This year I have some friends racing their sailboat to Hawaii. The nine boat fleet left Victoria over the weekend and they should be there within two weeks. This kind of thing is more fun than ever to track with the new web enabled tools available. The race committee is posting the lat and lon and standings each day on the official web site. The numbers are fun to look at, but not as revealing as a map.
I thought it would be an interesting exercise to figure out how to put this information onto a map. It took me an hour or so to figure out, and I think I can update it daily in about 10 minutes. Here are the steps:
- Use the web import tool in Excel to scrape the data off of the web site. (Exel 2010, Data Tab, From Web...follow instructions -- very easy)
- Build some formulas in Excel to format the data to be read by EarthPoint. (combine the data imported, label columns -- also very easy)
- Use EarthPoint to import the spreadsheet and create a KML file that can be read by Maps or Earth. (just follow the instructions -- also very easy. Hardest part is deciding on the types of Icons.)
- Create a MyMap in Google Maps. (Go to maps.google.com, My Maps, Create New Map, Edit, Import, follow instructions). I did this step a few times until I got the thing to look like I wanted.
- Get Link to embed or email around. (just click on the Link button on the top right corner).
Here are the results embedded:
View 2010 Vic Maui in a larger map