A Short GeoBiking History
In the fall of 2003, I started working at Sportsmans Warehouse in Thornton as a "stop gap" job. I wanted to work in the archery department, but was hired into the "Gift Bar" because of my GPS knowledge. (In my prior life I did software & data base design, development & support for a telecom company).
(I started using a Garmin GPS 12XL in early 1998 to avoid getting lost while walking around the mountains with my bow. I used Fugawi and another software package intially, switching to DeLorme 3D Quads to get more detailed maps.)
I've always had an interest in mapping and a desire to get regular excercise via biking. I soon discovered that many of the trails were poorly marked if at all. Trails would have missing sections with no indication that another section was a few blocks away. So I got out my trusty 12XL and started recording my trails. I soon discovered the severe limitation of that GPS: (only one track log). (You couldn't follow trails & map a new one very easily!) I bought a Garmin 76, no mapping, but a large easy to read screen, 10 track logs and easy to operate. It became an invaluable tool that didn't fail me over the 3 years that I relied on it. (It is no longer being manufanctured)
Starting in 2004, I took classes in cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & remote sensing. I worked my trail mapping activities into my class projects.
I created my first website to start sharing my trail information with others.
(That website was decommisioned September 2007)
Starting fall of 2005, I started using a Brunton MNS (AKA Lowrance iFinder variant) along side my Garmin. The new unit allowed me to identify features, streets etc, helping me to know where I was names of parks etc. But, the Garmin continued to be my main mapping, unit.
Also in the Winter of 2005, I participated in beta testing TOPO USA 6 for DeLorme. I also alpha & beta tested their new GPS that allows you to use their map data on that GPS.PN20
In December of 2006 I acquired a Garmin 76CSX because it has better reception, color screen, twice as many tracklogs and is a great street & trail GPS. I am very happy with the visibilty of the screen in all lighting conditions. I can set the color of tracks I record & use to make them stand out on the screen. I have both street & Topo maps loaded onto the unit. This makes mapping the trails much easier!
Early 2007 DeLorme sent me a PN20 GPS as thanks for participating in their Alpah & Beta testing of the unit. It took a while for Ram-Mount to create a cradle for the unit, so I only started using the new GPS in May.
At some point I discovered trailcentral.com and posted many of my trails on that site. I liked the ability of being able to view the data using satellite imagery of Google Earth. I have since learned how to make my entire network of trails viewable in Google Earth.
Microsoft Office Live has been a a great help in making this website a reality. (It's FREE! I couldn't afford to do it on my own if it wasn't.)
I now provide a map overlay for the DeLorme PN series that allows you to display the entire trail network easily.
I would like to be able to make the trails available as a map overlay for Garmin mapping GPS units, but don't have the funds for the required software.
In 2008 I beta tested a DeLorme PN40 that I used along with with my Garmin 76CSx for trail mapping. Awesome device that allows me to view trail network on top of imagery, USGS quads or vector topo maps.
Again I did Beta testing for DeLorme, this time for the PN60w and Spot Satelite communicator along with Topo North America. Great Times!
Jan - April 2012 - Microsoft Office Live was changing direction, forcing me to move the website to another host with better capabilities. Took 4 full months of research & experimentation to create the current website. Had to learn a "Content Management System" (Joomla), and 3rd party provider extensions. One of the more challanging things was to present the trail data in a tabular format. Ended up storing the data in the database and used an AriSoft datatable to present the information in a widget. (HTML broswer discrepencies would not allow me to do this in HTML as before.) I'm continuing to learn more and hope to map the CO_70 zone this summer after post surgery restrictions lift.