On Saturday I plan to hike Mount Merbabu with a few friends. It’s a not a particularly easy mountain, but then, this hike is nothing compared to Dave and Paul’s Insane Adventure. Still, the hike will take a little prep. Of course there is the whole getting out the gear and dusting it off, or scrubbing the mold off (whatever the case may be).
Since I’m a solid and card carrying gadget geek, I will of course be carrying my Garmin GPS. (I didn’t pay even half that much by the way.) This lovely little toy, I mean tool, will let you load custom maps. That’s pretty nice since the Garmin basic map that comes with the GPS for Indonesia is pretty sweet if you want to see what island the size of Ohio you are on. If you want more detail, well, forget it.
The challenge comes in when you try to find a hiking grade topographical map of anything outside of North America and Europe. Sorry, but USGS just doesn’t really offer much out here.
So what do you do? Well, Google Maps does a great job of giving you well detailed maps of all sorts of stuff, but you can’t save it to your computer directly. Ah, but I found a way. First you look up a nice little topo map of where ever. Say, for example, Mount Merbabu. Then you save a screen shot of your computer screen. Open your favorite photo editor and crop it. The result will probably come out looking like this.
After you have saved the file as a .jpg, then you can do with it as you please. What I did from there was add that picture as a layer on Google Earth which georeferenced the map making usable on my GPS. From there, I was able to download it onto my GPS and I’m ready to go! Pretty slick eh?