In the last few days Google has added roads to Guernsey. It appears that they have got the data from Guernsey Digimap, as there appears to be better coverage that from any of the GPS device manufacturers I have seen.
If it is the case that the data was provided by Digimap then it may mean that we may be getting higher resolution images. I know Digimap offered images to Google in the past but might they have just accepted the offer?
Two points to note about the roads:
- Some of the roads are tracks that are closed to traffic (much to my annoyance).
- In the map and terrain views the coast line is very rough.
- Searching for a road name in Guernsey you need to search for: “road name, parish, Guernsey” or “road name, parish” otherwise it doesn’t find it.
The route finding appears to work quite well, although with local knowledge of traffic and junction layouts mean I wouldn’t necessarily choose the route Google suggests. It is, however, more than adequate for visitors.
One of the really neat features of Google Maps that I use quite often is the ability to alter driving directions if you don’t like the given results. I’ve just written up my recent trip to the UK on my R1200GS and one of the features of the site is having a map displaying the route for the trip.
Doing a simple driving directions gives the basic route that I took but it doesn’t include the wrong turns and deviations that I made. In Google Earth the only way to change a given route is to manually modify the line, which take hours. With Google Maps I can modify the route to take account of these deviations but it doesn’t allow you to save the changes… unless you know Google-Fu!!!
It turn out the url to view a Google Map is also the same url used by the Google Maps API to access kml files. The process to save a modified route to kml is as follows:
- Get the basic driving directions
- Modify the route as you wish.
- Click the Link to this page link.
- Copy the email/IM link.
- Paste link back into your browser address bar.
- Add &output=kml to the end of the url & hit enter/go.
- Save the kml wherever you wish.
Following the comment from Nicole (25-04-2009) I have done a bit of playing around with Google Maps and exporting KML. When you create a route in Google Maps use the right click Directions from here / Directions to here and the right click on the map and select “Add destination”, when you come to use the above method to export the KML file, only the starting point and the first destination will be included in the exported route.
If you want to export the full route, you need to set the start point and the final destination and then “drag” the route to the intermediate destinations in-between. If you use this method and the export the KML file will include the full route.
I’ve noticed recently that Jersey has recently had an update in Google Maps so that it now has roads and road names. Although it doesn’t yet appear to have driving directions. This is good news for Guernsey, as it was only a short time after Jersey had an image resolution update until Guernsey got the same treatment.
The only worrying thing at the moment is that it appears that the west coast of Guernsey and the north of Jersey seem to have a degradation of coastal definition when viewed in Map mode.
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