27 October 2014

the poor-man guide for ship plotting


using Google Earth to display positions of the ships

from my logs of 25 October:

12464.0 RMCW: Russian Navy ship "Donuzlav" 1205z
CW "RCv DE RMCW = SML FOR RJE73 RJH45 = ...99417 1T296...22212"
-> position 41.7N 29.6E Heading North-East @6-10 knots


12464.0 RMGB: Russian Navy ship "Iman" 1207z
CW "RCV DE RMGB = SML FOR RJH45 RJe73 = ...99351 10239...22262"
-> position 35.1N 23.9E Heading West @6-10 knots


12464.0 RJC20: Russian Navy unid ship 1210z
CW "RCV DE RJC2Ø = SML FOR RJH45 RJE73 =...99351 10235...22232"
-> position 35.1N 23.5E Heading South-East @6-10 knots



Now we want to plot (and save) the above ships positions using google earth. You have to know that you may create your own google-earth kml files (Keyhole Markup Language)  in order to show the ship's position on google-earth or google-maps. Just write a single kml file for each ship you want to trace then save the file with then ".kml" extension. 

First creates a special directory in your documents folder, naming it as you want (assume "ships positions"). Then in order to create your kml files use this very very basic default schema:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2">
  <Placemark>
    <name>placemark name shown in the map</name>
    <description>description shown by clicking on the placemark</description>
    <Point>
      <coordinates>
longitude(E or W),latitude (N or S)</coordinates>
    </Point>
  </Placemark>
</kml>

for example, file for RJC20 tracking:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2">
  <Placemark>
    <name>RJC20</name>
    <description>Russian Navy RJC20, position at 25 October</description>
    <Point>
      <coordinates>23.1E,35.1N</coordinates>
    </Point>
  </Placemark>
</kml>

Then save the file using a self-explaining name and the appropriate extension such as "RJC20-25-oct.kml" in the directory that you created earlier (i.e. "ships positions").
PAY ATTENTION you may use the basic block-notes program by Windows but remember to select all files mode when you save the file so to give it the right extension (.kml), otherwise the file will be saved with the ".txt" extension.

Now start your google-earth program and click File > Open, navigate to your "ships positions" directory, select your previous saved .kml file, and click Open. The file will be added to the Temporary Places section of your Places panel and the position will be imported and displayed. By clicking on Temporary Places - file name you may the refine the map and store it... et voila' !