Friday, May 11, 2007

Google Earth Tracking

This summer we would like for everyone that is following our progress to be able to see the trail and which shelter's we were recently at to gain some perspective of our journey. Everyone can download Google Earth for free from the Google website. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has posted GPS data on their site that are importable into google earth. Fortunately, other individuals have the same interest in the trail and have already converted this data into a centerline/shelter hybrid file for google earth. Just download the file and open with google earth and you will have not only the shelter names, yet also you will have an approximate center line for the entire Appalachian Trail. You will be able to gain an idea of not only the distance, yet also the vegetation and surroundings of the entire trail from this document. Just download Google Earth for your PC or Mac, download the hybrid .kmz file and enjoy a centerline with most of the shelters! You will find that this .kmz file orphaned some of the Appalachian Trail's shelters probably due to the sheer number of points that the GPS data and 300 shelter sites actually is. This .kml file as far as I can tell contains all of the shelter sites so that if we stay at a shelter that is not on the first document then it will probably be on here instead. Combine these shelter names and locations with the distance calculator, and you will be able to easily calculate how many miles we hiked to get from stop to stop. Hope this provides everyone with a free, easy to use solution for tracking our 2,175 mile adventure.

Here is a link to the Pacific Crest Trail .kml file from the U.S. Forest Service Data for people that are interested in that trail as well...


Spencer McKay said...

Dang, out googled and out blogged me!

Bill D said...

Garrett, I downloaded Google Earth and the shelter information. That is pretty cool. Also, thanks for the information on the distance calculator.

I look forward to following your progress.

I forwarded an email to you from Uncle Bob. I did not know that your Great Grandfather hiked Katahdin in 1925 (when he was about your age, he would have been 22).