Sunday, April 4, 2021

Baltimore historic hike map development

Trail map and guide maintenance

From the original trail guide, the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore. This is a iconic drawing style I'd like to have in the newest guides.
(see old trail notes: 1 2 3 4 )

Waypoints and traces

With images and GPS coordinates from earlier hikes, I put together worksheets of data to feed into the GPS Babel program, and GPSPrune, to build custom maps that use OpenMap data, rather than Google, to provide alternate tools besides the estimable Google Maps and Google Earth Pro.

GPSBabel does things like:

gpsbabel.exe -i unicsv -f legacy-trails-segment-4.csv -o gpx -F segment4.gpx


name    desc    lat     lon     symb    comment
39977269                39.29714        -76.59555
39977269                39.29714        -76.59555


  <wpt lat="39.321780000" lon="-76.650080000">
    <cmt>Zoo entrance</cmt>
    <desc>Zoo entrance</desc>

Another latitude/longitude format:

The waypoint numbers here for trail segment 1 correspond to the now defunct Panoramio image storage site. Unfortunately some of my original shots were done with a digital camera lacking built-in GPS (not that long ago really) so the images at these locations is in a folder somewhere. For example, number 39,064,106 is near Fort McHenry, but 39,064,108 is within Patterson Park.

The typography of the second edition had simple street layout (okay enough at this scale) and cartoon type images (or caricatures) that corresponded to locations discussed in the text. A lot of the layout was done with all capitals, easy to read but low in information density. The blithe depiction of the oldest house in the city being a "plantation home" is rather telling.

I will come back to the style of fact presentation, and questions, after the route descriptions and presentation concepts (like, brochure or tract hand-out). I do like the black and green on a type of bisque shaded background. 

A re-creation of the 3rd segment ended up like a Rorshach ink blot because of the relatively few points from the first data set I found (pictures from Panoramio). I recently found the images from that day, well over 100, but they would need to be geocoded to be more valuable. At least a few of them are easily recognizable views and hence location, whether the subject remains in place today or not (or in some future). And whether something is renamed, corporate naming rights being a valuable commodity in some times.

The ship and crane came from a scan of the second edition guide, with the original color scheme (such as it had aged since being printed, stored, and imaged).

I decided this may may a good image for the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which since it is on the other side of the inner harbor from Fleet Street, I reversed the direction, and converted to a single color.

Below is a zoomed-in slice from GPSPrune as seen above. The possible hikes from Carroll Park to the B&O Railroad Museum are shown only in a limited way. 

And, lastly for this batch, a GPSPrune application menu showing exports to Google's KML format, with a few options. I added waypoints based on street intersection names to trace out one route (out of many possible).

Images from earlier hikes

  • ...637: World War 1 Memorial
  • ...292: Carroll


  • ...288: Railroad mural (small)
    • (large)

  • ...654: B&O Roundhouse

  • Off-map: Poe House

Brochures and handouts

Lastly, Scribus is what I will try to use instead of TROFF type programs for editing the guides that include the maps and images from coordinates, icons, and photo repositories. In my first tests I created PDF documents that would not allow copy and paste of the text. At first I almost gave up, but a later test with a newer version (1.5.6) on a different OS gave me PDFs that could be selected from. The app text said PDF versions up to 1.5 were available but the menus allowed 1.6.

 More waypoints later.

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