" means. (See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...ity-58463.html)

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