February 3, 2010

New Resource for Importing Existing Turnpoint Files to Google Maps

There was a questions that came up at the convention I hadn't answered yet, that I would like to address now:

Q) I have a number of turnpoint/waypoint/landout files used in flight on my PDA, how do I get them into my Google My Maps?

A) Prior to my discovery of this tool, I was only able to do this with tools I have developed that wouldn't share well. But, thanks to Lynn Alley and his website http://www.soaringdata.info/ there is now a tool for everyone to use, and better yet it's free and it's online! Here is how to take data you already have and map it in Google My Maps.

1) Start by downloading this file from the World Wide Turnpoint Exchange, saving it to your desktop for easy access later. I have chosen a .cup file but other waypoint formats will work. Read this for more info.
2) Go to http://www.soaringdata.info/ in the first box, click on the words "this link".
3) Use the Browse button and open the .cup file saved in step 1.
4) Select, "Include only turnpoints in the output" and/or "Use FAA/NASR aiport names" if you want.
***I believe the website has a small error so the next steps are a work around to be able to select, ".KML (for Google Earth)" in Box 4, which at this step should still be unselectable***
5.a) Input a local airport identifier in Box 1. If you downloaded the .cup from step 1, try using L94 (Mountain Valley Airport in Tehachapi, CA)
5.b) Select a maximum waypoint count of 5 (doesn't really matter)
*** At this point the ".KML (for Google Earth)" in Box 4 should be a selectable option***
5) Select ".KML (for Google Earth)" in Box 4
6) Type in "Soar" in option 5 and select Submit
7) You will get a popup that prompts you to save a .zip file; save it to your desktop. Once the download is complete, unzip the .kml file.
8) Go to Google Maps and Select My Maps and create a new map or open an existing map you want to add to (see my Feb 1st post for details) Then select the Import option, and brows to the .kml file and select OK.

In just a few seconds all your waypoints/landouts/airports will be imported into your map. You are 90% of the way to a great soaring resource for your local club. Here is an example map that should look just like the one you created following the steps above.

View US Airports from NASR Data in a larger map

As always, I'm available for questions.

Keep soaring,

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