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Tuesday
Apr272010

Laying down tracks

I'm currently saving money, and in August, I plan on buying an adventure touring motorcycle.  Specifically, I'll be buying the KTM 990 Adventure.  Anyway, I could talk all day about adventure touring, and motorcycles, and my exploits on my old KLR, but the point is, I've been researching routes that I plan on riding.  Part of this research is creating GPS tracks to follow over specific passes/trails I want to ride.  I looked around for easy ways to do this and I setteled on using Google Earth to create my tracks, and then convert those tracks to GPX so I can upload them to my unit (a Garmin Gecko 201, and iPhone 3Gs).   Just a note though, Garmin has a program called MapSource, that you can also use to do this type of trip planning.  I just wanted to stick with GE because I use Linux at home, and that's what I'll be doing most of my planning in.

I created a quick screen cast that shows how to create your tracks and then convert them.  I did this at work, and I didn't have a mic, so it's silent.  Sorry about that.  The key points to take from the video are:

1. When creating a new track, you have to leave the dialog open while you are creating.  It's not super user friendly IMO, and may throw you off at first.

2. You can right click to erase a placed point on your track.

3. You pan around the map with the arrow keys while creating tracks.

4. Save your track as KML not KMZ.

5. Use the following command to convert your track: gpsbabel -i kml -f file.kml -o gpx -F file.gpx

Here is the video:

 

Other misc updates:

1. I'm still slowly working on the ski stats xml file.  I've decided I don't need it until next ski season anyway, so I'm taking my time.

2. I updated the README file in the QTCanon repo to have instruction on how to build the app on Linux. On Windows you still need to have the Canon SDK to build the app.  I hope to have binaries built soon for download.

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