(Please note, after a 100,000 views of this page each day, we will have to shut this thing down -- Not everything from Google is free, in case one wondered. The updates will restart the following day. We are mostly hoping this doesn't get triggered by worried spouses. If the map is shut down for the day you can still click here to see the latest track point.).
Here is some information about this map..
We initially planned to hire a 17th century cartographer to map out our travels, but we ultimately decided to not go all steampunk and settled on carrying a Spot Gen 3 GPS satellite tracker. As a side benefit, this contributor requires fewer rations and -- even after a 12-hour travel day of being perched in the dashboard sun -- it never loses its sense of humor no matter how much you push its buttons..
We are covering a really vast area. After a variety of technical considerations and seemingly endless engineering conversations, (which left Mark thankful to have a career in international tax,) we settled on the following configuration options for this map (which is best viewed using a laptop or desktop computer):.
-- The Pink (TGT) ballons show major target stops to be made along the route. If you scroll to the bottom of the plot points on the far left, you can pick them out by name. If nothing else, this sort of clarifies where we plan to ultimately go..
-- The Blue (MSG) balloons show messages the crew has left along the way. Basically, we hold down a certain button on the tracker and hope to heck it finds satellites to mark our position. These will generally be somewhere interesting which we will write about, possibly post photos, video, etc. This will be somewhere special that we want to call your attention to..
-- The Red dots show our path from the (Belmont) beginning. We are only recording one every 15 miles or so, to keep us from clustering trackpoints if we stop for lunch, run into an impassable herd of elk on the highway (we understand this really happens), etc..
-- The Red balloon shows where the crew is right now (or where they were last). We understand, however, that the tracker will not work if it somehow ends up in the belly of a polar bear. Generally, this function will also let anyone expecting us to arrive, say, in the next town, to have a fairly good clue about our ETA..
-- And of course, the 99 Luftballoons are a lovely song by Nena. Denk an Dich und lass ihn fliegen....
The scroll bar to the left lists out all of the track points -- exactly where and when (albeit in Greenwich Mean Time, which possibly suggests that we are worldly people...you decide). If you run your mouse pointer over the list, a Yellow balloon will pop up on the map and move in concert with your mouse. You can click on any of these track points (from the list or on the map itself) and the map will popup a message showing when we were there and offer a Google Maps Street View. If that's not cool enough, the Blue (MSG) track points usually contain links to custom content (blog entries, photos, videos) from the crew which relate to that time and/or location. Very groovy..
When you are done ogling this cartographic edifice, click here to return to the Juju's Journey website..