Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Google Earth Map - "Nevada Trails"

It's finally done! After nearly 8 months of Google Gazing (Earth that is, GE) and programming, I've finally published the updated Nevada Trails GE Map over on the official web site, offroading.home.att.net.

That is, the "Western Region" with actual route maps, descriptions and waypoints for over 30 SUV/ATV trails East of about Reno, South of I-15 and North of US-6. There are maps to Ghost Towns, Mining districts, abandoned and active mines, canyons, back-country camping and plenty of scenery.

The effort began last year while snowbirding in Mesquite. I was looking at the book Nevada Trails Western Region by Massey, Titus and Wilson, trying to plan a short trip.

I plotted out one of the trails in GE (because that is what I do) and found that several of the waypoints listed were really out of place. That is not to be faulted however, knowing how GPS devices work when you are riding through canyons and under bridges. Unless you bother to download your GPS track and re-plot it on a map you would never know that your unit had lost signal and mis-plotted a few coordinates; which, I'm sure is what happened in the book.

If I know I make this much trouble, I never climb Everest.”
Tenzing Norgay, sherpa

So, I cleaned up the trail coordinates and showed it to a friend, who immediately wanted one for himself. The rest is history. I have painstakingly hand-drawn the tracks based upon descriptions and GPS points gleaned from several sources.

If you are thinking of traveling one of these routes I would recommend obtaining "Nevada Trails: Western Region" to take along with you. You will notice that their book has many more definitive directions, photos and descriptions than I could ever include in a GE map. But my maps include the track through cross-tracks and intersections that the book doesn't even mention, and mine have been checked against GE. The two compliment each other.

The map file follows the same format as all the others on the Offroading Home site. Download the "Nevada Trails" file into GE, open the "areas" folder, then the "Western Region" in the sidebar, and double-click on any one of the trails. Earth will "fly" you to the trailhead and show you the trail.

If you don't know the name of the trail you'd like to ride, open the "trails" folder then click on the box next to the "Western Region" to "show" all the trails. That way you can select one in the area you want to ride.

The master Nevada map file also contains rides from many other sources, as well as personal rides in the northern and southern regions. Especially check out all the trails in the "Logandale Loop" area near the Valley of Fire.

Click on over to the Official Web Site. You've gotta check this one out!

Learn A Little More

The book Nevada Trails Western Region is an excellent resource to plan an offroad trip in Nevada. Each route is accompanied by turn-by-turn navigational aids going in both directions and photos of sites along the way. If you are going to purchase it, please consider doing so using the links on this page. There will be no extra cost to you, but a portion will go to keeping this site going and the trails coming.


2 comments:

LROffroad.com said...

Wow, that is pretty cool I wish there was something like this for North Carolina

Dr J said...

Thanks for the words - and leaving a comment. I know people are using the maps because of the downloads but it's nice to know someone reads the blog.

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