2013 HMBA Winter Mayhem Ride

Got out today to attend a group ride put on by the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association at Ft. Harrison State Park in Indianapolis, IN. What a great place this is. I first rode here back in the summer and fell in love with the flowy trails here. They’re not super hard, but they’re a blast to ride. It’s also a good place to take beginners. There’s a little elevation change, but it shouldn’t be too much to discourage them if they need to work on their fitness. There’s a great beginner’s loop, too, where they can stay pretty close to the trailhead if they need to bail.

Garmin Connect Brings Back Google Maps

Almost a year ago, I wrote about Garmin Connect switching to Bing maps. Well, it’s been a long time coming, but Garmin now allows users the option to choose between Bing or Google maps.

Garmin plays that up as, “This upgrade gives users more mapping options than ever before.” Really, this is how they should have implemented it from the beginning. And other services offer quite a few more maps. GMap4 and GPS Visualizer offer the most, and Garmin has much farther to go if they ever want to catch up to their competitors in this regard. Trimble Outdoors offers a decent selection of maps, also.

Maps Update

Y’all need to bear with me here. I’ve been having some trouble with my site feeds pointed out to me by Google Webmaster Tools, and the RSS Validator tools on the web have been unable to validate my RSS feeds (I would get timeout errors when using Feed Validator). If you’ve been subscribing to my site and not getting any updates, I apologize. I only just now found the source of the problem.

Maps Plugin File Testing

Myself and Scott Morris have been having some troubles with some .gpx files lately and I am going to be using this page to try out some different files. I don’t want this to screw up the display of the main page, so I hope to put enough intro text in here to bump the map(s) onto their own page.

We’re both scratching our heads on this one. I started having trouble with a .gpx file after running it through the photo geotagging utility in his software. Naturally, I thought I found a bug. But now it appears not, because he doesn’t have the same problem at all with that file on his computer.

The National Map and GeoPDF

All you map geeks, get prepared! Many of you might already be aware of the National Map project by the USGS. Part of that project is the process of updating/replacing the OLD paper USGS topos. You know, the ones that were commonly last updated in the 1960’s or 1970’s? The new topo maps will be called US Topo and are set to begin a schedule in 2010. Parts of the country have been covered in part of the beta program, called the Digital Map – Beta.
US Topo Implementation

Progress Map from nationalmap.gov/ustopo/


Putting Maps on your Garmin GPS

I’ve run into this a lot lately on various forums. It seems a lot of folks still don’t know that you don’t have to buy Garmin’s maps to load on your GPS.

I’ll start with some programs you’ll need. There’s a free route that’s slightly more involved (especially for those with the newer touch-screen GPS receivers, but we’ll get there later. I’ll start with the COMPLETELY free option), and then there’s the option that costs some, but streamlines the process for users with touchscreen receivers.

FREE method. This only works for vector-based basemaps. You also need to make sure your GPS has enough storage space.