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Log 2016112902

All of the GIS and GPS tracks for the North Country Trail in Michigan have been numbered in order in the westbound direction.  The next step is to change the color of every other one so I can determine what direction they're in and make sure that the beginnings and terminators barely overlap.

Log 2016112901

Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter of the North Country Trail Association accounts for 134 of the GIS Repository.  I haven't yet tried to overtake smaller tracks with anything stock yet. So far, at the moment, that's a lot and there's not enough of anything on Google Maps or Earth to overtake it with, either.


Log 2016112701

The hard part is over.  The majority of the tracks for the North Country Trail in Michigan are now organized by chapter.  I made some mistakes in the Upper Peninsula tracks, so I started consulting the chapter spans from their individual web pages.

What's left with Michigan's tracks:

Changing every chapter's track color to NCT blue
Transplanting some missing tracks from my copy of the NCTA GIS Repository.  It's tracks are usually red.
After transplanting, turn all tracks in chapter folders to NCT blue

Numbering the tracks in westbound order.
Having Google Earth resort them in numeric order
Changing the track colors so that every other one is red or yellow.
Find smaller tracks and overtake them with a neighboring track (this lowers the track listing)
Adjust the track beginning and terminators to that one is directly on top of the other.
Determine what direction each track is facing and note it (Eb or Wb)
Reverse the eastbound tracks and integrate the new westbound tracks in their place
Merge chapter by chapter
Note each chapters mileage, high and low points
Report my findings to the North Country Trail's Facebook group.

That might seem like a lot, but it's just another day's volunteerism.  Right now, about 1,000 miles of trail is organized the way it should be.  And for today, that's good enough for me.  Wisconsin and Minnesota aren't going to be nearly as hard.  North Dakota's modified tracks just need to be cut down, or merged by chapter and reported on.


Log 2016112601

I finished merging the GPS track for the North Country Trail - Pennsylvania.  In the short run, it's results are located on it's Facebook group.  Where the content of this group is more "static" and hits on various search engines, their Facebook group is closed to members only (you might become one).  I'm going to support the group.  In the meantime, I still have three states that need merging.  I've already reported on the statewide highs and lows for Ohio and North Dakota.  But the current format is that I also do it for every chapter, partner and affiliate.  I haven't done those with those states yet.  So, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota need the real work.  I plan to split Michigan between the LP and UP.  Otherwise, it's about 1,000 miles of tracks to deal with as one state.

But I think I'm going to get on to other things in the time being.  My motorhome needs a new high pressure, in-line fuel pump installed soon.  After my final data is digested by North Country's Facebook group, I'll probably add my final data for the trail entirely here on Blogger.


Log 2016112401

I finished up the tracks for the Clarion Chapter of the North Country Trail Association and the concurrent portion of the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy's Baker Trail.  One of the tracks marked as belonging to the conservancy occurred in an area where Clarion Chapter's NCTA tracks surrounded it.  I'm patched for Pennsylvania, so I just merged it into Clarion.

When things don't go right during the merging process, I have a methodical diagnostic procedure.  I don't always have to use it, but today I did on Clarion.  1/3rd of the chapter merged, but wasn't displaying the "measurements" tab when it was opened in Google Earth.  Well, it had a lot of eastbound tracks that needed to be reversed.  Apparently the final track, number 26, was westbound (in the correct direction to begin with) When everything else reversed the right way, number 26 was flipped heading eastbound.

I had to go back and verify the direction of every track to discover that 26 was wrong and then correct it.  Clarion was easier because some of it's off-road route was on Google Maps and I was able to make single tracks for them.  But, I started and finished Butler's.  I started off with 64 tracks for that chapter, all of which are the NCTA originals.  I had to get the track listing down by overtaking several short segments.

I'm not a GIS operator, but I think that the tracks facing the ways that they do is because that's the direction that they were recorded in.  Even on the longest distance trails, most of these had to be made with the GIS on foot, making various measurements with the device along the way.  I think that they're in different directions because it was just more advantageous to do those tracks that way at the time.  It may have had to do with parking or camping?


Log 2016112301

I have a merged GPS track for the North Country Trail - Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest.  It's coming in at 96.1 miles long with a working elevation track.  Google Earth has the track in one of it's layers.  But pedestrian directions on either The Robot or the laptop aren't working.  And they're not on Google My Maps at all.  But I find it on Google Maps when I zoomed in to 200ft scale.

What I did was break up the task into 6 parts.  Then I used coordinates from Google Earth and the location of each parts terminator, dragging the route on Google Maps to the correct track.  After each part, I copied the URL of the web page and performed a GPX conversion on GPSVisualizer using it.  I saved it to the hard drive and opened it in Google Earth as I go.

I made sure that all of the terminators were touching each other except the outside two of the whole project.  Then I saved the folder with the modified tracks.  In Google Maps, I did everything in the same direction, so I didn't have to worry about reversing anything.  I then went to convert that file to GPX and merged everything together in GPSVisualizer and that's how I came up with the master modified track.

There were times when Google's track and the North Country Trail Association's differed.  Was there a re-route?  The NCTA's data might be more accurate?  But then again, it's been a while since those tracks were released.  Since I'm not there in person, I pretty much just had to pick one.

Now I've been contributing my high and low point data on the North Country Trail Association's Facebook group.


Log 2016112202

My tracks for Central New York Chapter of the North Country Trail Association is going to be easy to merge and I have it high and low elevations anyways.  So, I moved ahead and got the NCT GIS Repository tracks for Pennsylvania organized by chapter.  Then I started working on the Allegheny National Forest.  I went out on a limb and tried to merge it's 95 miles at once, but the GPX file came back with errors.

I always work in the westbound direction, so I started numbering it's tracks 00 - 54 at that point.  I had changed GPSVisualizer's settings so that it would convert to GPX and not merge.  This time, the reordered tracks showed the correct mileage on the output.  But when I went to merge, there were still errors.

Like I mentioned, it's on a limb.  The proper proceedure at that point is to determine what direction the tracks are heading in and edit their names with Eb or Wb.  Once I get done with that, I'll choose whether its easier to merge eastbound or westbound, put one in a folder and save to the hard drive.  The use GPSVisualizer's "reverse tracks" feature for GPX output to get them all facing the same direction.

Afterwards, I'll import them to Google Earth and replace the tracks that are in the wrong direction, save that file and run the GPX conversion set to "connect all segments" and "merge tracks."  Usually that does it.  But if it still gets errors, I'll need to go back over the raw track segments again to confirm that they're in the correct direction.

If they aren't, then I'll have to reverse the affected segment and repeat the process.  But if they're right, then that means that there is a bad track somewhere.  The fix to this is to overtake and trace the track by hand, extending the terminators of one of it's neighbors... then delete the bad track.  Once that's done, go back through the GPSVisualizer GPX merging process.

Log 2016112201

The GIS tracks from tge Finger Lakes Trail Conference were extremely easy to merge.  GPSVisualizer merged about 430 miles worth successfully. That's not always possible.  But, GPSVisualizer did it easily.


Log 2016111801

- This logs pageviews are at 8,750 today.  I know that I got just over 3,000 of them last year and I think I may have started writing about the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent) on December 14th, 2014 at about 2,000, but I'm not sure?

- My tracks for Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota are almost ready to be merged according to chapter.  Each track will have to be numbered in order from east to west.  Then I'll have to determine what direction their heading in.  They all have to be westbound.  Any eastbound tracks will have to be reversed.  And any bad tracks will have to be traced by hand as an extension of the previous one.

There were some differences between the NCTA GIS Repository and their on-line maps.  In some cases, I'm not sure which is the correct route?  Nonetheless, I'm probably a lot further on this than most people.  It might be kind of novel for the chapters to have their high and low points.

Ohio's was already done.  It was a part of a separate project where I did the high's and low's for the Buckeye, North Country and American Discovery Trails in Ohio & Kentucky (are run as one unit by the ADTS).


Log 2016111702

The new 4th hard disk started giving me the same problems. It would partition, format, transfer files and read them briefly. But then it would seem to currupt it's data and shoe folders with nothing in them.
At that rate, I suspected the motherboard's SATA RAID controller. I was in the device manager and I saw that my expansion SATA RAID was working, so I swapped the data cable over to it. It picked up my previously transferred data and is now transferring more.
I don't think I'll be going through the trouble of returning the new drive.

Log 2016111701

The Robot's previous 4th hard disk, a 1.0 terabyte Western Digital WD10EZEX was replaced with a 2 terabyte Toshiba P300.  While that helps me store map images to overlay in Google Earth in the short run, it does not alleviate the math co-processor driver problem with working with the North Country Trail tracks.  The co-processor is a chip on the motherboard that performs complex math.

I just testing dragging the tracks on my laptop, which doesn't not have a co-processor driver problem.  And while it was working, Google Earth was very sluggish at moving them.  When I moved it up to the new folder, it lingered there and dropped about 15 seconds later.  At that rate, I could get the task done faster using copy and paste on The Robot (even with it's problems).


Log 2016111501

I recently purchased nearly a set of obsolete Buckeye Trail (North Country and American Discovery Trails concurrent in parts) maps for $50.  I'm missing a 2005 or 2008 copy of the Old Man's Cave Section.  I use to own all of these, but I was replacing and discarding them over the years.  This winter, I think I'm going to begin a Buckeye Trail evolution project on Google Earth.  Over time, I think I can track where the trail was and it's deleted amenities.  For volunteer trail promoters, adopters and perhaps the BTA could make use of it?  For instance, a trail adopter might encounter somebody who believes that the trail is on their road.  But if it was, it happened prior to date that the section supervisor or their adopters started volunteering there.

~ Unfortunately, the result of this project will not be open to the public. ~

~ The inaugural maps for the Road Fork and Whipple Sections (North Country concurrent) were the January 2005 edition for both. ~


Log 2016111201

I'm estimating that the traditional hiking (which is unofficial) season on The Wilderness Loop is 35 weeks long.


Log 2016110701

I just discovered that the driver is missing for The Robot's math co-processor and another component. Along with not being able to get sound out of my connected TV, the lack of a math co-processor might be the cause of my Google Earth crashing problems when working with the North Country Trail Association's GIS data?
The problem is that my motherboard went on the market about 9 years ago and they don't make Windows 10 drivers for it.  That means I need a new motherboard, RAM and CPU.


Log 2016111601

I replaced the 700W power supply unit in The Robot.  While it seems to have fixed the drive problems in my forth hard disk.  But I didn't do anything for working with the GIS data from the North Country Trail Assocition (NCTA).  I renamed most of the tracks by state and proceeded to try and move them by click, highlight and drag.  But Google Earth always crashes even if the NCTA tracks are unchecked (not displayed).  They will move by cut and paste, but that's going to drag out my project.  However, at this time, I don't see much else I can do about that.  From what I can tell, the NCTA tracks are loaded with GIS information in the properties and I think that might be the cause?

And my single track for the North Country Trail (NCT) in North Dakota is nowhere to be found.  I previously merged that to determine its low and high points.  I plan to perform trail maintenance on the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail for four days next week.  Maybe when I get back, I can start a better search for this file?