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About me

I live in Lake County, IL near Gurnee, and ride a hardtail mountain bike. I'd like to get back into more interesting offroad trails again, though I ride paved routes too because my friend only has a roadbike at the moment. I'm out pretty often, and I could take my Canon EOS 10D with me, so if anyone needs updates or photos near Gurnee, feel free to ask.


How do you determine your stated length of trails?

I use Google Earth's path ruler. With a resolution measured in meters (or less), and with geospatially-aligned images, it should be rather accurate.

How do you determine distances relative to mile markers?

I take copies of satellite images with me while on the trail, compare the location of the mile marker to features visible on satellite (eg. bends in the trail, tree lines, etc.), and mark down the closest spot I can. Then I use Google Earth's path ruler.

To do

  • Enhancements to the Skokie Valley trail
    • Get a representative photo
    • Draw a basic SVG map that just shows its position relative to US-41, Lake Cook Rd, the McClory trail, and the North Shore trail... as well as shows the future extensions (not very detailed at all... that's what the Google Maps map is for)
  • Enhancements to the North Shore trail
    • Get two representative photos: one of the gravel area, one of the paved area
    • Enhance the .kmz to indicate where other trails branch off, and where the trail changes from paved => gravel
  • Create articles for more Lake County trails:
    • Old School forest preserve
    • Robert McClory, or whatever other names the north/south part of that trail is called (partially covered by WI Kenosha Area Bike Paths)
  • Find a wiki-based home for my Google Maps map of the Des Plaines River trail

Figure out the best way to make maps

  • There's a number of sources of public domain / FOSS maps (Trailville:Copyrights doesn't preclude using data created by others, if it's under an open license, does it?)
  • Trace something like Google Maps or someone else's map... legally, tracing creates a derivative work, though I'd imagine that the chance of prosecution is vanishingly small the more you rework your map, and therefore many people get away with it (even on Wikipedia (shhhh, don't say that out loud!))
  • Become a primary source: have a GPS receiver record a route while you bike it, possibly smooth the data out a bit, and post an SVG based on that.