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Basic G-E Standards

Q&A for creating Google Maps! PacificNG from it's inception has wanted to create a unique means of exploring the Narrow Gauge ROWs. Here is where we can all help out.
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Basic G-E Standards

Postby CraigH » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:30 am

Intro:
This is the start of a Thread to post hints and tips for Mapping in G-E. Feel free to add pointers.


Mapping:
1) What roads are of interest to you? It can help us put you in touch with other guys and resources. Get in touch with us in the Mapping section on the Forum.

Getting started:
The best way to get us off our collective buts on "How Too's" is to post questions. There are some basics we take for granted that need asking about.

Obviously the first is to download Google Earth. It has the basic Linework tools for the ROW.

A very cool tool is Google Sketch-Up if you want to learn about building 3/D structures. I'd save that for later on another Thread.


Now,

In G-E (Google Earth) one can import images (Overlays). JPEGS work best. This is handy for scanned or downloaded maps of the ROW. You WILL have to fudge with scaling, placement, and fit. Here's the critical bit, keep in mind that I have a precision mapping background (and built in bias):

Maps are created in 2/D. The G-E model is actually a 3/D projection on a theoretical globe (it's all tied into a theoretical Earth Model used by the GPS mapping community...we won't go into it, highly complex mapping standards).

2/D maps will never fit perfectly in G-E. Get it as close as you can and make your linework match what is visible on the ground in G-E. Use landforms, visible berms, buildings designed to fit where the ROW appears to go. Older dominating City streets are frequently reminant ROW. Major streets in subdivisions may be old ROW...they represent pregraded roadway (think ease/cost for the contractor). Watch vegitation and shadows in the vegitation in wooded areas. Shorter trees can be a giveaway!
Clock_and_slider.jpg
There's a bar/command icon in G-E that allows you to look at earlier imagry! Differences in the time/season of the earlier imagry can make hard to see details pop out. Warning: they can also be placed differently than the current imagery!!!! USE the current images for placement.

Maps from Railroad Books are general approximations unless they are reproductions of Engineering Maps. They are not built from Cartographers or Surveyors...there is NO accuracy to them. They are handy for approximations and finding ROW traces in G-E.

Sanborn Maps Note: The maps are designed to note fire hazards, water supplies and related information. They are NOT intended to be spacially accurate. Don't trust them for dimensional information. They are still highly usefull for getting a reasonable placement. The absolute best maps are RR Engineering Maps. They have curve data, tangent data (the strait bits connecting the curves), culverts, etc.

Study the South Pacific Coast Map for the CURRENT Linework Standards. Emulate that. ALSO, Pick a representative date! You can add layers showing changes and realignment later. The file organization can get crazy and complex. We have no standad on that, just try to make it so some other guy can figure it out. http://www.pacificng.com/template.php?page=roads/ca/spc/routege.htm

ALSO, keep track of ALL your source info. You'll need it later, so will other guys, especially if you join forces. Be sure to credit all contributors. We hope these maps become collaborative efforts (that can become a very powerfull tool).

Forgot to add, have fun! They are addictive.

Craig Hoefer
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Re: Basic G-E Standards

Postby sparkie101 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:47 pm

Greg,

I have been researching and collecting info on the Oahu Railway and Land Co for some time and am interested in doing a G-E map. I guess I am a little slow on figureing how to even start. Can you point me to something that explains how to extract the G-E map into the map I would work on?

Thanks, Sparkie
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Re: Basic G-E Standards

Postby CraigH » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:39 am

Sparkie,

Not quite sure where you're going with this question. More info please! What sort of mapping are you doing?

It sounds like you've done some work in G-E and want to export into a non-G-E map you've been developing.

One can do screen shots in a number of formats, I've then shipped them into Photoshop or Corel Graphics Suite for editing (at least in bitmap and jpeg format).

There are also several programs that can read and use the G-E line tracing and POI data for handheld, surveying grade, and airborne GPS units. I've also run into a number of sim games that can use G-E data (at least Flight Sims).

Also, a number of Civil Engineering Land Survey, and GIS software packages can import/export G-E data. G-E in part was designed as a tool for the GIS field.

CraigH
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Re: Basic G-E Standards

Postby sparkie101 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:47 pm

Craig,

The problem is that maybe I don't know where I am going either. I know G-E and have used it many time in doing various RR related projects including gathering long/lat for use in rairoad simulator applications. I can figure out how to trace the ROW and place photos etc. What I don't know is the process of taking the G-E map out of G-E to use it the form application. Also do all 3D buildings have to go through the G-E clearing process? I hope this makes my question clearer.

Thanks,
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Re: Basic G-E Standards

Postby Andrew Brandon » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:50 am

If I am understanding correctly, you're asking how to save the map data as a kmz file? Or something else?
For a KMZ file, assuming you've already got everything in a folder in your places window. You then right click on the folder and "Save Place As" that should group the contents into the KMZ file that you can share.

As for buildings, I am not sure they have to be cleared, I think that process is for the buildings that show up on the Google buildings layer. If I am not mistaken the buildings added would be included in the KMZ file when you save it.
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