John's KMZ files: Round 2

I've been doing web page design (using both HTML editing and WYSIWYG design software) since the late 1990's. My background is in cartography, and in the final year of a Cartography degree at RMIT University (in 1997) I was taught web design. I've had web pages online since then, mostly for my railway/astronomy/4WD'ing hobbies.

In late 2013, after producing KMZ files at work, I started creating some KMZ files at home from a variety of sources. See my KMZ Samples page for these. This page will list some more advanced attempts of mine at KMZ file production, especially as I start looking at 'real-world' options.

I'm now using a Magellan eXplorist 610 GPS on loan from a friend. Here, tracks / waypoints are downloaded to my computer and converted from GPX to KML format, either via the Quantum GIS software or a website such as KML to GPX. The KMZ file is opened in Google Earth and then edited as above.
I have now bought myself (Spring 2014 - having saved up enough and seeing the future potential) a licence of the MapInfo Professional GIS software for my home PC, and this is a benefit as it can export spatial data in KML format.  The KML files are also edited using First Page software.
I now have a large amount of Vicmap and Geoscience Australia data in GIS format. This will allow me to use such data as a 'base' and to check GPS tracks & waypoints against.

A friend who works in electronics referred me to an article in the November 2013 Silicon Chip magazine about a GPS Tracker which can record trips and points and write these as KML/GPX files to an SD card. The tracker could be used in a similar way to a handheld GPS.
By mid-2015, I had paid this friend to build one of these GPS Trackers for me and started using it.

I realise of course that there is both better-quality imagery available than Google Earth (eg. NearMaps) as well as better-quality mapping online than Google Maps (see my Spatial Sciences and 4WD Links pages for examples, such as Vicmap Interactive Map or NSW SiX). However, it is likely that more people - especially outside of the spatial information area - are more familiar with Google Earth/Maps than some of the other sites.

It is also worth noting that if you have a smartphone (especially one with a larger screen), as well as a web browser and GoogleEarth installed, you may be able to open these files on that.

KMZ files produced so far:
At work, I'm pretty much "staring at a computer all day, every day", so home computer use is limited. Therefore, adding new KMZ files will be done in 'dribs and drabs' as time permits.

Note also that these KMZ files are located only on this page and not within Google Earth or Google Maps itself.  The photos are on my Flickr pages here and here.

The future
What I have so far can serve as a 'portfolio' of my ability with such maps. See also my personal webpage under 'Portfolio' for my GPS and GIS skills.

Road-trip holidays as well as 4WD'ing have also been useful for 'unofficial' field-checking of maps, this being for the Melway Street Directory (since around 1996), and also of Spatial Vision's Vicmap Books since they first came out (in 2006). I've also been doing feedback on Vicmap hardcopy & softcopy maps as well as digital spatial data in more recent years.

Some of the most enjoyable times I've had have been when on road-trip holidays and 4WD trips - therefore my desire to get outdoors more often. They have been a great way of relaxing and unwinding away from the office.
I can navigate very well using paper maps (of which I have many) and GPS is very rarely used for navigation purposes at least (usually only for getting UTM/MGA coordinates which can then be checked against a paper map).
See also my web pages at Spatial Sciences and 4WD Links for more mapping-related links.

I'm also quite fit and a fast walker, so checking out walking/hiking tracks is something that can be considered.

Contact details:
Please feel free to email me if you have any comments or feedback. See also my LinkedIn web page for more information about me.

John Cleverdon