Cantabria by Bike

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Instructions

By: Javier Tovar, Pedro Ceballos, and Michael González Harbour

Google Earth can be downloaded for free from http://earth.google.com/ , and requires high-speed Internet connection (DSL o similar). After installing, you can open the "KMZ" files thatyou will find for each route. The program has controls to tilt the point of view and get a 3D display of the track.

The GPS tracks are offered in the popular formats PLT, of OziExplorer, and GPX, which is an interchange format readable from many programs.With them it is possible to open the route in a GPS route management application. Most GPS receivers have their own management program. Two popular GPS programs are:
The Datum used in the GPS tracks is WGS84. Remember that there may be significant differences, up to 300 meters, if you use an incorrect datum. Spanish cartography usually comes with the European Datum.

The maps shown in each route are based on GoogleMaps and use the API that allows displaying routes and markers on the map. For the maps shown in the older routes we have used maps of Cantabria of scale 1:100.000 from the Government of Cantabria, and the official road map of Cantabria, which are accessible for free in:  http://www.territoriodecantabria.es/Visor-Cartografico and in http://www.carreterasdecantabria.es/ , respectively. However, to plan the routes it is advisable to use maps of scale 1:50.000 or 1:25.000, wich are available in libraries. The 1:50.000 maps are less up to date, but can be found in the Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

A very useful resource to plan your routes is the Sigpac viewer, by the Ministery of Agriculture of the Spanish Government. It has topographic maps of Spain at 1:25000 scale, as well as high-resolution aereal pictures that are usually up to date. There is a very useful program called Jsigpac (in Spanish) that allows you to download the maps and photos from the Sigpac server to your hard disk, so that you can later use them in a track management program such as OziExplorer. Pay attention to the instructions when you install it. If you don't follow them strictly, the program will not work.