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The Northwest Trails Project GPS trails for WA, ID, OR, MT, WY, BC, AB & AK

#1 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 11:46 AM

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of:

The Northwest Trails Project!

What Is the Northwest Trails Project?
In short, the Northwest Trails Project is a community effort to record and collect GPS data for trails in the Pacific Northwest and use that data to create a publicly-available custom mapset that can be uploaded to any map-enabled Garmin GPS.

Collecting and recording trail data for use on GPS is a labor of love that I have been working on for years. I always would upload tracks to my GPS to help navigate the routes that I wanted to follow, but there are problems with using the data this way. For one, no GPS can accommodate more than a few tracks at a time. Thus, you need to know beforehand what route you want to take and, if you are talking about even a modestly sized network of trails, you have to decide which trails to cull in order for things to fit into your receiver. That's when I started thinking about custom maps for my receiver.

With custom maps like Northwest Trails, there is no longer a need to limit the number of trails loaded on the GPS (the maps use only a portion of map memory rather than a limited number of dedicated slots like tracks do). I set out making these maps for my own use and before too long realized that a lot of other people could probably use them, too. That's why I started this project.

Features
Northwest Trails is made to be "transparent", which means that when loaded with other Mapsource products or the GPSr base map the trails can be viewed at the same time as data overlaying the other maps. Northwest Trails can also be loaded directly to the GPSr on its own. Custom type definitions are used to help distinguish trail types and make them easier to see on the map than the default trail lines. These custom types include:
  • Trails: red dotted lines
  • Paved trails: maroon dotted lines
  • Unpaved roads: maroon dashed lines
  • Minor trails (game traces, etc.): thin maroon dotted lines
Coverage
The mapset currently covers the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska along with some data for British Columbia. The intent is, over time, for the coverage to expand to include thorough coverage of all trails located in the Pacific Northwest.

How Do I Get Started?
First, visit the Northwest Trails web page and download the latest version of the mapset from there. Once you have downloaded it, unzip the file and then execute the mapset installer. This program will install the map files and register the mapset with MapSource. Within MapSource a new mapset product entitled "Northwest Trails" will be available in the Product drop down selection list (or from the View | Switch to Product menu option).

The Northwest Trails mapset should overlay any other mapset present on your GPS unit. It is important to note that when you upload maps to your receiver, the existing mapset on the unit will be deleted. This means that if you want Northwest Trails to overlay City Navigator maps, for example, you will need to upload the chosen City Navigator maps along with Northwest Trails all at once. To switch between mapsets (if more than one has been loaded to your GPS) simply toggle the hide/show settings for the desired mapsets on your receiver.

How Good Is the Data?
The accuracy of the data used to create Northwest Trails varies greatly. Areas close to where I live that I have spent months working on, such as Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain, Soaring Eagle Park, etc., are quite good. Of course GPS reception can vary, collection methods can differ among individuals, etc. In addition, in order to help "flesh out" the data, I incorporated GIS data from various sources including the National Forest Service, various county agencies, and even maps that I found online. In general, you should use the maps cautiously and expect that the data to be off for any given trail.

Now I need to give the customary disclaimer: These maps are to be used for reference purposes only. The author(s) are not responsible for any inaccuracies and no responsibility is assumed for damages or other liabilities due to the accuracy, availability, use or misuse of the data presented. Installation and use of these maps is at your own risk!

This Is Great! How Can I Help?
The core of Northwest Trails is the data. The real heart of that data is tracks recorded out in the field with GPS. Since data of this accuracy is hard to come by from government and other agencies, and I cannot possibly get out there and hike all of the trails of the Northwest (although I'd like ot try!), that's where you come in! Any track data you can supply is needed and most appreciated, and will be integrated into the Northwest Trails mapset for everyone to use. This does not just mean major hiking trails, but any other data that you think would be helpful to our geocaching and hiking community: neighborhood paved trails, logging roads that don't appear on Garmin's maps, etc.

If you would like to collect and submit your track data to the project, please follow these pointers so that your effort can be as useful as possible:
  • Before you start recording track data, access the Setup menu for your GPS receiver and adjust the recording frequency and quality set of your track recording to the best available. On my unit I generally set the recording method to "Auto" and the recording interval to "Most Often".
  • Turn on the GPS receiver and allow it to have a clear view of the sky for at least 15 minutes before you begin recording. This allows the unit to connect with as many satellites as possible, which increases accuracy and helps it to maintain satellite lock.
  • Hold or place the receiver in a location where it can best receive satellite signals as you travel. Be aware of where the antenna is located and the best orientation of the GPSr for signal strength. Patch antennas like those on the eTrex models work best when oriented horizontally, while quad helix antennas like those on the 60 series receivers tend to work best when pointed straight up.
  • Avoid saving the track to the unit's internal memory before downloading. That reduces the number of points in the data and subsequently reduces the precision of the track.
  • Send me the track log with the name of the trail(s) recorded and information on the type of trail (e.g. paved trail, dirt trail, unpaved road, etc.). GPX is the preferred format, but I can convert most formats.
  • Also send along any waypoints along the route like trailheads, attractions, or summits.
Since it might be just a little while until we record all of the trails in the Northwest, it is useful to include other sources of trail data to help fill in the holes in the meantime. Thus, any information, links, etc. to any detailed trail maps or GIS datasets would be greatly appreciated. In order to use such data in the Northwest Trails project, the data should be:
  • Publicly available and free to use
  • Easy to obtain
  • Accurate and fully classified (for example, trails should have names and surface attributes, etc.)
That's it! Enjoy the maps and please post here or email me directly with any suggestions or questions.

This post has been edited by Moun10Bike: 13 May 2008 - 10:58 AM


#2 User is offline   intolerable 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 11:54 AM

Wow! Thanks for putting all that together. I look forward to trying this out and submitting data!

#3 User is offline   Shop99er 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 12:24 PM

Well, alright... but this is really going to ruin my bushwhacking. Staying on a trail without bushwhacking to a trail? I'm not sure I can do that!

#4 User is offline   Shop99er 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 12:29 PM

Well, alright... but this is really going to ruin my bushwhacking. Staying on a trail without bushwhacking to a trail? I'm not sure I can do that!

#5 User is offline   LindaLu 

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  Posted 26 March 2008 - 01:43 PM

Excellent idea!

I'll check through my saved files and see if any are useful for the project!

I just loaded it in. Looks good so far.

Just a note on saving the maps. The easiest way I've found is to start with a blank Mapsource File, upload all the maps (not waypoints, tracks or routes) from your GPS (assuming you have downloaded maps there in the past), then use the map tool to add the Northwest Trail map. Save the database as "Home Map Set" and download the entire new set back into your GPS.

My Home Map Set is a collection of street, topo, marine/tide points and now the NW Trail set.

Thanks M10B!

L.

This post has been edited by LindaLu: 26 March 2008 - 02:10 PM


#6 User is offline   Dgwphotos 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:07 PM

Never mind.

This post has been edited by Dwoodford: 26 March 2008 - 02:08 PM


#7 User is offline   hydnsek 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:32 PM

Thank you, Jon, for this excellent set of maps. It really is a labor of love, and a wonderful gift to the caching and hiking communities. I've used NW Trails a couple times at Cougar Mtn, and didn't need my paper trail map. They are that accurate and complete. I find them especially useful superimposed over topo maps. :)

Also thanks to the other beta testers, especially those who contributed additional tracks to help build out the trail network.

This is the best enhancement to my caching experience since GSAK and going paperless. ;)

#8 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:38 PM

Thank you, Abby, for reminding me to give a huge round of thanks to the beat testing team that helped me this last month! They put the mapset through its paces and helped ensure that it was working as intended on a variety of receivers.

Dwoodford, I'll look into what is possible with Magellan units. If anyone has any experience in this area, please post here or send me an email.

#9 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:46 PM

A potentially helpful tip if you have a Colorado: I put my Garmin mapsets on my SD card and load the Northwest Trails mapset into the main unit memory. This allows me to upload NWT in a few moments without affecting the other maps in my receiver.

To help illustrate, here is what the resulting map file breakdown is on my 400t:

Main Memory:
\gpsmapsupp.img - Northwest Trails
\gmapprom.img - built-in Topo 2008 mapset

Memory Card:
\garmin\gpsmapsupp.img - Garmin mapsets (City Navigator 2008, Topo Canada, et al.)


#10 User is offline   Dgwphotos 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 03:41 PM

My Meridan uses SD cards as well, and I think the higher end eXplorist models use SD cards as well. The edit was because I felt my earlier post was too whiny.

#11 User is offline   luckykoi 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:01 PM

South Mountian

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...bd-d52bbf243ae2 Mount Rose

I have track logs for most of the trails in the Southern Olympics but these are the only ones that I put directly into GPS trackmaker without saving.

If you visit my blog you will see pictures of the track log from every hike I have been on in the past year.

#12 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:32 PM

View Postluckykoi, on Mar 26 2008, 09:01 PM, said:

If you visit my blog you will see pictures of the track log from every hike I have been on in the past year.


Great! I was able to grab the tracks for the two that you linked to above; would it be possible to have you send me the saved tracks you have for your other outings?

#13 User is offline   luckykoi 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:44 PM

View PostMoun10Bike, on Mar 26 2008, 09:32 PM, said:

View Postluckykoi, on Mar 26 2008, 09:01 PM, said:

If you visit my blog you will see pictures of the track log from every hike I have been on in the past year.


Great! I was able to grab the tracks for the two that you linked to above; would it be possible to have you send me the saved tracks you have for your other outings?


Yes I will send them when I am feeling better.. I in my sick bed and typing on my lap top. It's too much effort to actually get up and boot up my desktop where I have them all stored.

#14 User is offline   luckykoi 

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:50 PM

View PostMoun10Bike, on Mar 26 2008, 09:32 PM, said:

View Postluckykoi, on Mar 26 2008, 09:01 PM, said:

If you visit my blog you will see pictures of the track log from every hike I have been on in the past year.


Great! I was able to grab the tracks for the two that you linked to above; would it be possible to have you send me the saved tracks you have for your other outings?



Here is another logging road hike track log Grisdale Hill Cache

It has been a rough winter I've had to do most of my hiking on logging roads.

#15 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:37 AM

View Postluckykoi, on Mar 26 2008, 09:50 PM, said:

Here is another logging road hike track log Grisdale Hill Cache


It turns out that that road is included in City Navigator 2008, so I will not include it in Northwest Trails (I'm trying to avoid overlap as much as possible).

#16 User is offline   nolenator 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 07:13 AM

I don't know who the beat testers were, but I was luck enough to be one of the beta testers. I used the data on my recent hike on Cougar Mountain and found them very useful. Peace, Nolenator

#17 User is offline   dsvaughn 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:41 AM

I was also one of the lucky beta testers and have provided a few trails included in the mapset. I must say that this is one of the best additions to my GPS'r. We recently hiked Squak Mountain and the trail data was wonderful. We were able to determine the most efficient route for nabbing caches and we could determine immediately where the next stage of a multi would be on our way up.
Thank You Moun10Bike for the time and effort spent on this tremendous asset to our hiking/caching community.

#18 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:27 PM

Since I got some good data last night and this morning, I went ahead and integrated it and generated a new version of Northwest Trails (version 1.01). The changes since version 1.00 are:

  • Fixed issues of trail name clipping
  • Adjustments to Tradition Lake area of Tiger Mountain
  • Added GPS data courtesy of EraSeek:
    • Trails along Olympic View Drive in Southwest County Park, Edmonds

  • Added GPS data courtesy of luckykoi:
    • South Mountain
    • Mount Rose
    • Mount Ellinor

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Forty-n-Eight:
    • Kachess Ridge
    • Kaleetan Peak
    • Some adjustments to the Mailbox Peak Trail
    • The route up McDonald Mountain
    • Additional refinement of the Rattlesnake Ridge route

Download is available from the Northwest Trails page.

#19 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:34 PM

How do I tell what version I downloaded? I think I have the newest version but can't seem to find a version number anywhere. If this is going to be updated a lot it would be nice to see what version you download last. OH BTW this is great been wanting something like this forever!!! Is there any way to have the trails a different color than the small roads? THANKS

#20 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:50 PM

View PostBabybackpackers, on Mar 27 2008, 05:34 PM, said:

How do I tell what version I downloaded? I think I have the newest version but can't seem to find a version number anywhere. If this is going to be updated a lot it would be nice to see what version you download last. OH BTW this is great been wanting something like this forever!!! Is there any way to have the trails a different color than the small roads? THANKS


As of today (version 1.01), I am naming each .zip file with the version number. I am leaving the zipped .exe the same though. Would it help if I also renamed it?

You can tell what version you have installed by looking at your registry entry: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Northwest Trails\Version.

#21 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:09 PM

Thank you, I upgrade to the newest version without any problems. Is there any way to overlay the trails in map source itself? I would love to view them on a bigger screen.

#22 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:40 PM

View PostBabybackpackers, on Mar 27 2008, 06:09 PM, said:

Is there any way to overlay the trails in map source itself? I would love to view them on a bigger screen.


No, each mapset must be viewed individually. I would like to figure out how to create a background map for reference, but whenever I do that the background also wants to download to the GPS. I need to do some more research on how to set it up so that does not happen.

FYI, I've adjusted my installer script so that now the .exe will get the version number when created. In addition, the file properties will show the version number.

#23 User is offline   hydnsek 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:45 PM

View PostMoun10Bike, on Mar 27 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

FYI, I've adjusted my installer script so that now the .exe will get the version number when created. In addition, the file properties will show the version number.

Excellent, thanks from me as well for the version numbers. I was unsure the updated versions were being installed to replace earlier ones, without being able to see a version #.

#24 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 07:28 PM

View PostBabybackpackers, on Mar 27 2008, 05:34 PM, said:

Is there any way to have the trails a different color than the small roads?


I almost forgot to respond to this. I have had no feedback on the appearance of the various trail types. On my Colorado, the trails (bright red dotted lines) are very distinguishable from the unpaved roads (dark red dashed lines). What are you seeing and do you have suggestions on what sort of change you would want?

#25 User is offline   SiliconFiend 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 09:13 PM

It would be really cool if you could contribute this data to OpenStreetMap. I've been wanting routable trails (not available commercially except the National Parks 24K Topo with limited coverage), and I think OpenStreetMap is going to be the key. I have a project in the works to create routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap data.

#26 User is offline   AndrewRJ 

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 09:30 PM

View PostMoun10Bike, on Mar 27 2008, 08:28 PM, said:

View PostBabybackpackers, on Mar 27 2008, 05:34 PM, said:

Is there any way to have the trails a different color than the small roads?


I almost forgot to respond to this. I have had no feedback on the appearance of the various trail types. On my Colorado, the trails (bright red dotted lines) are very distinguishable from the unpaved roads (dark red dashed lines). What are you seeing and do you have suggestions on what sort of change you would want?

They seem easily distinguishable on my 60CX

#27 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 03:08 PM

The trails are exactly the same as unpaved roads on the Garmin IQue 3600 Both are green dashes. Trails are red on map source but when transfered to the IQue they turn green.

Also a RSS feed on your site when there is a new update would be GREAT!

BTW I am so exited about this. I have so many places I want to go now. Thanks again for all the great work!!

#28 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 03:12 PM

Almost forgot I use CN 2008 and Topo maps on my GPSr

#29 User is offline   intolerable 

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 03:20 PM

I checked out some of the little trails in the immediate area around my house and, again, wow, thanks for putting all that together!

#30 User is offline   PastorDIC 

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:54 PM

Is there a way to view the trails in Northwest Trails in Mapsource?

I installed Northwest Trails, opened Mapsource, changed the view to Northwest Trails, and only got a big white square.

I thought it would be nice to see waypoints in relation to the trails --- on my computer ---.

PastorDIC
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#31 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:10 PM

Zoom in on the white box and you will see the trails. I think you need to be zoomed in 2 mile and under to see them.

#32 User is offline   Lightning Jeff 

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

View PostBabybackpackers, on Mar 28 2008, 11:10 PM, said:

Zoom in on the white box and you will see the trails. I think you need to be zoomed in 2 mile and under to see them.

Or set the detail level to "Highest" - I can see them out to 7 miles.

Jon, thanks for this. Great tool and one we can all contribute to. I have some tracks for some of the Marckworth forest (mostly roads but some trails too), and also some for Discovery Park (North Bluff and West Point areas) - let me know if you'd like these, and I'll clean them up.

I looked at the trails in Tolt MacDonald Park. It makes the route to my TC there pretty obvious, as to which I have some mixed feelings. On balance, though, if this eliminates unnecessary bushwhacking, that's great.

#33 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 03:08 PM

View PostBabybackpackers, on Mar 28 2008, 04:08 PM, said:

The trails are exactly the same as unpaved roads on the Garmin IQue 3600 Both are green dashes.


I know that some receivers do not support custom types. It sounds like the iQue is one of them. There's not much I can do about that other than avoid using custom types all together.

#34 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 03:10 PM

View PostLightning Jeff, on Mar 29 2008, 09:07 AM, said:

I have some tracks for some of the Marckworth forest (mostly roads but some trails too), and also some for Discovery Park (North Bluff and West Point areas) - let me know if you'd like these, and I'll clean them up.


Absolutely! Please send them. I'll take any data anyone wants to contribute. Even if it is stuff that is already in the product, additional data is good for confirming accuracy, noting changes in trail routing, etc. Thanks!

#35 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 03:57 PM

Bummer about the color trails. I might have to buy a new GPSr. The only thing is that I use the Palm side of the GPSr more than the GPSr. I'd hate to have to carry two units, but the IQue isn't the best for long trails anyways. Colorado maybe?

#36 User is offline   Babybackpackers 

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 03:58 PM

Bummer about the color trails. I might have to buy a new GPSr. The only thing is that I use the Palm side of the GPSr more than the GPSr. I'd hate to have to carry two units, but the IQue isn't the best for long trails anyways. Colorado maybe?

#37 User is offline   luckykoi 

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 08:04 PM

The vast majority of my track logs are saved in my mapping program in a .gdb form. Can you use that type of file? I don't know how to turn those tracks into separate files.

This post has been edited by luckykoi: 29 March 2008 - 08:05 PM


#38 User is offline   AndrewRJ 

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:46 PM

View Postluckykoi, on Mar 29 2008, 09:04 PM, said:

The vast majority of my track logs are saved in my mapping program in a .gdb form. Can you use that type of file? I don't know how to turn those tracks into separate files.

Yes, Jon has the ability to convert many file types. I believe some of my early hikes were saved to that format.

#39 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:52 AM

I posted a new version of Northwest Trails this morning (version 1.02). The changes since version 1.01 are:

  • Added portion of Yakima Greenway Trail and Popoff Nature Trail
  • Added and adjusted sections of the Iron Horse Trail (John Wayne Pioneer Trail) east of Cle Elum
  • Integrated National Forest trails from GIS data available at http://www.fs.fed.us/:
    • Kootenai National Forest
    • Lolo National Forest

  • Fleshed out some of the Marckworth Forest with roads taken from aerial imagery
  • Added GPS data courtesy of EraSeek:
    • Fill-in of trails along Olympic View Drive in Southwest County Park, Edmonds
    • Town Center Trail in Mill Creek
    • Portion of Bellingham Railway Greenway Trail
    • Padilla Shore Trail
    • Portion of trails at Skagit airfield

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Bob Cromwell:
    • Assorted Bellevue Trails
    • Refinement of Coal Creek Trail and offshoots
    • Refinement of Cougar Mountain Trails
    • Refinement of Squak Mountain Trails
    • Refinement of Tiger Mountain Trails

  • Added GPS data courtesy of luckykoi:
    • Portion of Big Creek Trail
    • Portion of North Fork Skokomish River Trail
    • Trails in the vicinity of Lena Lake
    • Some roads near Dow Mountain
    • Jefferson Ridge Trail
    • Mount Jupiter Trail

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Tibby's People:
    • Portion of trails near Redhook Brewery
    • Trail near Bellevue Senior Center

  • Added GPS data courtesy of dsvaughn:
    • Cowiche Canyon Trail and Lichen Point Trail

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Lightning Jeff:
    • Additional detail in the Marckworth Forest
    • Additional trails in Discovery Park

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Raman Sarin:
    • Additional data for Tolt-MacDonald Park
    • Griffin Park roads and trails

Download is available from the Northwest Trails page.

#40 User is offline   EraSeek 

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:55 PM

View Postluckykoi, on Mar 29 2008, 09:04 PM, said:

The vast majority of my track logs are saved in my mapping program in a .gdb form. Can you use that type of file? I don't know how to turn those tracks into separate files.


Maybe here is a good place to pass some knowledge back and forth on how-to's.

In Your Mapsource program you can open up most of these file forms (most of which I do not understand the differences) and convert it to GPX by saving or re-saving. As you save there should be a option for where you want to save it and also below that a drop-down menu for the kind of file you wish to save it as. The last one in my list is GPX.
~~~~
If you have saved your track in your GPS as a saved track it will edit out information, and if you exceed (what is it?) 500 points? it will edit out track points and reduce it to that maximum.

However, there are two ways to keep all the info and points. One is NOT to "save" to the gps. This keeps the track active and when you hook up your gps the your computer it will still all be there. But you may not want to have a whole day worth of tracks, so use the option in "Tracks" in your gps menu to turn off recording the track when you not are using it, and turn it on when you are recording a trail. The most important thing here is to turn off the track BEFORE AND AFTER the section you wish to record. This will seperate that section of track from the rest for easy editing or saving.

The other way if you have the option is to save it to the sd card. Track>Setup>Mass storage I think should get you there (I don't have my GPS in front of me right now). Make sure you have Record to Card selected. I don't suggest using this to seperate your tracks by turning off and on, (but rather the "track" on off option,) because the card option will knit the track back together when you turn it back on.
The card always saves as an active track would. To access it, connect you GPS to your computer, turn on, goto setup, interface, select mass storage and it will switch over and connect to the card like a thumb drive would. Open Mapsource and open whatever drive it shows up as and select the file with the date you want. To switch back simply hit the unit's on/off button briefly, this will disconnect from the card and re-connect to the unit.

Its late, hope that makes sense doing this by memory.

Maybe some about the best use of tracks tomorrow....

#41 User is offline   EraSeek 

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 05:58 PM

Posted Image

As to the record method for tracks here is what I have found.

For general everyday application Auto/most works well. It does not log unneeded extra points when you are standing still or continuing along in a straight line. When you make a change of some sort it records more points to better register something like a turn.

However, there are times when a change in recording method will improve your track record.
When hiking up Mt Si I had a 60cx set to Auto/most. L&R had a 60cs without the high sensitivty chip. They lost signal often, where I did not. BUT, their record was much closer to the actual distance than mine because I was recording the huge amount of multi-pathed signals. My track looked more like a braid than a string. I think I had about a third more distance than the actual distance. So every time there is a change (a multi-pathed bogus position) I had recorded another point. The cure for this is simple. When in a multi-pathing situation set you gps to record less, such as Auto/normal or auto/ less, or set to record via a distance that will not pick up the muti-pathing; maybe Distance/10' or so.

As to the Distance setting, this is no good for walking, in the open as it is not definded enough to record turns well. It will angle them and you will lose defintion. However, driving seems to work ok.

For the very best definition use Time/1sec as shown above. This will record changes in track the very best, and also changes in speed. All good things have a drawback. With this method you also record points while standing still, and of course if you are multi-pathing look out!

So Auto/Most all around use, and adjust from there for the situation.

#42 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 07:36 AM

Thanks for the detailed pointers, EraSeek! Hopefully people will find them useful. The problems people have with recording tracks usually fall into two general categories:
  • Poor signal (evidenced by broken tracks, wildly bouncing points along the line)
  • Low resolution (lack of points along the line, failure to adequately capture curves and turns)

To help combat this, here are the pointers that I usually give for recording:
  • Before you start recording track data, access the Setup menu for your GPS receiver and adjust the recording frequency and quality set of your track recording to the best available. On my unit I generally set the recording method to "Auto" and the recording interval to "Most Often".
  • Turn on the GPS receiver and allow it to have a clear view of the sky for at least 15 minutes before you begin recording. This allows the unit to connect with as many satellites as possible, which increases accuracy and helps it to maintain satellite lock.
  • Hold or place the receiver in a location where it can best receive satellite signals as you travel. Be aware of where the antenna is located and the best orientation of the GPSr for signal strength. Patch antennas like those on the eTrex models work best when oriented horizontally, while quad helix antennas like those on the 60 series receivers tend to work best when pointed straight up.
  • Avoid saving the track to the unit's internal memory before downloading. That reduces the number of points in the data and subsequently reduces the precision of the track.


#43 User is offline   popop 

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:57 AM

Hailing from the Oregon coast...........

I too have found Moun10Bike's tracks very helpful in the past. I was visiting family in Seattle this winter and loaded up Cougar Mtn making my geocaching adventure with my grandson easier.

I will see what I have saved for Oregon to help get the inventory of trails expanded a bit. And will definitely keep this project in mind as I do my regular hiking.

Thanks for this great contribution......

#44 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 12:27 PM

View Postpopop, on Apr 4 2008, 09:57 AM, said:

I will see what I have saved for Oregon to help get the inventory of trails expanded a bit. And will definitely keep this project in mind as I do my regular hiking.



That would be great! The data for Oregon is sadly lacking right now. For whatever reason, even the National Forest sites for Oregon lack GIS data.

#45 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:23 PM

I just finished posting a major update of Northwest Trails (version 1.03), and I wanted to get some feedback from people.

I discovered the FSGeodata Clearinghouse and with that data was able to flesh out coverage for most all of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Wyoming:

Posted Image

Addition of this data has me asking some questions, though, specifically:
  • The mapset has tripled in size now from 2.7 MB to 8.1 MB. This becomes a more significant piece of map memory real estate, especially in some older GPS units. Would people prefer to see a smaller area of coverage and/or separate tiles for each state?
  • The data on this site is of mixed quality, with very little of it being GPS-level accuracy. In looking at areas familiar to me - specifically North Idaho - I see trails included that I know are gone, but also some that I know exist and that for some reason were not included in the data from the Forest Service's main web site. If you look at your favorite areas, does it look worthwhile to include this data?

A further note on the Clearinghouse data: in examining it I saw many instances where a trail was indicated along what is shown as a dirt road on USGS topo maps. I then compared those trails to existing road data in Garmin's City Navigator 2008 product and discovered that many of these trails are included as navigable roads in that mapset. In order to help eliminate some of these trails I extracted the roads from Garmin's product and buffered them out to 200 feet in GIS software, then deleted any trails from the Clearinghouse that fell entirely within that buffer. Still, I expect that it will be easy for you to find instances where a trail taken from the Clearinghouse is clearly a duplicate of a road or other trail already in the database. Please let me know if you spot any of these instances.

Here is the complete list of changes since version 1.02:

  • Integrated trails from GIS data available from the FSGeodata Clearinghouse:
    • Washington
    • Oregon
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Wyoming

  • Integrated National Forest trails from GIS data available on the National Forest Service site:
    • Beaverhead National Forest
    • Malheur National Forest
    • Suislaw National Forest
    • Umpqua National Forest
    • Willamette National Forest

  • Integrated National Park trails from GIS data available on the National Parks Service site:
    • Yellowstone National Park
    • Grand Teton National Park
    • Bighorn Canyon NRA
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield NM
    • Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS
    • Glacier National Park
    • Hagerman Fossil Beds NM
    • Crater Lake National Park
    • Oregon Caves NM
    • John Day Fossil Beds NM
    • Fort Clatsop N MEM
    • Ebey's Landing NH RES

  • Added GPS data for many Southern Idaho trails available from GPSTrailMaps.com:
    • Banner Ridge
    • Boulder Creek Road
    • Cobb Trail
    • Portion of Blue Bunch Trail
    • Boise Front (Ridge-to-Rivers trails)
    • Celebration Park
    • Elk Mountain Loop
    • Fisher Creek Williams Creek Loop
    • Garden City Footpath
    • Greenhorn Mahoney Loop
    • Hagerman Fossil Beds
    • Hidden Springs
    • Josephine Lake
    • Julie Creek
    • Loon Lake
    • Lucky Peak Reservoir
    • Massacre Rocks State Park
    • Mores Mountain
    • Packer John Mountain
    • West Bank of the Payette
    • Redfish Lake
    • Shaw Mountain
    • Sinker Butte
    • Swan Falls

  • Added GPS trail data for Deception Park available from DeceptionPassFoundation.org
  • Many additions and adjustments to POIs
  • Additional trails hand-drawn in at Tolt-McDonald Park taken from non-proportional map available on the BBTC site. THIS DATA IS HIGHLY SUSPECT UNTIL CONFIRMED IN THE FIELD!
  • Made some adjustments to the West Tiger 3 area using data courtesy of MarcusArelius and Bob Cromwell
  • Adjustments and additional data in the Taylor Mountain Area from aerials
  • Minor adjustments and additions to the Preston Snoqualmie Trail
  • Removed the Ames Lake Trailhead into Tolt-MacDonald Park - a new house has been built here and the road in is now their private driveway
  • Removed some trail duplication in the source data from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • Added pieces of the Centennial Trail in Spokane and North idaho gleaned from aerial images
  • Added some trails in North SeaTac Park
  • Adjustments to Tahuya River, Hoof and Tail and Road Apples Trails in Tahuya State Forest
  • Added data on a spattering of British Columbia trails from the Ministry of Forests
  • Added GPS data courtesy of LindaLu:
    • Baldy Hill roads and trails
    • Portion of the Foothills Trail

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Prying Pandora:
    • Taylor Mountain data

  • Added GPS data courtesy of intolerable:
    • West Hylebos Wetlands Park
    • Portion of trails in Fauntleroy Park

  • Added GPS data courtesy of Tibby's People:
    • Edith Moulton Park
    • Additional trails in Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve
    • Lee Forest trails
    • A portion of the Trilogy Watershed Trail

  • Added GPS data courtesy of EraSeek:
    • Portion of trails in Boeing Creek Park
    • Portion of trails in McCollum Park

  • Added GPS data courtesy of OldBaldEagle:
    • A portion of the trail to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass

  • Added GPS data courtesy of monkey360:
    • Lime Kiln Trail

  • Added GPS data courtesy of The Jester:
    • Some Pioneer Park Trails (and a link to detailed trail information)
    • Renton Park
    • Southern portion of the Ape Cave Trail
    • Road and trail leading to Ole's Cave near Mt. St. Helens

  • Added GPS data courtesy of FunnyNose:
    • Terminal 107 Park

  • Added GPS data courtesy of MarcusArelius:
    • Additional Grand Ridge trail data

  • Added GPS data courtesy of shutle64:
    • Badger Mountain trails


Download is available from the Northwest Trails page

#46 User is offline   FunnyNose 

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 09:57 PM

Just installed the latest version and all the trails seem to shifted to the SW aways.
Posted Image

Reloading 1.02 right now.

Posted Image

Did not have time to do any other troubleshooting tonight.

This post has been edited by FunnyNose: 20 April 2008 - 10:39 PM


#47 User is offline   thebudman 

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 06:56 AM

The mapset has tripled in size now from 2.7 MB to 8.1 MB. This becomes a more significant piece of map memory real estate, especially in some older GPS units. Would people prefer to see a smaller area of coverage and/or separate tiles for each state?


I would hate to see a "smaller area of coverage" you have done such good work creating this map set, I would hate to some if it dissappear. Creating separate tiles for different areas would allow users to load what they prefer. Perhaps separate, tiles something like: Western Washington, Western Oregon, Eastern WA+North ID+Western Montana, Eastern Oregon+Southern Idaho, Eastern Montana+Wyoming.

Anyway, my vote would be for tiles not coverage reduction.

thebudman

#48 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 07:16 AM

Sorry, guys - two lessons learned: don't try to rush out a new version right after rebuilding a crashed laptop, and don't drop a build just before heading off to bed!

When my laptop went down last weekend, it ended up munging the projection file for the data. I rebuilt that, but not before the new data from the FSGeodata Clearinghouse converted everything over to its native NAD27 datum. I'll get this fixed and have a new build out shortly.

Thanks for your patience!

#49 User is offline   PastorDIC 

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 07:50 AM

With the Northwest Trails Project are you also interested in trails within cities? For instance, within Vancouver WA USA are miles of trails from the Ellen Davis Trail Burndt Bridge Creek trail, several greenways, and of course over on Portland, OR is Forest Park, which is entirely within Portland, but is a huge park.

#50 User is offline   Moun10Bike 

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:38 AM

View PostPastorDIC, on Apr 21 2008, 08:50 AM, said:

With the Northwest Trails Project are you also interested in trails within cities?


Absolutely!

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