Monday, July 1, 2013

Interstate Exits: Oregon KML File

The fourth installment in what seems like is turning out to be almost a life's work. I'm trying to make up for Google Earth's (in fact the entire internet's) lack of publicly accessible geo-coordinates for the exit locations along the interstate system.

It's a maddening exercise trying to follow along one of the trail books which gives directions in terms of freeway exit numbers - cause Google Earth has no such labels. Then try and "Google" it - you do get one or two worthwhile hits but they all want you to join their society or download sophisticated software (for a fee) or merely display the numbers on a proprietary, protected PDF file.

The Department of Transportation is the government body who has the data for every exit they created. It's a public tax-funded organization. The data was gathered by tax-funded employees on government time; but, just as expected, they don't have a clue (or any intention) of making their data publicly accessible and useable.

I have gotten access to the data by a very circuitous route, but in a completely raw format which needs extensive coding in order to fit into a KML file. Here is the latest adventure into Oregon another very sparse state as I-exits go, and I'm telling you, I'm not very much looking forward to California!

Oregon Interstates

Oregon seems like it was as low on the politicians political-favors spending list as Wyoming. Only five "I" segments to it's entire area. I-5 continues what it started up in Washington by traversing Oregon north to south in its entirety through Portland. I-82 merely "blinks" out of Washington with only two exits before dying into I-84. I-84 comes northwest out of Idaho until stopped by the river and runs along its banks over to end at I-5 in Portland.

Then there's the local interstates around Portland: I-205 and I-405; but, I'll tell you that you'll be hard pressed to even find the 405 on the map because it only has ONE exit through the Goose Hollow suburb of Portland. Pretty poor excuse for an Interstate but it does get people across the river, twice.

Free Google Earth File

The free Google Earth file for Oregon interstate exits is available at: Google Earth Trail FileOffroading Home on the specialty map resource page. Click to arrive at the page and select the Oregon map. It is a .kml file utilized by Google Earth. You can either save the map on your computer or click "open" to have it open directly inside Google Earth.

Learn A Little More

I've shown you a couple of clips of Victor Borge before. He's the concert pianist whose sense of humor occasionally got in the way of actually finishing his intended piece of music, but which sky-rocketed him in the hearts of the American Public.

In this "two-fer" you get to see Victor at his best. A segment of one of his concerts called "the page turner" – I should set this up by saying that earlier in the concert he did a rolling-in-the-isles segment where the words "negi negi" were defined as having bad breath; and, that the tall drink of water turning the pages is really his son.

The second clip bespeaks of Mr. Borge's legacy - two talented pianists in their own right, just having a great time and appealing to audiences who probably otherwise wouldn't give such music a second glance.

Victor Borge - "Page Turner"

Further Apologies to Victor


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