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Cannonshot 10-12-2008 10:18 AM

Wisconsin Riders - Historical Markers
Riders from the Wisconsin area might be interested in a new .gpx file that lists the location of Historical Markers from across the state. The file and more information are posted in GPS Central. I hope some of you get some entertainment out of this project. Some of the markers are pretty interesting.

Here is some info from the GPS thread that describes what this is all about:

The attached .gpx contains 512 waypoints of Wisconsin Historical Markers.

When I was researching the Pony Express ride, I came across some sites that listed Wisconsin Historical Markers and thought it might be a useful project to compile and waypoint them for others to use. Since then, benp1981 has expressed a lot of interest in the file so I did a rush job to finish it up.

Rush job means there are probably a few minor mistakes. Let me know of any corrections that need to be made and I will update the file.

The waypoints are keyed to a 16 page spreadsheet file that contains reference numbers, more details about the waypoint and it's location, what region the waypoint is in, what county, coordinates, and a clickable link that leads to a website that has a picture of the marker and other details.

The SSF also lists whether there is a photo available and whether the exact coordinates are known. About 25 don't have photos. The 75 sites with the coordinates listed in red have only approximate coordinates based on a street description and need further work and refinement. The coordinates listed will get you there though. Post refinements for the red coordinates to this thread and I will update the spreadsheet file.

Some ambitious sorts might want to log into a couple of the marker websites to help complete their database if they refine some of the points that need development.

Some ambitious person might also want to convert the spreadsheet into a database as some useful sorting could be done. As for me, I spent way too many hours on this project already and have taken it to a point where it is useful as it stands. Since it is now my time to migrate to the Mississippi River to hunt and fish for a couple of months, I am off this except to make corrections. Excel users will be able to do sorts using just the spreadsheet by region, county, etc.

The .gpx is fine, but a good tool to have as a companion is the spreadsheet file. PM me an e-mail address and I will send it to you.

The SSF also lists whether the marker is standard, small, or two sided as it helps to know what you are looking for.

Armchair warriors can just sit and click on the links to read each marker without ever leaving the house.

One way to use the file to enhance your other rides would be to copy the waypoints that are along your route from this file into your ride file.

Or, you could take a neighborhood cruise to check out some markers.

Even without the spreadsheet, the waypoint properties have additional info in the remarks block as to the location of the point. Could be useful on the road.

PM with an e-mail address for the spreasheet or a .gdb.

Hope you get some enjoyment out of this.

Edit: Keep in mind that some GPS units only take 500 waypoints and won't take all 512 of these points at once. Check the specs for your unit.<!-- / message --><!-- attachments -->
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barnyard 10-12-2008 10:30 AM

How cool is that?!?!?!?!?!!!!!

When I was a kid, it seemed like we stopped at those markers all the time. Got out of the habit. Now we are making more of an effort to stop and check them out again.

Very cool.

Tom B

DNTOUCH 10-12-2008 06:33 PM

Cool thanks..

Just one more reason to ride (or 512 reasons):evil

Cannonshot 10-12-2008 07:31 PM

If anyone else wants to do their own state . . .
This site contains about 138,000 waymarks worldwide. You can sort them and find lists of state historical markers. Most states in the upper midwest are included.

The markers in the above site have good coordinates and usually have a picture. However, this is not a complete list of markers. You need to search your state historical society (or other agency that manages the markers) to find a complete list.

The historical society list may only have a marker name and a brief location description. You will have to estimate the waypoint until a firm coordinate can be obtained.

There are other sites on the web that list the markers but there is probably not a complete list on the web as things change. I think I was short about 75 markers that were not posted to the web.

Also, there may be a book published about the markers in your state. There was one in WI that I located through the state historical society.

PM if you are interested in taking on a project for your state and have questions about my experience.

Edit: Wow, I just looked at Michigan and see about 1,300 markers listed.
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BENRON 10-13-2008 06:04 AM


Since then, benp1981 has expressed a lot of interest in the file so I did a rush job to finish it up.<!-- / message --><!-- attachments -->
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:D Awesome. I'm already 2% done!

Thanks a Ton Bryan:clap

Hodag 10-13-2008 06:36 AM

I was thinking the same type of thing Friday on my way up 'nort

Cannonshot 10-13-2008 08:04 AM


Originally Posted by da Hodag
I was thinking the same type of thing Friday on my way up 'nort

WIthumper 10-13-2008 08:57 AM

WOW!! Cool stuff Bryan! Thanks for pulling this together! Where to begin... where to begin... :D

Cannonshot 10-13-2008 09:47 AM

Work to be done . . .

Originally Posted by benp1981
:D Awesome. I'm already 2% done!

Thanks a Ton Bryan:clap


If you are going to knock off all of these markers, I would ask that you become a member of these two sites: ( (historic

Both sites need someone to post the waymarks and/or pictures they don't have. You would do a lot of good for a lot of people to complete the record on both sites. The spreadsheet has cues for what needs to be done on the web (pix, coordinates, or no existing entry at all). needs a lot of entries that are in the other site but not on theirs. has all but about 75 markers.

Also, please don't forget to update me on the red waypoint flag/red spreadsheet coordinates with the actual coordinates you post to the internet sites. I will update the master spreadsheet with actual coordinates for others to use. I will also update the GPS file and change the waypint markers from red to green as I edit to actual coordinates.

BENRON 10-13-2008 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by Cannonshot

If you are going to knock off all of these markers, I would ask that you become a member of these two sites:...


Cannonshot 10-13-2008 01:28 PM

Improvements to come.

Originally Posted by benp1981

As I get time over the next few weeks, I'll add the URLs to the waypoint properties. .Gdb users would then be able to go quickly from a waypoint in MapSource to a web site just by going into the properties for that waypoint. Saves the step of cross referencing to the link in the spreadsheet.

Edit: Going back and putting URLs in the waypoint properties is giving me the opportunity to do a line by line verification of all the data.

Powershouse 10-14-2008 10:05 AM

Super resource!
I'll be loading this into the GPS for sure.

Cannonshot 10-14-2008 01:13 PM


Originally Posted by Powershouse
I'll be loading this into the GPS for sure.

Maybe Ben will come up with a sticker system for each 100 someone knocks off . . . :D (Hint, hint . . .)

picnics 10-15-2008 04:20 AM

What a great resource. Thanks for putting this together.

Fireman88 10-15-2008 11:52 AM

Bryan you are unbelievable - now can you make a 40 hour day and a 9 day week so that I have time to do all of these sites.

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