Exploration Guides

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EGMaps – Collect Your Data

The first thing you need to do to build your own app using EGMaps’ API is to collect your data.  There’s a good chance that you already have this, but just in case you don’t…

Points of Interest/Waypoints

Points of interest, or POI’s, can be any spot on a map.  In parks, maybe it’s a waterfall, parking area, mountain peak, or restroom.  Tourist areas can use them for restaurants, hotels, and attractions.  Businesses will most likely use points of interest to show prospective customers their locations.  If it’s a distinct location, it needs to be a point of interest.

For every point of interest, you’ll need to have a latitude, longitude, and, ideally, an elevation.  You’ll also eventually need a name for the POI in your app and a web page to link to from that POI.

The best way to get the locations depends on what those locations actually are.  If you’re doing business locations, or the locations of large areas, like just adding a POI for each park in a state park system, you can easily use on-line sources like Google Maps or Google Earth.  If you need more precise locations, like individual sculptures in a sculpture garden, or if you have locations that don’t really show up in satellite photos, like small waterfalls or small archaeological ruins, then you need a GPS.  Nearly any GPS will do, and if you don’t own a dedicate GPS, there’s no problem using your smartphone.  We recommend using the free Google My Tracks app.

Trails

Trails are, usually, going to be more work than POI’s.  Although all data for our sample app, The Niagara River Fish Trail, was generated in Google Earth, unless you’re looking at trails that aren’t really that specific (like crossing lakes or going down big, wide roads and rivers), you’ll probably have to go actually survey trails.  If you’re doing extensive trail survey, you’ll probably want a dedicated hiking GPS, even a mapping GPS (which is, basically, a high-end hiking GPS), as they have much larger storage capacity, higher detail, and, perhaps most importantly, longer battery life.  For smaller trail networks, though, you can use the smartphone options, such as My Tracks.

Have your data?

Now that your data’s collected, it’s time to export it to your computer, then clean it up.

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