Author Topic: Google Earth Touring  (Read 3364 times)

Butch

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Google Earth Touring
« on: December 27, 2015, 12:59:32 AM »
I'm an old, retired mainframe programmer whose loves maps.  I love running down ghost railroads, and I was disappointed during my last trip to Elkhart IN when I couldn't find the remains of the old Wabash line running from Chicago to Toledo.  So, I started the project of building "tracks" In Google Earth that could download to a Garmin navigator.  I also wanted to see how many sidings currently exist on the LIRC:-)  I was shocked to discover how good the satellite images  are in Google Earth!  So I decided to simulate flying over the tracks in a P51 Mustang @ 325 mph approx. 1200 ft. above the tracks.  Even my wife enjoys the tours - LOL.   The project is in the early stages, but my wife thought I should share what I've finished.  It's all her fault....  Flying over the old B&O from Vincennes to Cincinnati in 20 minutes sure beats driving it!  I'm now a Kentuckian, so you can fly over the LCL from Covington to Lousville:-)

My Indiana Railroad Maps site is cumbersome to use (written in Google Maps), but I have completed tours through most of the CSX lines and it's predecessors.   I think all of the former Monon tracks have been "finished".   There are several hours of touring available:-)  Here's the link to the site => https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=zQrFvXwltD6o.k4g1tb78a_kg

You'll most likely will need to look at  the instructions before attempting to navigate the site  (both written and video).   I continue referring to them them - and - I wrote the silly app.  Here's the link to the instructions => https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V9X5bDRluIc0XGwm4TEG5aDmXzfY0nLzGwjq9oUETXE

CSX2605

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 11:47:46 AM »
This is fantastic!  Thanks for working on this project.  8)   

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 10:09:40 AM »
This post is in response to IN1312's response to the Martinsville to Fairland NYC line, and especially the Monon's Bedford to Bloomfield line I attempted to map.  It is almost impossible to guess where the "ghost railroads" existed from Google Earth's satellite view if the rails were removed more than 30 years ago:-)  I have a 1980's version of Delorme Street Atlas that has a number of defunct railroads "mapped".  I fall back to this map if the defunct line is not listed on the Delorme Street Atlas => http://tile.loc.gov/image-services/iiif/service:gmd:gmd409:g4091:g4091p:rr002140/full/pct:25/0/default.jpg

I haven't verified this information, but here's the link to the history of the CCC&StL - Martinsville to Fairland line as claimed by the internet:-) => https://docs.google.com/document/d/18mNHQ7PzKlSSnblQZoWR2T3K5KqH_yadaXW3G4DmqGs/edit?usp=sharing

It's important to me to make these maps as accurate as possible, so any feedback to help fix my mistakes is APPRECIATED (thank you IN1312!!). The mapping of the "Monon's Bedford - Bloomfield" line is especially important to me because my grandfather often talked about the California trip his family took by rail (approx. 1910) - boarding the train in Avoca Indiana.  Eventually, I want to add this "route" to my genealogy site.

trafficcritic

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 08:14:21 PM »
I noticed the GR&I is missing? (went from Richmond to Grand Rapids)

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2016, 10:22:59 PM »
Thanks!  This map is very much a work-in-progress, and I appreciate any feedback on improving it (except for the layering issues in Google Maps - LOL).  I'm currently banging through the former Conrail lines that have been pulled and/or short lined.  I hate to admit it but I don't know my Indiana railroads nearly as well as I once thought I did, especially since I've started this mapping project!  I lived in Greenfield IN for 25 years and have driven US 27 from Richmond to Fort Wayne many times.  BUT - I never knew this GR&I line existed.  So, please verify my "best guess" mapping for this line is reasonably accurate since I've never seen it:-)     

trafficcritic

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 10:46:38 PM »
Thanks!  This map is very much a work-in-progress, and I appreciate any feedback on improving it (except for the layering issues in Google Maps - LOL).  I'm currently banging through the former Conrail lines that have been pulled and/or short lined.  I hate to admit it but I don't know my Indiana railroads nearly as well as I once thought I did, especially since I've started this mapping project!  I lived in Greenfield IN for 25 years and have driven US 27 from Richmond to Fort Wayne many times.  BUT - I never knew this GR&I line existed.  So, please verify my "best guess" mapping for this line is reasonably accurate since I've never seen it:-)     

Great work - Getting better all the time! This map is definitely in my bookmarks.

Here's another one, the CA&S: http://www.abandonedrails.com/Chicago_Attica_and_Southern_Railroad   It was abandoned and forgotten long, long ago.  I was just recently looking that one up due to the derailment in Attica this past weekend.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 11:04:03 PM by trafficcritic »

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2016, 08:32:06 AM »
Done:-)  This is one RR I've bulldogged.  When I lived in Greenfield, my wife and I drove SR 234 via Shades State Park to Cayuga quite often to photograph eagles (when they were rare in IN).  One day, I noticed a RR grade in Kingman, and my poor wife missed her "eagle day" on that cruise :)  By the way, the you get a great view of the old NKP grade (Frankfort to St. Louis) along 234 near Silverwood.

trafficcritic

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 09:35:43 PM »
Just was studying the maps again this time in NW Indiana. There seem to be some other lines missing, namely the active AMTK from Chesterton to Michigan as well as the CSX Porter branch. There's an abandoned line pretty close to those too, which is now the Prairie Duneland Trail.

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 12:30:27 AM »
Thanks again.  My grandparents lived in Valpo when I was a kid (almost 60 years ago ???), but I don't know much about the area except for the B&O/GTW junction at Wellsboro (NE of Valpo). A GREAT hotspot if you like fast freights!!!  So I don't NW Indiana very well, or as the great comedian/pianist Victor Borge would have said - "Very well, I don't know NW Indiana".  I would appreciate any links you could pass on pertaining to missing lines.

Don't know if you caught the post I made in the "tech section" about converting KMZ file tracks to routes, and transferring the info to your Garmin's "Trip Planner".  The Garmin boys are pretty sharp cookies:-) => https://sites.google.com/site/indianarailroadtours/home

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 11:01:31 AM »
Google MyMaps has given me a headache.  The new version does not display the "Street View" icon and does not allow the kmz file to be downloaded, but has a nice a nice legend to locate mapped routes by name.  The old version displays the "Street  View" icon and allows you to download the kmz file, but does not have the nice legend to locate mapped routes by name.   Think I'm the 1,000,000,000th person to request the "Street View" icon be displayed in the new version:-)

Personally, I like the old version of MyMaps best since Street View is available - and - the kmz file can be downloaded.  Here's a link to a Google Street View picture at Guion, IN where the former B&0 from Indy to Marshall crossed the former Vandalia line from Terre Haute to Crawfordsville. => https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-y4rHiXX0jsA/Vp5OMmqW7BI/AAAAAAAALIU/atMurzXlULY/s912-Ic42/Guion%252520IN.png

In the meantime, I am including two links to my Indiana Railroads Map.  Both versions allow you to download the kmz route for the selected route that can be imported into Google Earth.  From there, you can "fly over" the route in a P51 Mustang if the route is 10 miles or longer.

Link to my Indiana Railroads Map page => https://sites.google.com/site/indianarailroadtours/home

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2016, 05:54:23 PM »
I'm trying to finish up this site, and I have created a primitive site to get expert input on the connections and rail yards for all active Indiana railroads.  This site lists all of the connections and major rail yards I know about in Indiana => https://sites.google.com/site/indianacitiesrailconnections/

I'm much more of a "country road" driver than I am a city boy, especially in the Chicago area.  I'm sure I've missed several :)

scheblo25

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2016, 04:33:07 PM »
Just saw this thread.  Awesome site!  I've made a past and present detailed map for Miami County but this is pretty cool, and extensive! Nice work!

Butch

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Re: Google Earth Touring
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 06:14:46 PM »
Thanks.  I telling my age here :)  I had a college buddy who lived in Logansport during the early '70s, and we used to pace trains along the C&O along IN-19 in my 57 Chevy from Peru to Amboy.  IN 19 was a curvy, narrow road at the time and the C&O's would hit 70 mph at times.  Lots of fun...  Now you have to go west to see a 70 mph freight.