I’m making some solid progress on the trails map for Nacogdoches, Texas.
Right now, I have all of the trail in the SFA Recreational Trails mapped, in addition to all of the Lanana Creek Trail. I have a little bit of data for the Azalea Garden, the Mast Arboretum, and Tucker Woods. I’m not entirely certain how well those areas are going to come out, because the arboretum and azalea garden, especially, have VERY dense networks of trails.
Here’s how I’ve done the portion I’ve completed to date:
1. Collect GPS data for the trails in question. In several cases, I have multiple tracks over a particular trail.
2. Load GPS tracks into ESRI’s ArcView (I’ve got a student copy) to overlay them on top of satellite imagery.
3. Create a new shapefile for the trails, and trace all the trails by hand.
4. Create a new shapefile for all of the point data, and mark trailheads and parking areas.
5. Load both files into Topofusion to combine the shapefiles of different data types into one .kml file.
6. Load the .kml file into Google Earth and change the symbology for all of the features to distinguish trails from each other and give the points informative icons.
7. Save the .kml file into a .kmz file so the symbology carries over.
8. Upload the .kmz file onto my website and drop the code onto the webpage to have it display on a dynamic Google Map.
For those of you with a GPS that supports it, you can use Gmap4 to display the map URL and download the .kmz file, then subsequently load that .kmz onto your GPS. This will work on a Garmin GPS that supports Garmin Custom Maps. Delorme GPS receivers will also display trail networks, but the procedure here is much different. You will need to convert the .kmz file to a .gpx file. You will, naturally, lose all of the symbology on the map this way. But once you have a .gpx file, you’ll be able to load it onto your Delorme, too. There are a few ways to do this conversion. Topofusion will do it, but you can use GPSBabel or GPSUtility, also.