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