View Full Version : Maine cache density in Google Earth



brdad
11-06-2007, 04:21 PM
Another cacher is in the process of creating software which can plot cache density in Google Earth. It was designed for Linux, and I have not been successful getting that to work yet, but I am getting closer. Anyway I've been playing with a script of my own to create the Google Earth file.

If you want to play with the actual Google Earth kml file here it is: mainecachedensity.kml (http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainecachedensity.kml) (469K)

This particular file has all caches ever placed in Maine. The blank areas have no caches, the dark areas have a few, and the red/purple/blue have more, in that order.

http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainecachedensity.jpg

WhereRWe?
11-06-2007, 04:45 PM
Now if only you could add an overlay with the Delorme Guide map boundaries...

:D :D

brdad
11-06-2007, 04:51 PM
Now if only you could add an overlay with the Delorme Guide map boundaries...

:D :D

That's a great idea., and much, much easier than cache density. I gotta go play taxi driver right now, but maybe when I get back....

brdad
11-07-2007, 02:16 PM
How's this, Bruce?

it took a bit more coding than I thought because I decided to add the map numbers above each one. ;)

Let me know if you, or anyone has any suggestions.

the kml file is here (http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainedelormechallenge.kml).


http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainedelormekml.jpg

WhereRWe?
11-07-2007, 03:39 PM
Sheesh! Way cool! (Now if you could only do that for Delorme's Street Atlas! LOL! They tell me they can't do it...) :D :D

(OK - I saved the .kml file, loaded it into Google Earth, but all I get are the numbers - no map boundaries!) ??

brdad
11-07-2007, 03:47 PM
Sheesh! Way cool! (Now if you could only do that for Delorme's Street Atlas! LOL! They tell me they can't do it...) :D :D

(OK - I saved the .kml file, loaded it into Google Earth, but all I get are the numbers - no map boundaries!) ??

Can you load tracks from your GPS to Street Atlas? I have a track file of the map grid somewhere here...

Hmmm, no map grid....

Newest version of Google Earth?


Let me make sure I uploaded the right file....


Edit: it was the right file. ;)


I was able to cause half of the grids not to show by switching from Open GL to Direct X, so that may indicate there could be issues with some video cards and 3D settings.

Some information regarding video cards and Google Earth: http://earth.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=1149

WhereRWe?
11-07-2007, 04:18 PM
Can you load tracks from your GPS to Street Atlas? I have a track file of the map grid somewhere here...



Yes, I think so. Never tried it but it would be worth learning. Can you post the file? Thanks.

brdad
11-07-2007, 04:22 PM
There seems there could be an issue with overlays as well, which I used to put the site logo in the ocean.

Try this file (http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainedelormechallenge(2).kml), which has that overlay removed.

Looking for the track file as we speak...

Edit: Found the file and attempted to convert it to Delorme Street Atlas format. GPSbabel did not give it an extension, so if SA files normally come with an extension, you will have to rename the file. delormegrid (http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/delormegrid)

if it does not work, let me know and I'll find another format to convert it to you can use.

Haffy
11-07-2007, 05:38 PM
How's this, Bruce?

it took a bit more coding than I thought because I decided to add the map numbers above each one. ;)

Let me know if you, or anyone has any suggestions.

the kml file is here (http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainedelormechallenge.kml).


http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/mainedelormekml.jpg


How does that work Brdad? Do you just copy and paste the whole kml file and then drop it into Google Earth?

brdad
11-07-2007, 05:57 PM
How does that work Brdad? Do you just copy and paste the whole kml file and then drop it into Google Earth?

Right click the link in the post, and select save as...
Save to your computer.
Double click the kml file. If Google Earth isn't already open, it should open it.

Haffy
11-07-2007, 08:44 PM
All it did was open the kml file and didn't open it up in Google Earth. I even had Google Earth open and still nothing.

brdad
11-07-2007, 08:52 PM
All it did was open the kml file and didn't open it up in Google Earth. I even had Google Earth open and still nothing.

Read my last post ;)

Don't just left click on the file!

Catch me in chat if you still have trouble...

bgrffdave
11-08-2007, 05:34 PM
First let me say thanks for this little gadget... very cool!

As far as not seeing it in Google Earth, I've run into what sounds like a similar problem before of only seeing part of files like this. For instance, I'd try to load a gpx file of caches into GE and only could see a few until I moved the time slider at the top of the screen to full. I found that changing the "Show Time" settings that are under the "View" menu to "Never" eliminated the problem. I can't tell if this is what your having for a problem or not... so I thought I'd offer the idea.

I've got Delorme Topo USA 6 and couldn't figure out a way to import the files that have been listed here so they work. I did, however, discover that the same thing is doable in this program using the polygon tool and drawing them with coordinates. Topo USA 6 will read text files but the necessary format seems to be a little different than most. Here is my first crack at it which is just for atlas pages 22 & 23. I'll try to build the rest but time is a little tight right now. If someone else beats me to it no harm done. I'd be interested to see if Street Atlas can use this file... can someone try it?

BTW... I talked with the Delorme folks this summer about why they didn't build in the ability to reference the Atlas pages into Topo USA 6. The gentleman I spoke with said it probably never dawned on the programmers. I offered my 2 cents saying that they seemed to think of everything else but their own atlas maps. He agreed that was a funny oversight and would list the suggestion for the next version. Time will tell...

Haffy
11-08-2007, 07:21 PM
While we are on the subject. Is there a way to show my Maine found caches onto the grid? If I download my My Finds PQ ,can I then export it to Google Earth to show all my Maine finds? That would be a good way to see how many more grids I would need to complete the Delorme challenge. Not that I will ever be able to do the rest of Maine but one never knows.:D

brdad
11-08-2007, 09:27 PM
While we are on the subject. Is there a way to show my Maine found caches onto the grid? If I download my My Finds PQ ,can I then export it to Google Earth to show all my Maine finds? That would be a good way to see how many more grids I would need to complete the Delorme challenge. Not that I will ever be able to do the rest of Maine but one never knows.:D

One way for you to do this is to download and install a macro for GSAK.

GoogleEarth.gsk (http://gsak.net/board/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=32560)

If you need help installing it, let me know and I will post directions. ;)

EDIT: Actually, I just checked and google Earth can directly load GPX files as well, so forget what I just said. I'm new to Google Earth!

brdad
11-08-2007, 09:33 PM
I did, however, discover that the same thing is doable in this program using the polygon tool and drawing them with coordinates.

Now that i see your format, I might be able to convert it correctly.

brdad
11-08-2007, 09:52 PM
I did, however, discover that the same thing is doable in this program using the polygon tool and drawing them with coordinates.

Now that i see your format, I might be able to convert it correctly.


EDIT: Actually, if I can only do it if I re-write my script some. If you're gonna do it anyway, assuming it works for anyone else, there's no sense in my doing that. but if that's what it takes, I will. ;)

hollora
11-08-2007, 09:53 PM
brdad, et all...........fyi..........bgrffdave is my techno son........I am really thrilled he has limitedly joined this community........

Guess all I can say it work with him - he will probably work with you.........he is learning too.....but loves this mapping stuff...........

Haffy
11-08-2007, 10:10 PM
[QUOTE=brdad
EDIT: Actually, I just checked and google Earth can directly load GPX files as well, so forget what I just said. I'm new to Google Earth![/QUOTE]


Hmm, how do you do that?

brdad
11-08-2007, 10:44 PM
brdad, et all...........fyi..........bgrffdave is my techno son........I am really thrilled he has limitedly joined this community........

Guess all I can say it work with him - he will probably work with you.........he is learning too.....but loves this mapping stuff...........

I'm glad he's joined in as well - strength in numbers - mental as well as physical...



Hmm, how do you do that?

In Google Earth:
From the file menu, choose open....
In the dialog box that pops up, Click the down arrow next to the Files of type box...
Select GPS(*.gpx *.loc) from the list
Find your file and open it!

brdad
11-09-2007, 07:44 AM
OK, I was bored. Here's the entire file converted to the format of bgrffdave's sample.
It's not 100% exact as it's missing trailing 0's, but most software should be fine with that.

Give it a try. The maps most likely to be screwy are the custom ones - Maps 10, 17 insert, 25, and 27....

bgrffdave
11-09-2007, 11:07 AM
It took some time to learn what types of information are useable between all the mapping programs I have (Mapsource, GE, Delorme Topo USA 6, & Nat Geo Topo 4) and how to import/export the stuff between them... and I know I've only begun to scratch the surface. I've found that gpx (or loc) files are the ticket to bounce info around. While all the big guys, as usual, tried to make their own format, GPX/LOC files were/are designed to be the universal type for sharing info between software and GPSr units.

Haffy, you were talking about using your finds PQ to view caches in GE... that will work provided you get your PQ's not zipped or simply generate a gpx file from something like GSAK. Using the GSAK filter and the export tool you can create a file of your finds, not founds, placed caches, and anything else in combination that the filter has for options. GSAK, under "File" then "Export", also has quite a list of other file types it can generate (including Delorme Topo and SA text files) but 99% of the time I find a gpx works fine and with just about everything.

Brdad, you beat me to the punch... I knew I should have waited! As I messed with Topo USA last night I set aside everything else I had to do and built the whole darn thing from scratch. I'm too easily distracted! I even made the wierd little overlaps of maps 25, 26, and 17 (inset 1). Your file loaded in Topo USA fine. You even caught the wierd border on map 27... something I had missed but will fix. The only thing I see in yours is an odd stray line between Map 25 and 17. It almost looks like a stray coordinate. In building mine I found that fixing little problems like that was much easier in the actual text file than trying to edit the polygon points. Other than that nice job on the conversion. Thanks for making my couple of hours of work seem like a waste of time... LMAO!!

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 11:17 AM
OK, I was bored. Here's the entire file converted to the format of bgrffdave's sample.
It's not 100% exact as it's missing trailing 0's, but most software should be fine with that.

Give it a try. The maps most likely to be screwy are the custom ones - Maps 10, 17 insert, 25, and 27....

Well, when I import this into Street Atlas as a draw file, all I get is a big red overlay - no map lines - with numbers.

Any suggestions? :confused: :confused:

bgrffdave
11-09-2007, 12:28 PM
I'm not sure. Topo USA has the streets and routing so I haven't used Street Atlas. I was hoping that Delorme Topo to Delorme Street Atlas would be easy... if you can see the map numbers we must be close. Does the red overlay have an irregular border like the map shapes are there? My first thought would be to see if there is some setting to make the layer or polygons transparent or "blended" as compared to solid... that was an option in Topo USA.

If that doesn't work I'd ask this: Can you draw a polygon (shape) in Street Atlas over the map? If you can, can you export that layer as a file and post it here? It may be as simple as a change in the data format... brdad seems to have conversion down. We could check that file against what we've got so far.

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 03:13 PM
I'm not sure. Topo USA has the streets and routing so I haven't used Street Atlas. I was hoping that Delorme Topo to Delorme Street Atlas would be easy... if you can see the map numbers we must be close. Does the red overlay have an irregular border like the map shapes are there?

Yes - same exterior shape as the maps, but no lines to separate the maps.


If that doesn't work I'd ask this: Can you draw a polygon (shape) in Street Atlas over the map? If you can, can you export that layer as a file and post it here? It may be as simple as a change in the data format... brdad seems to have conversion down. We could check that file against what we've got so far.

Sheesh! You want me to draw a pollywog on the map?? :eek: :eek:

I'm not sure how to draw on the map. But the map lines are there - I can bring them up individually in "manage draw", but I can't eliminate the red overlay or bring up all the map boundaries at once.

And I realize now that I can click on each map and bring up those boundaries individually, but the red overlay still covers the map, and the boundary disappears when I click on the next map.

:confused: :confused:

bgrffdave
11-09-2007, 04:09 PM
No... don't draw a pollywog! Go get one before they totally freeze and press it into the screen and see what happens... LOL

When you select each shape individually in Topo an option comes up at the bottom to change wether or not the shape has no color, transparent color (blended), or solid color. The option looks like a little box for the color of the shape like the color box when you change the color of a font in, say, MS Word. Mine was default to solid white until I changed them to transparent/blended then they stayed that way. It sounds like we just need to get the color changed. I'm just not sure exactly how to guide you without an idea of that program's screen... but I'll see what I can find.

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 05:29 PM
No... don't draw a pollywog! Go get one before they totally freeze and press it into the screen and see what happens... LOL

When you select each shape individually in Topo an option comes up at the bottom to change wether or not the shape has no color, transparent color (blended), or solid color. The option looks like a little box for the color of the shape like the color box when you change the color of a font in, say, MS Word. Mine was default to solid white until I changed them to transparent/blended then they stayed that way. It sounds like we just need to get the color changed. I'm just not sure exactly how to guide you without an idea of that program's screen... but I'll see what I can find.

Well, I've played around with it quite a bit, but can't get rid of the red. I don't have a"transparent" option that I can find, and changing polygon fill data to none/clear doesn't make any difference.

Are you going to be at the Beer/Wings event tomorrow? I'll bring my laptop...

hollora
11-09-2007, 05:39 PM
I'll bring my laptop... And they said they had wi-fi too.........

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 05:42 PM
WOOT! I've got it! I needed to use a different procedure - but I've got it now and have my "Maine found" geocaches on the map as well. :D :D

I guess I can now help anyone else who is having trouble. Haffy??? ;) ;)

Haffy
11-09-2007, 05:51 PM
Yeah I'm here so how did you put your Maine found caches on the GE map?

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 06:08 PM
Yeah I'm here so how did you put your Maine found caches on the GE map?

Senior moment... "GE" map?? :confused:

Anyway, I download my "found" caches weekly, then put the file into GSAK and create a "Maine found" file, which I export to Delorme as a "draw" file.

(Ah - OK as they say in Massachusetts - "dawn breaks over Marblehead".)

GE = Google Earth. You should be able to create a .gpx file in GSAK, export to your desktop, then open the file in GE. Your turn to experiment. Let me know if this works.

Haffy
11-09-2007, 06:40 PM
I must be having a brain cramp because I have the GPX file on my desktop and can't seem to get it into Google Earth. Shouldnt' it be in another format though like KML before it will except it? And how do I do that? Too many questions and not enough answers.....:confused:

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 08:06 PM
I must be having a brain cramp because I have the GPX file on my desktop and can't seem to get it into Google Earth. Shouldnt' it be in another format though like KML before it will except it? And how do I do that? Too many questions and not enough answers.....:confused:

BTSOOM! But check message #22 in this thread, and you'll know as much as I do...

;) ;)

brdad
11-09-2007, 08:13 PM
BTSOOM! But check message #22 in this thread, and you'll know as much as I do...

;) ;)

Or post 20, where I told haffy how to do it!

WhereRWe?
11-09-2007, 08:18 PM
Or post 20, where I told haffy how to do it!

Well, I certainly hate to defend Haffy, But I tried that and it didn't work. What type of display should be checked in GE?

Haffy
11-09-2007, 08:45 PM
Well, I certainly hate to defend Haffy, But I tried that and it didn't work. What type of display should be checked in GE?

Thanks I love you too....:eek: Yes it didn't work for me either.

Haffy
11-09-2007, 08:51 PM
I'm glad he's joined in as well - strength in numbers - mental as well as physical...




In Google Earth:
From the file menu, choose open....
In the dialog box that pops up, Click the down arrow next to the Files of type box...
Select GPS(*.gpx *.loc) from the list
Find your file and open it!

Ok actually I just went back and read it again so I did exactly what you said and it did work this time,well almost. It only shows 4 caches and it should be showing all my Maine found caches. Any other hints?

Haffy
11-09-2007, 09:12 PM
Ok I just opened up Google Earth once again and all my found caches have now suddenly appeared. Apparently it takes some time for all of them to show up so I guess I have got it now. Thanks for the help Brdad and Bruce.

WhereRWe?
11-10-2007, 07:39 AM
Ok I just opened up Google Earth once again and all my found caches have now suddenly appeared. Apparently it takes some time for all of them to show up so I guess I have got it now. Thanks for the help Brdad and Bruce.

You're welcome. And in the spirit of the season, we won't charge you anything.

:D :D

brdad
11-12-2007, 03:41 PM
Here is a sneak peek at another project I have been working on - a macro for GSAK which will take your filtered waypoints and create "cache circles" for Google Earth with a 528 foot (or other desired radius) diameter. this could be useful when placing caches to make sure you are outside of the .1 mile rule, saving groundspeak volunteers some work...

There are other ways it could be handy as well.

This photo is the Bangor area and shows currently available caches, colored by cache type

http://www.bytethebullet.com/geocaching/fora/cachecircles.jpg

Mainiac1957
11-12-2007, 03:56 PM
It looks like someone dropped big poker chips all over Bangor.:eek: Was it the folks at Hollywood Slots of the Casino YES people from Washington county.

Sudonim
11-12-2007, 04:06 PM
If those are .1 miles apart, how come some overlap? Are some archived caches?
Cool idea, this would be very useful to the cache approvers.

brdad
11-12-2007, 04:11 PM
If those are .1 miles apart, how come some overlap? Are some archived caches?
Cool idea, this would be very useful to the cache approvers.

The circles have a 528 foot radius. Therefore, the center of one circle must be outside the ring of a neighboring circle. Also, the blue circles are this weekends events, which do not fall under the .1 mile rule. Virtual caches and stages of some multis also do not fall under this rule. Hope that makes sense. In other words, if you were going to place a new cache, the actual cache location could not be within any of those circles - excepting any exempt ones, like the events.

brdad
11-12-2007, 04:17 PM
It looks like someone dropped big poker chips all over Bangor.:eek: Was it the folks at Hollywood Slots of the Casino YES people from Washington county.

Too funny!

If I see my image on the front page of the news tomorrow, I'll know who tipped them off.

WhereRWe?
11-12-2007, 05:02 PM
The circles have a 528 foot radius. Therefore, the center of one circle must be outside the ring of a neighboring circle. Also, the blue circles are this weekends events, which do not fall under the .1 mile rule. Virtual caches and stages of some multis also do not fall under this rule. Hope that makes sense. In other words, if you were going to place a new cache, the actual cache location could not be within any of those circles - excepting any exempt ones, like the events.

Sheesh! I'd like to try that macro on a section of Nashville! LOL! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Sudonim
11-12-2007, 05:08 PM
Sheesh! I'd like to try that macro on a section of Nashville! LOL! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Just take the Google earth map for Nashville and paint it red!:p

Cache Maine
11-12-2007, 07:50 PM
Virtual caches and stages of some multis also do not fall under this rule.

I'm curious about this....maybe you can explain why some of the stages count and some don't?

brdad
11-12-2007, 09:54 PM
I'm curious about this....maybe you can explain why some of the stages count and some don't?

Multis come in all flavors. One form uses physical stages, often micros with coords in them, or it could be a full size box. Anyway, in that case, the .1 mile rule would apply since there are two physical "caches". Other multis, like Tic Tac Bangor use virtual or "question to answer" stages. In this case, there would not be a problem if a physical cache were located within .1 mile of a virtual stage of a multi, so it would probably be allowed.

Now, the part that makes it all confusing.... When you hide a multi and you list the coordinates of the stages, you may select at that time whether each stage is a "question to answer" or a "stage of a multicache". As a cache hider you can define what the stages are, so it is allowable to classify a "question to answer" stage as a "stage of a multicache".

mainesurveyor
11-14-2007, 12:44 PM
When I have the time to get back to geocaching I won't even need the GPSr...I'll just zoom in with Google Earth and drive to the cache!!