[Talk-ca] Land Information Ontario - Trails status update

Sam Vekemans acrosscanadatrails at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 18:49:35 GMT 2010

Hi all,

With many thanks to those hiker/snowmobilers/navigator(s) who have actually
hiked the Voyageur Trails up by Nipiging (east of Thunder Bay) and comparing
it direcly with the Land Information Ontario Data.  I had a 2nd wonderfully
detailed track set of  tracks to work with, so I started to draw in the

I can't name them yet, until i see the name information in the Land
Information Ontario Database, but the 1st thing is to get it it on the map.
As im going along, im adding in some map features (to get some barrings of
where this trail is) rivers/water areas.  Just tracing from the Toporama WMS
Layer, (which is the identical information that will be available to copy in
from Natural Resources Canada.

If anyone else is interested to help map out these trails, please let me

I have combined the 5,862 tracks... down to 1,066 tracks..
1 > Which was converted from SHP format to GPX using expert gps
2 >and using OpenJUMP to view the files (I can also split the shp files into
smaller shp files (categorizing them by entity type) but for this one, i
converted the whole file.
3 >Then I used GPSMapEdit to re-save the .gpx file as a Garmin MapSource
.gbd file (since MapSource has a hard time with large GPX files).
4 > Then i manually went through the tracks and connected those tracks that
were right next to eachother
5 > then (as i was connecting) colour-coded the tracks, with dark-yellow as
the Regional route (or what i guess are the regional routes)
6 > then with dark-green i colour coded those tracks which connected to the
main-dark yellow track at 2 points, forming an 'alternate-route bi-pass'
7 > then with Dark Magenta, i colour coded those tracks which connected to
the dark-green tracks at 2 points, forming an 'sub-alternate-route-bi-pass'
8 > for those tracks left over as 'pieces (greater than 1 track with 2
points) i coded them with Dark-brown.  These tracks are mostly the trails
that are from the road to the main-line, sub-route, or sub-sub route, or to
other small track segmens, or on their own.
9 > I sorted the tracks by size, and for those tracks with 2 points, i
connected it with a 'back-track', so then it formed part of the longer
trail. (so it will be less tracks to work with) & doesn't create new trails.
10 > i created a new file for different coloured tracks ... but that can be
done easily.
11 > I also created a Garmin GPS Transparent Map & MapSource installer for
just these tracks (if anyone wants it, i can easily make it)
12 > these tracks & garmin mapsource files will be made available on
http://www.trackshare.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=7 (as it's trails for all
of Canada) .. and there are a few in Ontario.

HINT: Folks to want to help out the trackshare.com community can make gpx
tracks & Garmin MapSource files from the route relations that will be
getting made for each of the local & regional tracks.   (all trail users out
there would love it!)     .... as well as an extract in shp format of
everything marked 'highway=track;cycleway;footway;path' within the bounds of
the Canada Polygon (relation).     .... actucally, it's me who would like
that, but the former others will like  :-)   ... and as a result of the
latter, others will like in-turn (as i'll make a Garmin Map out of it)

   Since the following statements are true about this dataset;
- this information has not been physically verified, by an OSM mapper
- these tracks need to be verified by at least 1 other track (in the OSM
- the exact usage designated for these tracks are unknown so they could be a
canoeing or snowmobiling route)
- connections between tracks that are greater than 1 meter, should not be
connected or assumed that the way is navigatable.  (their might be a river /
valley / rocks / obstacle / private_property etc. in the way)
- this information may be very dated (the source Date IS available in the
datasource, however i didn't use it because i am tracing tracks that others
have navigated)
- this information is assumed to be geographically accurate (it was put
their by Ontario Trails Council) & community groups (paid & unpaid)
- Land Information Ontario provides DIFF files for trails that might need to
be removed. (so that's another sign that it's accurate)
- For some of the sections a much higher node count ( probably a per minuite
count) when the GPS was recoding.  So it's best to stay within the accuracy
of the combined 2 tracks, to get the trail around the mid-point.   (Standard
OSM Trail Mapping practice)

Mapping with Land Information Ontario Trails: method
-contact me if you are helping :-) So we dont trip feet
-note that i am working from the extreme north-west and working my way
south, getting all the trails as i go along.
-Run JOSM with more power   (on the command line use)
java -Xmx512M -jar C:\josm-tested.jar
-Open the Big .gpx track file
(you can roughly see the shape of ontario with the tracks)
-zoom to your favorite are you want to map
-download the area that you want to work with
-use the Toporama WMS layer (if you dont have it already) (the 1st link has
more detail but takes longer to load), the second one has less detail but
loads faster (used to quickly navigate)
-download the latest GPS track data for the area (as new layer)
-use the show/hide function to view the different track layers
-for mapping, just copy the tags i use or if you have a better idea (just
tell me, & im happy to change my practice)
-especially for areas that have few roads, draw in the rivers/water features
that are near & cross these tracks, as these things help the trail GPS user
to find their way.
-if there are other mappers around, it would be great to contact them to let
them know what you have done (as these people might live closer & want to
further build the map with more details)

So anyway, if anyone is intersted in helping do some 'trail-blazing' just
let me know, then we can coordinate efforts.   ... otherwise I'll continue
to get it all done.

... and since were all open source - here's the code
19.12megs gpx file (contains all the coloured and connected tracks)

83.77megs and the Land Information Ontario.zip file that contains everything
in that folder that i have been using (and wrote about above).   If anything
is needed, just ask. :)

Sam Vekemans
Across Canada Trails
~ Mapping the country, 1 track at a time...

P.S. This message was sent to my post at posterous.com blog account, to please
be careful when replying ALL (it's in my BCC: address line) so i dont think
it should be visable, but im a newbie at this), its also sent to Patrick
Connor (as he is the Ontario Trails Council contact)

Twitter: @Acrosscanada
Blog:  http://Acrosscanadatrails.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sam.vekemans
Skype: samvekemans
OpenStreetMap IRC: http://irc.openstreetmap.org
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