This has to be one of the best mashups I’ve seen for a while. Gavin Brock has created a KML file that links google earth to the OS map site, basically allowing you to overlay the Ordnance Survey Maps onto your current google earth view.
During the summer when we were walking around the thames path, I traced out the route on GoogleEarth, exported it to a KML/XML file, and used GPSBabel to convert it to a format the Garmin could understand.
Recently we’ve been walking the The Test Way, A 44 mile long-distance walking route takes you from a dramatic start, high on the chalk downs at Inkpen, following much of the course of the River Test to Eling where its tidal waters flow into Southampton Water at Romsey.
Because I dont have The Test Way on OS maps, or in a form I can directly use on the Garmin, I was wondering how I could trace out the route from the description of the walks on an OS map and get the route into the GPS to follow.
A quick hunt and Gavins KML seems to be the answer. The KML itself is very easy to install, basically pull it down from his website and load it into Google Earth. Turn it on or off depending on if you need the OS view, and it will automatically update the view when GoogleEarth is idle and not zooming.
It’s obviously not a substitute for the real OS maps you’d take on a walk, but it’s a good option for helping to plan up a route for a walk, given that things like public footpaths, pubs (pubs are very important on walks!!). It does however also remind me that I probably should post up a tutorial on how to get the route off GoogleEarth and onto the Garmin, as it took me a few go’s to get it right.
I also probably should do the reverse and put the Test Way route up as KML’s or similar for other people to use if they want to do the walk (this may involve walking the first leg again to get the GPS track). Still, back on the subject of the actual OS Map/Google Earth KML integration. The really nice thing about how this works is that the OS maps show the most relevant map type for the level your currently at.
The 60 mile up view shows the miniscale view of the OS maps, as you progressively zoom into google earth, the KML network link refreshes and displays the most suitable scale of the OS map. right down the the higher views that show topography, foot paths, right of ways and the like. This higher detail view is just perfect for mapping out the paths and routes for walk.
This is a great addon for Google Earth, and I’ve had hours of geeky inspired fun zooming round the UK looking at all the OS map levels, turning them on and off and comparing them to the underlying Google Earth views.. So far it looks solid, stable, and quick..