How to spatially locate mirrors with Free Map Tools

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How to spatially locate mirrors with Free Map Tools

Post by Cody » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:58 pm

This is something I've used on a couple tournaments recently and I figure it'd be useful for anyone in the community that doesn't know about it.

Radius Around Point, from Free Map Tools
A comma-separated-value formatted text file
(optional) Google's My Maps

Basic Flow:
Create a text file (or Google Doc or whatever) formatted as comma-separated values, per the instructions in the CSV Upload Panel on the Radius Around Point tool, which are:

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Note that since we are in the western hemisphere, your longitudes will be negative. Since this tool will ignore anything not formatted correctly, you can do things like insert comments; for example:

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# VCU with 100/200/250/300 mile circles
Google will helpfully return the latitude & longitude values for a given host site by searching any of {site} lat long, {site} latitude, {site} longitude, {site} coordinates, {site} latitude and longitude, and presumably other variations.

Paste this text file into the CSV upload panel and the circles you've specified will magically appear. This is sufficient, but you might find it useful to download the KML ("Google Earth KML Output" section) and upload it to Google's My Maps (by adding a layer then importing the KML file), which allows you to do things like control the color and transparency of your circles. I prefer this way because it's in your Google Drive, you can share it with collaborators, and you can easily add more mirrors by adding layers and importing new KML files (these new KML files should be generated from the Radius Around Point tool without circles you've already uploaded. For example, new sites or new circles around existing sites [say, you suddenly want a 50 mi radius circle]).

And that's it. If you need clarification, I can provide it here.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I write lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

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