GPS Logging

Tags Maps

Flights aren’t the only things I like to map. I also often record GPS data while driving, bicycling, or walking, and create maps of the routes.

Driving

From July 2010 to December 2011, I recorded a log of everywhere I drove, and imported it into Google Earth.

Google Earth map of driving tracks

I performed the logging with a Garmin nüvi 1390T automotive GPS. However, I’ve been able to extract the log from other Garmin nüvi models as well.

The GPS log gives a good overview of everywhere I drove in the country for that year and a half — when I traveled and rented a car, I brought along my GPS to record those routes as well. For example, the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Texas:

Google Earth map of driving tracks

Even at closer zoom levels, the detail is decent:

Google Earth map of driving tracks

Walking and Biking

If I want to create a map while I’m not driving, I use my iPhone to record the location data.

As an example, there are a lot of old rail lines in my area that have been converted to bicycle trails. I took a log of my bike riding over one summer and created the following map:

OpenStreetMap of bicycling tracks

In this case, I used uMap with OpenStreetMap data. However, it would have been trivial to use the bicycling data in Google Earth instead.

Ingress Mapping

I occasionally play a geocaching game called Ingress, which encourages walking around between different waypoints on a map. Sometimes these waypoints are arranged into “missions” which require visiting waypoints in a certain order, and reward a digital “badge” with a picture related to the mission.

Sometimes, there are groups of missions with badge pictures that form a larger mosaic. I particularly like completing these (I enjoy walking and exploring), and I’ve started recording location data while I play to make maps.

Map of Tulsa Skyline Ingress Missions

See more of my Ingress mosaic maps.