Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Trails: Colorado North Central Region

Under the gun to see that the person who loaned me the book got it back in time — I continued the all-night vigil and hand entered more than 20 new trails in the Colorado North Central Region. All of the trail description's have also been improved and/or re-done.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Colorado Trails]

Take a quick look on over to the website and see my handiwork! With the Southwestern Region done last week and the Front Range Region done last month, almost the entire Colorado map has been upgraded!

Now is probably a good time to explain how/why Offroading Home maps integrate with the written maps in the book: Colorado Trails North Central Region by Peter Massey et. al..

The maps in the book are obviously more complete in their written directions (i.e. turn left, turn right etc) than I could ever have time to make these maps. And there is a lot of background material and "sidebars" that are omitted from my maps which can make your journey much more enlightening and thus enjoyable.

However, Offroading Home maps [especially the ones hand-drawn from the books coordinates] are much more accurately correlated with the coordinate system used today by Google Earth. And, I must say, are much more accurate when I upload them to my GPS unit than those published by the book's publishing company.

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
Tom Clancy

This is because I review every trail and tweak placemarks/waypoints and tracks to more closely match the satellite image. In addition, Peter and his people rode many of the tracks back when the satellite system was deliberately made less accurate. This, coupled with the fact that tracks are often not accurate when traveling deep in canyons and under obstructions, makes it much easier for my hand-drawn tracks to keep on the actual road.

In addition, while examining the maps in Google Earth, I notice frequently that the book doesn't include many "road choices" which show up clearly on the Offroading Home file; but, which could absolutely ruin your day if you went the wrong direction.

On the other hand, the books have maps drawn specifically for the trail — and thus contain more icons for surrounding mines, hike trailheads and other things. That said, I am personally interested in rock art and formations so make every effort to hand-code waypoints for them, even when they aren't mentioned in the book anywhere!

So… when both are used together it will make a great off road experience and the planning of your trips much more effective. I heartily recommend the "trails" series of books.

Learn A Little More

Here is a link to a TED talk about the "Mania" of learning to speak English existing in countries around the world, and how this year (2009) China has become the largest English speaking country in the world! Jay Walker about the world English Mania. This is a great talk showing how English has joined Math and Music as a "universal language for Problem Solving."


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