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Interstate Mile posts on GPS

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  • Interstate Mile posts on GPS

    Anyone know how to enter an Interstate mile marker into a GPS (or Google maps..etc) as a destination?

    We have MDT's that use mapping software and/or google maps to show us destination information but this does not appear to work for Interstates. It would be nice if there were a way to enter the milepost and have it show up as a viable address.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  • #2
    Can you store your own waypoints as destinations?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    sigpic
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    • #3
      I could (probably as Lat/Long) but that wouldn't help since we never know what MM an incident will occur at.

      I could probably rig something up.. Using the known exits and interpolate along the polyline that is the highway. But that only works for custom google maps/earth applications not other applications or GPS's.
      So you call this your free country
      Tell me why it costs so much to live
      -3dd

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      • #4
        I was thinking you could store a list of waypoints, one for each marker, labeled as "I95Sm32" or somesuch. You'd need a long list and using it wouldn't be the same procedure as using a street name but it's a possible workaround if the only inof you get on an incident is a mile marker. Instead of asking for directions to an address, you'd ask for directions to the waypoint by a standardized name.
        "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
        sigpic
        The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

        Comment


        • #5
          Depending on the type of GPS you're using, this may be a useful site:

          http://www.poi-factory.com/

          It's a "point of interest" place that you can load into the GPS devices for your car (Garmin, et al). If you're GPS is combined into your MDT, I'm sure there's a way to do it, you'll just need someone computer savvy to modify the file set to work with your program. They have a forum and that might be a good place to start to see if anyone already has them all done for your area/state. You obviously don't want to load the entire country!

          On a side note, I loaded the rest stop on and it's great!

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          • #6
            Drive the route

            The most sure fire way is to drive the highway with your GPS and manually add the waypoint/location as you pass each sign.

            It's easy to do and you can do it driving full speed (as long as someone else is driving you). And you can name each location the proper MM number.

            The best thing about this method is you are visually verifying the location of each MM sign, whereas if you use Google Earth or a lat/long method it may be off from where the actual sign is. Maybe not by much, but it could be just enough to cause an issue on a call.

            You could also try and contact county or state roads dept (i.e Cal-Trans) but chances are they do not have GPS coords for the MM signs.

            ..
            Regards


            - Adam



            Fire Service Web Design - Video Production - Photography

            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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            • #7
              Do you need to know EVERY milepost? Or just a range that you can hit if you came from a certain direction (on-ramp) etc?

              I bet you could put together a quick cheat sheet and laminate and post it somewhere in the cab (behind the visor might work).

              Something like...

              WEST
              MM 56-58.1 ==== Main St on-ramp
              MM 58.2-60 ==== Third St on-ramp
              MM 60-62.6 ==== Center St on-ramp

              EAST
              MM 56-58.2 ==== Third St Ramp, Go West and flip at MM 59
              ...

              You get the idea.

              We cover about 6 miles of Interstate 80 and there are really only 2 choices to access that highway going west and 3 access points going east (using median cuts, etc)
              I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

              "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

              "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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              • #8
                I havent done milemarkers, we dont have any interstate in our district but I have done the majority of fire hydrants in our side of the county. as I am driving I just save the hydrants as a POI and label it HYD the garmin adds a number to the end. From any scene I touch favorite places and It shows me the nerest HYD, lists the distances to each and will direct you to them. I have been been experimenting with this in my pov and my own garmin and the county just bought a new GPS for the fire truck. Looks like we will spend drill night driving around locating hydrants.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                  Do you need to know EVERY milepost? Or just a range that you can hit if you came from a certain direction (on-ramp) etc?

                  I bet you could put together a quick cheat sheet and laminate and post it somewhere in the cab (behind the visor might work).
                  Yeah, we already have that in our paper mapbooks (and most of us already know roughly where each MM is relative to the highway access points).

                  The issue is with the mapping software in the MDT's. For example FirstLookPro, Wiser, as well as some home grown extensions to GoogleMaps. All of them will locate an address on a map. Unfortunately there's no way to enter a location on an Interstate as an Address that will work for any of these programs. Adding MM as waypoints may work for a single GPS unit, but doesn't scale across all software on all MDT's in the fleet.

                  This is especially important for Wiser, which will show you evacuation zones based on material, size, address and wind. Annoyingly enough it also won't allow you to use your current location.. it has to be an address. This makes it next to useless on Interstates which is where we're most likely to need it.
                  So you call this your free country
                  Tell me why it costs so much to live
                  -3dd

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by firemanpat29 View Post
                    I havent done milemarkers, we dont have any interstate in our district but I have done the majority of fire hydrants in our side of the county. as I am driving I just save the hydrants as a POI and label it HYD the garmin adds a number to the end. From any scene I touch favorite places and It shows me the nerest HYD, lists the distances to each and will direct you to them. I have been been experimenting with this in my pov and my own garmin and the county just bought a new GPS for the fire truck. Looks like we will spend drill night driving around locating hydrants.
                    We were able to get a GIS layer for all hydrants from our water department. Of course there were a few missing.. and it didn't include private hydrants.

                    The drawback to using the layer is that its difficult to get the distance from the incident location to nearest hydrant. This usually isnt' a huge deal since our hydrants are pretty close together so you can get the location visually just by looking at the map.
                    So you call this your free country
                    Tell me why it costs so much to live
                    -3dd

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