Monday, September 08, 2008

Google Maps - A Hiker's Best Friend

I'm starting to plan a fairly length hike in the Shenandoah National Park. I've got a handy book that outlines the hike I want to take (#25, Brown Mountain/Rockytop), but the map is mediocre.

While trying to get driving directions to the area, I noticed that Google was offering terrain mode for the park. I clicked it, and bam! - I had interactive topo map. And, surprisingly (to me, anyway), all the trails we need to follow are marked on it. How cool is that?

View Larger Map

I've now gone through and captured various latitude and longitude points throughout the hike. I'll plug these into my Geko, and we should have a much less reduced chance of getting lost. Here are the waypoints I selected, plotted by the always useful

I love how I've been able to take a virtual tour of the area, all without having to bother tracking down specific maps or installing special software.

Google never ceases to amaze. For the record, I will bring my Geko on the trip (and will rely on it heavily), but I won't be bringing a laptop. Nope, Google will just be used in the planning stages of this trip.

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