County Line Crossings Locator

County Line Location Process
In this method, which was first developed and supported in CQ/X version 1.7.9.1 and is described in detail in the document Developing Crossing File Using Google Maps, the user performs the following steps with the objective of steps 1-4 being simply to obtain a file of latitude and longitude values describing the path taken by the route.
  1. Define a route in Streets and Trips and export it from Streets and Trips as a GPX file
  2. Use CQ/X to convert the GPX file to the KML format which Google Maps needs
  3. Upload the KML file to Google Maps to create the route on that application.
  4. Use the “KML” link on the Google Map to download a KML file containing the lat/lon values describing the path
  5. Submit the KML file of lat/lon values to CQ/X which refines the lat/lon values in order to analyze the route, determines the county line crossing points, and builds the necessary crossing file and other data.
  6. As a final check of the crossings it is a good idea to export them from CQ/X in a format (CSV) that Streets and Trips can import. Importing the crossings found by CQ/X into S&T and comparing them to the route defined in S&T will show whether the Google Map path deviated from the route defined in S&T. If that is the case then it will be necessary to tweak the Google Map route to bring it into agreement with the original route from S&T. Steps 4-5 would then need to be repeated.
If Streets and Trips was capable of exporting the lat/lon values for a trip steps 2-4 would not be required, but unfortunately that capability does not exist in current versions of S&T. Although the above is a multi-step process each step is very simple requiring only moving and saving of files with the only additional requirement being the development of some skill at using Google Maps and tweaking/editing the map, as described in step 6, to make sure that the resulting path goes where you plan to go. Here are screen shots of the CQ/X dialogs used in steps 5-6. In the first dialog you specify the file of lat/lon values that define the path and specify the output file where the crossings found are to be saved. During the calculation process the most recent county line crossing found is shown in the status window to indicate progress of the calculations. Once the process completes in typically about 30 seconds, the first dialog is closed and the second dialog showing the found crossings is opened. Buttons at the bottom of that dialog provide
  • an Export as KML feature for exporting the results for presentation on the web showing each county crossed and the distance across it 
  • an Export as CSV Text feature for exporting the crossing results available for import into Streets and Trips in order to carry out the final check described in step 6.
  • an Apply button which will submit the defined path to CQ/X for use during real-time calculations of distance to next crossing and to waypoints 
Some example results are shown below following the screen shots.

 

County Line Locator Demos
Here are links to several demo routes which have been analyzed using the tool. These maps show the planned route, the counties involved, the entry/exit points for each county, and the driving distance across each county.

Dayton 2013 Demo-- Demo multi-state route from New Orleans, LA to Dayton, OH used in presentation to the County Hunter Forum at Dayton 2013 Hamvention.

NO5W FQP 2013 Saturday-- Saturday route for NO5W in the 2013 Florida QSO Party.

Orlando to Seattle-- Demo multi-state route from Orlando, FL to Seattle, WA. This extreme example, which involves finding about 125 crossings, takes 3 minutes on a Sony Vaio 2.67 GHz machine with 6 GB RAM.

CTDXCC 2012 Demo-- Demo multi-state route from New Orleans, LA to Austin, TX for CTDXCC 2012.



Copyright: C.W. Sanders, NO5W
Last Updated: 22-January-2015