Tuesday, July 13, 2010

USGS Map Waypoints: Arizona

I have it on good authority that Arizona "felt left out" of what is turning out to be a major life's work for me in these western states USGS waypoint files.

Five hours of work, 43,752 waypoints (including those beginning outside the state) and Fifteen counties later… we have mappage.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Arizona USGS Waypoints]

I never realized that Arizona 7th graders had it so easy in their history class when it came time to memorize the counties in the state – only fifteen. And the file size is only a tenth of California's.

It's also way less than either Nevada or Utah – two states which it more closely resembles in size.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'Ronald Reagan
It seems that Arizona settlers had better things to do than go around naming stuff – or perhaps, didn't want to tell the government what they had or were up to!

Be that as it may, the Arizona USGS waypoint file is now up for your perusal and use in planning you trips - or helping your kids with their geography homework.

Load the file – navigate to the area you'd like to ride – click on the appropriate box next to the county – and watch Google Earth strain trying to plot all the waterholes and things.

I always am sure to do this before taking a ride because I hate to come back and find that I've missed things to see which were only a short ride off the trail I took.

What you CAN do is to create a "new folder" in your temporary files menu on Google Earth. Then click and paste the waypoints you want from MY file into your new folder in order to create a custom folder with only the waypoints you want to see persist on your computer.

You then even can do a "save as" a kml file so you can import it into GPSvisualizer or some such program that will convert it into the .gpx format that you need to import into your hand-held GPS unit.

All in all, what originally began as an obsessive-compulsive "that would be nice" endeavor has turned into a very useful tool.

Learn A Little More

Arizona Counties and map waypoint numbers:
  • Apache - 3095
  • Cochise - 2072
  • Coconino - 6787
  • Gila - 3624
  • Graham - 1934
  • Greenlee - 1902
  • La Paz - 630
  • Maricopa - 5844
  • Mohave - 3017
  • Navajo - 2687
  • Pima - 3241
  • Pinal - 1832
  • Santa Cruz - 1139
  • Yavapai - 4965
  • Yuma - 792


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