ClubWiki:Creating a Trail KML

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Here are the steps to create a KML for uploading to a trail page.


Typical software needed is as follows:

Retrieving Logs[edit]

The following devices have been detailed for use and data retrieval

For Garmin devices with USB, when plugged in, if you can browse the contents as a memory device you will use the second method. If when you plug it in, it is recognized but doesn't provide access to the file contents, you will use the first method.

Overall Process[edit]

  1. Start logging a trail and hiking
  2. Mark waypoints at points of note - particularly trail intersections as that will be used for segmenting to specific trails as well as map markers.
    1. Snapping a picture of your device showing the recently created waypoint immediately before/after taking a photo will help placing a picture on the map or what was the purpose of the waypoint.
    2. An additional option is to write notes in a notebook and again snap a photo of your note at the same time as placing your waypoint to aid later connecting the two.
    3. Both of these options usually are much easier and quicker than trying to put notes about the waypoint into your logging device.
  3. Offload the tracks and waypoints to your computer
    1. Use GPSBabel or desired method
  4. Get file into KML format (if not exported in KML)
  5. Open KML in Google Earth and edit
    1. Trim path to desired trail and remove any large diversions (small ones will be removed automatically later)
    2. Change the path name to the trail name (This is the name that shows when you click on a trail in a wiki map)
    3. Change path color to desired color, then path width of 3.0 and opacity of 100%
    4. Right click on the path name (now the trail name) and "Save as..." changing to file type "KML" and provide a file name
  6. Run trail KML through settings as follows (previous link will open the page and preload these settings)
    1. Output file type: KML,
    2. US units
    3. Add DEM elevation data: "best available source"
    4. trackpoint distance threshold: 5
  7. Open gpsvisualizer processed file in Google Earth again and review for desired appearance - looking primarily for "track knots" from signal wandering
  8. Complete! Ready for upload!