Be sure be sure to read CSGA Cartography – Part 7.
Completing the Cartography
When I started the effort to discover each and every trail segment I hadn’t put a lot of thought into how I would manifest those different runs into a single map. Leading up to all of my ultra runs I spend a bit of time doing discovery and prep work; I read race reports, I scour Strava for clean GPX files of the race course, and I make spread sheets with laps, splits, aid stations, and historical data. When I was preparing for the Black Canyon 100k I had come across a number of Strava efforts and their GPX files but wanted to clean up some of the faulty parts, segment the runs by aid station, and get a better understanding of the course layout. I found GPX Editor for Mac OSX which helped with editing, segmenting, and cleaning up GPX files.
To build out the full CSGA map, I followed this process:
- Run a new or existing segment w/ a GPS watch, preferably on a clear day.
- Export the GPX file after syncing with Strava
- Import the track into the existing GPX file for all of CSGA
- Trim the new track to only include the new or replacement segments
- Delete any duplicate tracks I was replacing with new data
- Name and number the segments something meaningful
I also spent the time to break every tracks up so that no track crosses another. That means small connectors and segments between other trails end up being individual tracks. The purpose for this is to allow anyone to create fully runnable routes in any order and any direction. GPX Editor allows you to combine tracks, reverse the track order, and delete tracks so with this file you and fully customize any route you’d like through CSGA. I will be creating a separate blog post that covers exactly how to work w/ GPX Editor to create comprehensive GPX files and maps like these.
Here is a full size screenshot of the CSGA map with the Main Loop highlighted in green for context, the GPX file of the complete CSGA trail system with all individual tracks can be downloaded here:
Here is a labeled map of Julian’s loop from CSGA Cartography – Part 1 highlighted in green side by side with his original. This followed by a GPS route for the loop.