This was a great for-fun project.  Microsoft Research has a tool available for download named MapCruncher that can take an image, PDF file, etc, and overlay it on Virtual Earth.  I was talking to Travis about local groups that support Mountain Biking and he suggested I look in to Gateway Off-Road Cyclists*.  Turns out, they have a great website and they have done a nice job keeping their trail maps up to date - not surprising since it looks like they are major supporters of the trails.

I have been looking for a good trail map to mashup with VE.  This one works perfectly and overlays my favorite bike trail.  I plotted several points of correspondence between their trail map and VE to get everything pretty well lined up.  It would only take 5 or 6, I ended up taking it overboard and plotting more like 70.

Live - MapCruncher Mashup of SIUE Trail map

If you would be interested in doing one of these on your own or as part of a classroom exercise, it is really quite easy and requires no coding unless you want to customize the sample page it provides for publishing the maps.  I recommend starting off by watching the tutorial video and then downloading the tool to start playing around.  Try rendering your campus map, here's someone who has!

5 Minute Mapcruncher Tutorial
5 Minute Mapcruncher Tutorial

* I contacted GORC and ask their permission before using their work publicly!  Thanks guys!

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You may even find you need to cool off after a ride - good news, the map is searchable.  Just type in what you're in the mood for and see what's nearby.

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