A year ago, my sister gave me an awesome present. A big set of small card-sized photos with a set of the highest mountains of Catalunya. The idea is to write on the back when and with whom I “climbed” that mountain.
Last Easter I was planning which closer hikes could I do during the holidays, so I can start filling each card (feels like gotta climb em’ all). It was difficult to know each mountain location from the cards, I fired Google Earth for Linux and started creating points.
It was very easy with the famous ones, since Google Earth finds them directly (Pedraforca, Pica d’estats, etc..), but more obscure ones are a no-no. So I needed extra support to map them.
What I want to do
Since Google earth does not present accurate topographic maps by default, I want to rely on topographic web map services to present the data in the application. This way I can pinpoint myself where the mountain is located.
ICGC (Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya)
This is the old ICC, the official institute that provides maps, Geo indices and everything related to Catalan cartography.
It is a good resource of information, and they also provide a Web Map Service that contains different topographic bases of Catalunya:
This WMS provides different layers, the interesting ones in my case are the topographic 1:5000 and 1:1000, that I will use to track and ensure that I position the mountains accordingly.
Google Earth and WMS
The way Google earth handles WMS is not direct, but not so difficult either. What it will do is add a new layer that is updated every time the zoom changes.
Add -> Image Overlay
The dialog that appears lets us introduce the WMS URL directly. But, AFAIK, you won’t get any results doing that. What you have to do is go to the
Refresh tab, and open the
WMS Parameters dialog.
On that dialog, introduce your WMS URL, and google earth will list the layers available from the URL. Select the layers that you want to do and accept.
Once you have accepted all the dialogs, a new layer appears in the “Places” list. This is the layer that will present the topographical image. You can change all options by right-clicking the image and selecting
properties, the dialog is the same as presented above.
And well that’s it 🙂 happy mapping.