Sunday, November 20, 2011

How I will document and 'report' my AT hiking experience

View Personal Continuous Footpath in a larger map

Isn't technology amazing! You can now embed photos in Google Earth that everyone can view with a click. This week I learned how.

Yep, lots of time hunkered down at my laptop in the past few days exploring the ways that I can share my adventure with interested followers in near real time and with as much realism and detail as possible. Of course I'll be regularly adding blog entries here, and I expect this is where the bulk of my 'text content' will appear. Facebook will supplement this, as will I've already set up those access points.

But there are three other potential places to add more richness to the posted info. These are largely map-based or location based. The Google Maps 'My Places' application allows me to create maps such as the one above, which documents some of the Maryland segment of my 'Personal Continuous Footpath', about which I hope to talk further in another post. Its strength is being able to mark routes (as with the red and blue lines in the map above. In my case these routes are walking routes that I've completed. The map is not complete - the application doesn't seem to like it when you add too many distinct items (things listed in the column on the list at left side of the page in the full version of the above map. So I will probably be creating a series of such maps.

Now for the photo part: you can pop open the selection/menu box in upper right (for type of map to view) and there you can check 'Photos'. When you do, if all works as they say it should, photos that I've submitted to Google Earth will appear (along with photos submitted by many other users). By clicking on the thumbnail, the full photo should appear in the map window exactly the way that a Street View image would. Voila!!

Another way to view only the photos submitted by me is to go to the Google affiliated photo site, Panoramio, which is where I actually submit my photos for approval by Google Earth. As you can see, the three experimental submissions (at the time of this writing that's all there were), were approved for Google Earth already - it took barely 24 hours.

Finally, another great online resource: In researching parking and access points for the day hikes that will make up my adventure, I discovered the Appalachian Trail Parking, Access, Maps and Pictures site. This is an amateur web site that has hundreds of photos arranged by location along the entire AT. It's big advantage is that it is AT specific, showing only trail views and views of parking and access areas related to the Appalachian Trail, and nicely arranged geographically by trail section and mile marker. I will be referring to this site constantly as I prepare the logistics for each day's hike, and I hope to contribute lots of my photos and info to them in exchange.

Soon I'll be off for a couple of days of hiking, not on the AT but to extend my Personal Continuous Footpath. More on that next week, perhaps. Then it's home for a big family dinner and visit for Thanksgiving. Hope everyone has a fantastic Turkey Day!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to the AT parking site. I'd been looking for something like that but hadn't found such a good resource. I'm thinking of doing a lot of day hikes to complete the northern half of the AT that I haven't hiked yet. I'll be following how it works for you.