Friday, April 8, 2016

New Hampshire History one Marker at a Time

The State of New Hampshire just made it easier for me to plan my weekends during the coming riding season. They have just revamped their Historical Highway Markers site with mobile friendly GIS technology (geographic information system). This new site is perfect for planning day and overnight adventures. Especially if you like to plan themed rides as I do. An additional plus is that the site is sectioned off into regions, has driving directions to markers, and KML file.

When selecting a region of the state to explore, the site opens to photos of the markers in that region. As you scroll each one the location is marked in text below the photo.  Beside the photo is a Google Earth view with overlays of its exact location. You can enlarge or reduce the map size to suit your preference. Each section allows you to see how many markers are in that region as well as the marker number issued by the state. One caution, some markers are out for repair, so make sure to double check the “installed” notice.

No markers in my town so I looked in the towns of my riding buddies.
Found one!

While the interactive map is great, I’m going to want these in my Garmin. If you are looking to convert KML files to GPX or GDB try using GPS Babel. Then just load it all into the GPS. Prefer your information in a different format? Not to worry. At the NH Division of Historical Resources page you can access links to a List of Markers by Town or a List of Markers by Marker Number. These are PDF files. I’m thinking of keeping a copy in my saddlebags for reference.

If you live in New Hampshire or will be visiting soon, the state has a photo sharing campaign going on right now. They are asking folks to take photos of our favorite historical places. Use the “locate me” technology on your mobile device and add the photo to the My New Hampshire website. Mark with hashtag “Marking History. They are looking to groups such as motorcyclists to help with the campaign.

I know I’m not alone is having little vacation time during the year and needing to make the most of weekend trips. I’m going to review these locations and plan some fabulous routes to see them.  I have been amazed over the years at the places I’ve never visited in my own backyard. There is a wealth of beauty and a plethora of ideas on how to enjoy the place you call home. If one just takes the time to dig.