Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Old Paper Maps

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    175

    Old Paper Maps

    I have an old paper map of an abandoned industrial site that I would like to explore, the site is very spread out. On the map specific features are identified and still exist nearly 100 years later, but are not landmarks, on any current existing map. A few unrelated landmarks are still around such as a nearby railway line, a large river, hills, dams etc. Is there a method to getting the coordinates on a GPS such as a Garmin Oregon? And yes this site is best accessed with a mountain bike.

    Blueliner

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    488
    get the map scanned then georeference it
    or
    best guess using something like google earth and upload points

  3. #3
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,972
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueliner
    I have an old paper map of an abandoned industrial site that I would like to explore, the site is very spread out. On the map specific features are identified and still exist nearly 100 years later, but are not landmarks, on any current existing map. A few unrelated landmarks are still around such as a nearby railway line, a large river, hills, dams etc. Is there a method to getting the coordinates on a GPS such as a Garmin Oregon? And yes this site is best accessed with a mountain bike.

    Blueliner
    If the map has coordinates in the margins, you can simply do a manual entry of those coordinates to create a waypoint.

    Scan and georeference your map in Google Earth or ESRI ArcExplorer if you lack coordinates on the map. Using that method, you would tell GE a few points in common with both maps so GE could line the map up correctly so distances and stuff would be properly scaled and then you'd be able to find the coordinates for the points that only appear on the scanned map.

    If you have an Oregon, you would actually be able to send that scanned image to your GPS as a .kmz. That process is a little more complicated (Google Garmin Custom Maps Google Earth for the instructions).

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    175
    Thanks Nate

    That was the answer I was looking for. I believe the rail line and dam common to both old and new maps will still have the same coordinates.

    Regards,
    Alan

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    175
    OK I am still working on this.

    I received my Oregon 450 a few weeks ago. I can do map overlays using google earth, and I have saved and placed such an overlay (of an unrelated trail) on to the oregon, and displayed it,

    I am now in the process of using the same procedure with this old paper map of the industrial site. How does one "Tag" the points of interest so they show up on the Oregon when I am out in the field, I guess I am looking for the same type of pointer that occurs in the Geocaching mode. Can you add text to tags. I should not have to carry another paper map with me should I.

    Thanks
    Blueliner

  6. #6
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,972
    You'll want to create waypoints for the features you're interested in. You'll want to work in the .gpx file format for those. Unfortunately, Google Earth won't be able to save directly into .gpx format for waypoints. Since you've got your image overlay in GE, already, I suggest creating the waypoints (yellow pushpin icon - called placemarks in GE) there, then converting the file to .gpx with a program like GPSBabel.

    Once you create a placemark in GE, you can type a description in the point's properties. GE will let you put all kinds of things there, namely a wide variety of HTML code for viewing the file on the internet. Don't put any of that there. Stick to plain text because the .gpx format on your GPS won't be able to do anything with code or text formatting.

    Once you create all the points you want, Save Place As... and choose the .kml format, not .kmz. Once you have your .kml file, use GPSBabel (you can also use the website, GPS Visualizer to convert files) to convert it to .gpx.

    Load that file onto your GPS, and the points should overlay on top of the scanned map.

    To get the GPS to navigate you to those points, you would simply use the "Find" feature of the GPS to find the waypoints, and it will show you the compass screen pointing you there.

    It's still always a good idea to carry a paper map (and probably a compass in most situations) when you're visiting someplace new, because GPS batteries die. I just experienced this the other day with my Oregon. I had lithium batts in it, and I was at a seminar on campus about geocaching (I have a cache nearby that's very difficult and I didn't want the newbies to freak or get pissed about it and trash it). When I turned the GPS on, I had two battery bars. Within 5 minutes, the GPS had turned itself off because the batteries had died completely. Thankfully it was a familiar area and I knew the locations of all the caches since I'd found them. But if I was in an unfamiliar place, I'd have been SOL.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •