Saturday, March 26, 2016

US County Borders

I must be nuts - or OCD - (probably the latter) because I just don't seem to be able to leave these border files unfinished. The last file I published was the US States file. Now, I've got the US Counties file ready for download and it was even less of a small feat than the state file was less of a small feat. [Translate: when I called the state fall "no small feat" I really had absolutely no idea just how difficult the USGS could make it to extract their data into a KML file. None at all. Now I do!]   [A free Google Earth file of this route is available at: Google Earth Trail FileUS County Borders.]

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

US State Borders and Information - Google Earth KML File

While looking for another host for this blog where I can move the several hundred posts, I'm still posting the occasional Google Earth Map. This time it is a resource map of all the US state borders from the USGS shape files.

No small effort to produce, it now can be downloaded from US State Borders and Info.

It tries to help solve a problem with Google Earth where the insipid thing tantalizes you with state and county borders but just when you want to see them most they, along with their labels, disappear just as you zoom in close enough to read them.

Opening this file, quickly displays the states in a color-coded fashion which then completely clears as you hover over it with your pointer and a readable label appears. By right-clicking and selecting "properties" on any state, you are able to alter color and transparency.

Those of you making your own maps can right-click on any particular state and "save as" - which will save a complete state file to your computer of that particular state.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Iditarod Dogsled Race Maps For Google Earth

Apologies, but this sorry Google BlogSpot blogging program is so slow that I'll only mention that I've just completed yet another massive Google Earth map in time for this years Iditarod race and that the full Google Earth map is now available - read on.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

BLM Closures - 2015 Version for Mesquite-Gold Butte

The BLM is at it again in 2015 and (surprise, surprise) using the same tactics of obfuscation and deception they've used in years previous – despite the rhetoric about "transparency."

Yesterday (Friday) I received a copy of the CD containing 2,000 pages of new BLM land use planning given out in the Mesquite City Council meeting the day before.
  [A free Google Earth file of this route is available at: Google Earth Trail FileBLM Closures 2015.]

Monday, March 2, 2015

Damage At Devil's Fire on Gold Butte

Devil's Fire by Jim Dunaway
I've been in communication (via email) with a rider, GH, who wanted directions to Devil's Fire on Gold Butte for an upcoming trip. At my request, his visit to the area with his son, taken after a major storm, was reported back to me and contained some distressing news. I'll include his words:

The good news: With the good instructions you gave me, I had no trouble getting to Little Finland (he really means Devil's Fire). The road was nicely marked and we found some petroglyphs I had forgotten about on the way in (Mud Wash Petroglyphs).

Now the bad news: I have always been afraid that some day I would find someone had destroyed such a fragile and beautiful formation which must have taken hundreds of years to form. The storms last year, nature did the job. There were huge boulders broken off the cliffs. I estimate about a third of the ridge is now gone. There is still lots of beauty to make the trip worthwhile. There is so much silt laid down on top, it might be a long while before the petroglyphs appear on the flat area above again.

Obviously, distressing news. I couldn't tell where the damage was from his message so I asked if he had photos.

…no good shoots of the cliffs. I can say most damage seemed to be close to the point or high spot we normally park on. That would be on the north west where the open gate is. Sorry I didn't document better.

Not having been to the site personally for a couple of years, I still can't envision where he reports the damage has been done. If anyone has any recent photos or can describe the damage more fully, please let us know so we can share the news.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Scott Expedition": Coming Home

The boys in the Antarctic, Ben and Tarka, have been there and got the South Pole "T" shirt and are now high-tailin' it home.

In this case "high-tailin'" means over another month of beatin' it back to McMurdo Base in order to take the series of flights necessary to get them reunited for a belated Christmas and some well-needed heart-to-heart's with their families, friends and sponsors in Great Britain.

They've been on their way back for a couple of weeks (and believe me the turn around was NOT uneventful - see below) and we've substantially updated the Offroading Home Google Earth Antarctica Resource File. [Offroading Home has developed an extensive Google Earth Resource File which brings all the meaningful resources together all in one place and it's available free: Google Earth Trail FileAntarctica Resource File]

Sunday, December 29, 2013

GEO-tography: Shillouettes

It's time once again for a jealous look at what can be done with a camera on the off-road, IF the operator just has a tiny bit of skill and knowledge.

I've taken a fair number of these kinds of photographs, I must confess, not all of them intentional - well, very few of them intentional - ok, almost none of them intentional.

What I enjoyed about putting together this group of GEO-tography was realizing that for once, I already knew the technique of HOW to do it; IF only I had the eye to make it look good in the end. [I must confess, Photoshop helps me a lot.]

Monday, December 23, 2013

Scott Expedition: South Pole By Boxing Day

The intrepid "explorers" Ben and Tarka are nearing the South Pole which marks the half-way point of their expedition. Let me tell you, from reading their almost daily blogs, it's been no small ordeal.   [Offroading Home has developed an extensive Google Earth Resource File which brings all the meaningful resources together in one place and it's available free: Google Earth Trail FileScott Expedition: Antarctica]

The two decided to follow in the footsteps of the ill-fated Scott Expedition and try for an unsupported, self-propelled trip from McMurdo Bay to the South Pole and return. Unsupported, in this case, means that nobody runs out and gives them hot chocolate as they lumber by pulling their sledges full of camping gear and satellite electronics.

That doesn't mean that they don't have a support team, because they do, they just aren't on the same continent.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails: Grand Junction - Winching

This is the fifth and final post in the series about the new map we've digitized from a book we've come across: Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, Vol. 2by Charles A. Wells.

You remember, the absolutely prolific offroading author who feels it a badge of honor to have never used any of "those new-fangled GPS gadgets." His books are a dichotomy of usefulness. On the one hand they bulge with useful "color" and information about every area he talks about; but, on the other, much of the time you can't find what he talks about on any map or globe.

None-the-less, I've (for reasons which escape me now) undertaken the task of hand-digitizing his descriptions into Google Earth map files - twice. And both of them are available for free (see below).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Scott Expedition: Resource Map Update

For those of you following along with us on the "Scott Expedition," Ben and Tarka are now on the Beardmore Glacier after 38 days slogging through the Antarctic weather on the Ross Ice Sheet.

Until now the only topography they've encountered has been what the sheet of frozen water has afforded them but now they've got the land mass to deal with. Fortunately for us, we've got Google Earth and the many modern-day resources available which allow us to join their endeavor from our cozy armchairs.

Offroading Home has developed an extensive Google Earth Resource File which brings all the meaningful resources together in one place and it's available free: Google Earth Trail FileScott Expedition: Antarctica

Today we've updated it extensively and we should probably describe the new features:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Scott Expedition: The Worst Journey in the World

You understand that Offroading Home has been following the "Scott Expedition" currently underway at the South Pole. In fact, we've made an entire Google Earth file containing nearly every landmark and historic trail we can find, so you won't need to go looking for them yourselves.

Today we've pulled together an entire BBC docudrama video about the book "The Worst Journey In The World" based on Apsley Cherry-Garrard's memoir of the British Antarctic Expedition in 1910-1913.

Why do this? Well, one page seems like a good place to have ALL the video series. They're not all that easy to find in sequence. And, as far as the GE map is concerned, the way GE displays cartologic labels really doesn't work in the Antarctic.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails: Steamboat Springs

This is the fourth in the series of posts about the new map we've digitized from a book we've come across: Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, Vol. 2by Charles A. Wells.

Wells is a smart guy and very knowledgeable about the area just doesn't share most of our affinity for the precise coordinate system that we've had since the last century – or any coordinates. The forwards to his books claim that he's never had any problem finding any of this by merely using maps so we shouldn't either; but, in his later books he has relented and included "those funny little numbers" in deference to "the younger generation."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Scott Expedition Resource File

The "un-official," but extensive Google Earth Map and Resource file for the Scott Expedition underway now in Antarctica has been extensively updated and is ready for download: Google Earth Trail FileScott Expedition: Antarctica

It now includes "network links" to the team's current position so that a mere "refresh" to the map will load the new locations instead of needing to download the whole file again. Additionally, entire new folders have been added to include labels and locations of all Antarctic glaciers and mountain peaks as well as labels and links to trails and waypoints of previous expeditions on the continent.

Currently (Wed 10/24 AM) Ben and Tarka are sleeping after having arrived at McMurdo station on the Ross Ice Shelf in the wee hours of the morning. They are still about 32 kilometers from the Scott Hut, their "official" starting point on the expedition.

Recommended Reading: South Pole: 900 Miles on Foot by Gareth Wood and Eric Jamieson. It recounts a similar journey to follow Scott's epic exploration by Roger Mear, Robert Swan and Canadian Gareth Wood.

Are You Going To Get The Book?

If you are planning on purchasing this book, I'd like to entreat you to do it via this link to Amazon: South Pole: 900 Miles on Foot That way you'll still pay the same price but a portion of it will go toward keeping Offroading Home "on the air." Thanks!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Map: Antarctic Glaciers and Ice Flows

The "Scott Expedition" – a retrace (and completion) of the ill fated Robert Scott Terra Nova expedition – is underway with the explorers finally "feet down" on the Antarctic Continent.

Extreme explorers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere are re-tracing the 101-year-old, unfinished, route of Captain Scott completely "without support" – that is, beginning after they actually arrive at the abandoned hut on the Ross Ice Shelf. Before that, they have a lot of support and were required to book passage with a commercial Antarctic travel firm in order to get there.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Map: Antarctic 1500 Meter Mountain Peaks

We've been updating you with occasional posts about the upcoming "Scott Expedition" being undertaken this winter (Southern Hemisphere) by explorers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere across Antarctica.

It looks like it's imminent. The two explorers are now in Punta Arenas putting together their stoves and other equipment shipped earlier to the tip of South America by freighter. They will now hop over to the Ross Ice Shelf near the hut Captain Robert Falcon Scott used in his 1911/12 Terra Nova expedition.

That's where Ben and Tarka will officially begin their expedition six days from now, (Oct 21st); although, it will be some weeks before they actually leave all the "confusion" of snow mobiles and scientists scurrying around the US Scientific Base on "the shelf."