Monday, 3 January 2011

Navigating the Network

I spent much of Christmas and New Year in front of the computer hiding from the heat.  My eyes are red and sore from peering at the detail on the monitor as I traced the canal network in Google Earth.  Actually I’m correcting my earlier attempt and also adding more detail to the maps.  Things that will be useful; like water points, service facilities, locks and marinas.  Most of this information has been obtained from various sites using Google.  I now need to think about finding a source for telephone numbers.  The Yellow Pages are going to get a thrashing!

It’s unlikely we will actually use Google Earth as our primary means of navigation.  It would require frequent internet access which may not be available.  Instead, I will convert the Google Earth canal data from kml format into Garmin Mapsource format using GPSBabel.  I will then be able to transfer the data from Mapsource to our Garmin gps unit.  This will provide us with a “live” progress report as we travel.  Another advantage to this approach is the Garmin gps unit has a “breadcrumb” function which will enable me to correct my original Google Earth trace.

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