Better GPS mapping

Discussion in 'GPS Use, Tracks & Maps Discussion' started by monoplex, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Well I’m envious. At the moment I would much rather be clocking up the miles even on a rented dog from Mr Mechanic (actually, they’re not too bad) but my UK bike suffered snapped throttle cables just before New Year and it left me trudging around for a week. To fill in the free time sans transport the amateur mapping thing that grabs my interest now and then got another bashing

    I find Google Earth is great fun to use but its use of the Shuttle terrain data (called DEMs) is quite low resolution. It’s really geared up for finding your house in built up areas and for that it’s truly astounding. Once you zoom into street level, I’m sure it pulls in aerial photography and so off the beaten track the resolution drops way off. I think you have to pay for the GPS features and the Earth will soon fill up with points of commercial interest. But I mustn’t bad mouth it, the internet that is now developing is the moonlanding of today.

    I discovered that the LandSat satellite images of Thailand are a much higher resolution than that of say, South England! Once they are overlaid a DEM it can look amazing. Since there are reams of GPS tracks out there, perhaps waiting to be visualised, here’s some of the stuff I managed to progress. In the end I had to move away from Kashmir3D but still used to edit my GPS tracks. If you are feeling generous, then perhaps this is ersatz trip report.

    Compressing the pictures hasn’t helped when showing the mapping detail especially the GPS track.

    This is my old favourite of the Chiang Mai area and the Phrao loop. Google is much better here but this resolution is maintained everywhere.

    LandSat images were taken in a number of wavelengths and this one is great for showing rivers.

    Here’s a link to a Youtube video with a little flypast. Again compression hasn’t helped.

    During the summer of 2006 I did around 3500Km, once again looping through Phisanulok, Leoi and Nong Khai. Roads that I had travelled before I tried to cover in the opposite direction.

    Finally, I got around to taking in the celebrated Nan loop with its wonderful climb along the ridge line. This was a fantastic day trip except for the long downhill section of missing road surface. It was like driving on a 60 degree slope of loose granite Toblerone chips.

    Another YouTube video beginning on Route 210 heading for Udon Thani and then following the Mekong along the 211 before turning for Leoi. After that, Phitsanulok and then a shortcut directly north to Nan although of course I drove via Phrae.

    So, that’s it. I think I’m about done with mapping for a while and it’s back to work tomorrow. I hope it’s not been too off-topic
  2. i find this facinating, thanks for sharing, i also enjoyed your video.
    i had another look at google earth and found it just wasnt doing it for me so i went off and downloaded nasa "world wing" - wow its amazing, i would say google earth is great for flying over a city and finding your friends houses but the way wing worlds renders the mountains of north Thailand is just pure magic.

    i dont own a hand held gps so im wondering has anyone got a gps route file they can email me ? i would love to try and layer it over the map [:)]
  3. World Wind is what I used to generate the pictures. All the data is sourced by NASA supporting and hosting the project as an open source development. This means the developers are from all over the world working on the bits that interest them but the downside is documentation is generally abysmal with the same questions being asked time and time again in their forums. Also, it's a bit ungrateful to moan about the bugs especially in the plugins and addons - you just have to work around them.

    It took a while to figure out all the little bits and pieces to bring everything together; GPS file conversion and import, movie recording and finally compression to Flash flv format.

    But you're right, the views are fantastic. I'll send you a composite GPS track of a Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Dao - MHS and then back home to Chiang Mai via Khum Tuam (Route 1263, now that's a drive) loop that I did as single trip last summer. It will be gpx format which is fairly universal and easily converted if necessary.

    Good luck...

    Jim (monoplex)
  4. monplex thanks for your reply i have sent you an email direct so we should be able to sort out these emailing problems

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