How to use Bing maps to create routes for your GPS

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yeehaamcgee

How to use Bing maps to create routes for your GPS

Postby yeehaamcgee » Thu Aug 11, 2011 20:49 pm

Some of you may not be aware that Microsoft's alternative to Google Maps, not only allows you to view OS maps, but also allows you to export GPX and KML files to use in your smartphone, GPS device, google earth, or whatever else.
Because it has the OS maps view, it can be an useful free tool for marking out potential new trails.
Here's how to use it...

Right, Bing maps www.bing.com/maps defaults to having a sidebar offering a basic introduction, and driving directions. However, what is easy to miss is the "MY PLACES" button, which is what will allow you to draw a route or mark out points of interest, POI.
The sidebar can be shown/hidden by clicking on the arrow next to it, here...
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And the various map styles can be selected at the top left corner of the map view...
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Right, on the sidebar, you can open up the "My PLACES" window by clicking on the star icon, found here...
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which opens up the my places window, housing the various drawing controls. Once you have this window up, you can now close the sidebar, by clicking on the arrow mentioned earlier.

the my places looks like this.
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You can add points of interest to be exported to your GPS using this button...
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And you can draw linear, or loop routes using this button...
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Drawing a route is as simple as clicking to set a point, then clicking to set the next point and so on...
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Whilst drawing the route, you can still freely zoom in and out with the mouse scroll wheel. However, you may realise that you can no longer click and drag to pan the map.
This is not a problem however. In the top right corner of the map view, there is a navigation control...
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You can pan the map whilst drawing a route by clicking and holding the left mouse button on this control, then moving the mouse up, down left, or right to scroll the map in any direction you want.
Whilst drawing your route, you can also place the curson crosshairs over a pre-existing point, to move it to correct a mistake.

To finish drawing your route, doubleclick when placing the last point.
This will bring up the naming dialogue, where you can give your route a name...
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Once it's named, your route will appear in the "my places" window...
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You can create several routes, and points of interest, and export them all at the same time.

Right, so to export them, you need to click on the little "actions" menu at the top of the "my places" window.
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And then click on "Export"
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Where you can choose to save all the routes in your "my places" as a GPX file, or a KML file.

Job done.

It's worth noting that if you have an xbox-live account, or a hotmail, or live mail, or MSN or pretty much any other kind of microsoft based login or identity, that you can sign in to bing maps, and save and organise your map routes for future reference as well.

I hope some of you find this useful.

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chiefinspector
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 15:35 pm

Postby chiefinspector » Fri Aug 12, 2011 07:25 am

Good information there. Will give that a try when i finish work today to plan the weekends riding.


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