On the Trail of the Boolie


My wife recently picked up car chargers for our iPhones so last weekend I used the MotionX-GPS app on the iPhone to record GPS data of my movements during a day at Ridgefield. This takes a hard toll on the battery, and since I was there for 13 hours I couldn’t have pulled it off without the charger.

What I want is to merge the data with my pictures so that I can get a visual map of where I took my pictures, an idea I first had many years ago during visits to both Ridgefield and Yellowstone. The pieces are all falling into place now although I haven’t yet learned how to tie it all together. Next I need to learn how to merge the GPS data with the pictures, then I can use Apple’s Aperture to display the locations for each picture on a map.

The picture above is the GPS data overlaid on a satellite image of Ridgefield and shows how I spent 13 hours on June 19, 2011. I’ve annotated it with the names of lakes and marshes at Ridgefield. I’m not exactly sure where Bower Slough starts and ends as there is a series of dikes and canals, but this is my best guess. Google Maps only labeled one lake and they got it wrong, they have Long Lake incorrectly named as Quigley Lake.

At first I was a little confused by the satellite photo as there didn’t appear to be much water visible, but this would make sense if the picture was snapped during the summer. Many of the lakes are seasonal and even during the spring the shallower lakes fill with vegetation.

The GPS trace shows two main loops with the green and red dots showing where I started and stopped the recording. The larger loop on the right is the auto tour where I spend so much of my free time, the smaller loop on the left is the Kiwa Trail, a short hiking trail that opens up during the summer. Traffic flows counter-clockwise around the auto tour, most of it is one-way but the first stretch does allow for two-way traffic.

Many of the lakes to my eye are really ponds, or even large puddles, but what does it matter? Some of my favorite places to sit and watch are some of the smallest lakes. Some like South Quigley Lake and Rest Lake were favorite spots from my very first visit, while others like Horse Lake and Long Lake took me a while to learn their rhythms and charms and only recently have become favorites.

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