How to Find and Update a Course Listing

How to Find & Update GPS Info at the PDGA Course Directory

 

By Steve West #23616 (with some edits from Cliff Towne)

 

GOALS

 

To update the course listings with Street Addresses:

 

Updating the PDGA Course Directory listings with street addresses allows the system to generate pretty good maps to the course locations. 

 

First – pull up the listing and see if a street address is there under “Location”.  If there is no street address listed - you can sometimes find an address (or a street name) in the “Directions” field. Another easy way is to click on the Google Map for either the "1st tee Location" or for the "Parking Lot Location" and grab a good street address from those maps (if the course listing has those Locations listed). If not, you can often easily get one by just googling the park name and the zip code.  A nearby intersection often works well also. When you have the info – just follow “Updating” below to update the listing, check the resulting map to make sure it is slick and you are done!  The edit goes to the editor's desk to OK and get published at the site.

 

Updating:

First: You will need to be an online community member but there is no cost (and you do not need to be a current PDGA members to do this). If you don't already have an account at PDGA.com please go to http://www.pdga.com/discussion/register.php to get started. 

Then;  All you have to do is pull up the course listing at the course directory at PDGA.com. Once you have the listing up, click on "edit" (right above the course name).  Make any needed changes on the resulting form and click the "submit" button at the bottom.  Boom - it goes to the editor’s desk to OK it.

 

To update the course listings with 1st Tee GPS and Parking Lot data:

 

Updating the PDGA course database with exact Latitude and Longitude
coordinates for first tees andParking Lot locations gives additional great online mapping to the courses and will allow development of super capability in GPS enabled handhelds.

This guide is primarily written for helpful cybersurfers that
are trying to update the course listings of unfamiliar courses.

If you are trying to update the GPS info for a course with which
you are familiar you can go to the 1st tee and the Parking Lot with a GPS handheld unit and get the
data. Once you have the GPS data (digital decimal format please), go to #7 for how
to update the listing at the PDGA course directory.

 

PRINCIPLES

 

If you aren't sure about the location of the 1st tee or Parking Lot, don't
upload a guess.

 

Cut and paste is always preferable to typing.

 

Always use decimal degrees, NOT degrees, minutes, and seconds.

 

Be creative  when  hunting down information sources.

 

Don't feel you have to follow this method exactly. You may find
better ways.

 

RESOURCES

 

 

PDGA Course Directory

 

Google Earth

 

Google Search Engine

 

Mapquest Maps

 

Yahoo! Maps

 

Live Search Maps

 

METHOD

 

 

1) Open up windows for:

 

The PDGA course's page.

 

Google Earth. Make sure the View Status Bar is on, and the layers
"Roads", "Borders and Labels" and "Park and Recreation
Areas" (under "Places of Interest") are visible.

 

A search engine, like Google.

 

2) Pick a course to find. Open up the PDGA page for it.

 

If there are no coordinates, go to step 3.

 

If there is already a set of coordinates, verify them.

 

Cut and paste the coordinates to Google Earth and see where it
takes you.

 

Can you follow the driving directions in the PDGA page and get
to the coordinates?

 

Does this look like a disc golf course? Is the first tee where
you would expect based on the description and driving directions?

 

Common "errors" in coordinates are:

 

Typos: mistyping a digit, leaving off the negative sign, or switching
the Latitude and Longitude.

 

Using the coordinates of an address or zip code, instead of the
coordinates of the first tee.

 

If you find coordinates that don't seem right, try to make your
best guess as to where the first tee actually is. Send that list to the Contact
listed in the PDGA web site, and ask the contact if they are correct.

 

If the coordinates seem OK, move on to another course.

 

3) Find sites that may have information about where the 1st
tee is.

 

Try the following:

 

If there are any websites referenced on the PDGA page, open them.

 

Cut and paste the name of the course, together with the city
and zip code into Google Earth's Fly To box. If you don't get any results, remove
the name of the course, or try just the name of the city, state, and zip.

 

Cut and paste the name of the course, together with the city
and zip code into a search engine, like Google. Add the words "disc golf",
and do a search.

 

Use a search engine to try to find a course map, or an independent
description of the location of the first tee. Be creative in your search.

 

Cut and paste the name of the course, together with the words
"course map" into an Image Search Engine. (This hardly ever works, but
pays off big when it does).

 

Search for the name of the course, or "disc golf" with
the name of city, the state, and the county. Try various combinations of the name
of the course, the name of the park, the city, state, and zip, and any entity listed
in the description or driving directions (like a YMCA, school, college, park, business,
etc.)

 

The landowner (the parks department, the college or school, or
resort) may have a link to a course map. Sometimes maps can be found by clicking
on Directions or Find Us or similar links within the landowner's website.

 

Regional or local clubs sometimes have collections of course
maps.

 

Other lists of courses, like Disc Golf Fusion and Disc Golf Review
may have information or links. A word of caution: other lists of courses may have
Latitude and Longitude coordinates, but these may not point to the first tee. They
may point to the zip code, the entrance to the park, the parking lot, or the place
you pay. Never use coordinates from another list without verifying them.

 

4) Poke around.

 

Follow the driving directions on the PDGA page.

 

Trace the route on either the Mapquest map, or directly in Google
Earth.

 

If the Driving Directions contain a description of the location
of the first tee, try to find that on Google Earth.

 

Sometimes the Course Description has the location of the 1st
tee and Parking Lot. If the directions to the 1st tee are clear enough, pick the spot they describe.

 

If Google Earth photos are low resolution, try other sources.
Use the Hybrid view on Mapquest. Sometimes Live Search Maps will have excellent
"Bird's Eye" aerial photos. Some Counties have GIS maps you can access.

 

If you find a course map, overlay it with the Google Earth aerial
photo.

 

Put the course map in one full-screen window, with Google Earth
in another full-screen window. Find landmarks in both. Intersections, parking lots,
swimming pools, buildings and tennis courts make good landmarks.

 

Adjust the images by zooming in or out, and rotating so at least
two landmarks are aligned. (It's almost always easier to adjust the Google Earth
image.) If you touch your computer screen on a landmark on the course map, and switch
screens, you should be touching the same landmark on the Google Earth image.

 

This works OK even for course maps that are not drawn to scale.
If you are good with image editing, you could stretch the out-of-scale course map
to fit reality.

 

Touch the 1st tee (or Parking Lot) on the course map, switch screens to the
Google Earth map, and you should be pointing to the location of the 1st tee. Move
your cursor there to read the coordinates.

 

5) Make a guess and test your coordinates.

 

Locate where you think the first tee is, and go back and re-read
the PDGA Driving Directions and Course Description, and look at your other references
to make sure it makes sense. Be especially careful with directions that are given
as "right" or "left". You could be on the wrong side of town
in a park with a similar name. Does the picture of the area match where the course
is supposed to be? If it's a park, there shouldn't be any houses. If it's an elementary
school, there should be a big building. If it's a college, there should be a bunch
of big buildings and lots of sidewalks. Is there a lake nearby?

 

Once you have your best guess, copy the coordinates into a "holding"
document (Word or Excel - to reduce the chance of typos). Use six decimal places
after the decimal point (like 45.123456, -93.654321). Cut and paste the coordinates
back into the Google Earth Fly To box. Verify that the coordinates point to the
place you expect.

 

6) Evaluate your coordinates on the following scale:

 

F. No clue where the course is, the directions are crap.

 

D. Located the right city, but that's it. The course could be
anywhere around here.

 

C. Could follow the directions for a while, but then they didn't
make sense. Or, used a course map but couldn't match the features to Google Earth.

 

B. Found the driveway, or the park entrance, or the parking lot,
or the address of the place, but not the actual tee pad.

 

A. Narrowed down the location of the first tee pad to a specific
area, within 40 feet or better, or used a course map that wasn't drawn to scale.

 

A+. Can see the tee pad on an aerial photo, or got the location
from a good course map or precise description.

 

You'll find that most of the time, your location will be graded
a "B". Maybe one out of four will get an A or A+.

 

7) If the grade is A or A+, update the PDGA directory.

 

Click on "Update Course Info" on the PDGA page for
the course.

 

Type in your name and email address. Leave everything else as
is.

 

Cut and paste the coordinates from the holding document into
the 1st Tee Latitude and 1st Tee Longitude boxes or the Parking Lot boxes as the case may be. Put the entire number, with all
six decimal places, in the left box for each (leave the Minutes and Seconds boxes
blank).

 

Check to make sure the Latitude and Longitude are in the correct
boxes.

 

You should see that the Latitude and Longitude are close to the
City coordinates. Make sure the negative sign carried over.

 

Click on the "Update Course Info" button.

 

You're done - the update will go into the editor's queue to approve.
Move on to the next course.

 

8) If the grade you gave your location was B or worse, save your
guess, and ask the Contact for help.

 

Turn on the View Grid on Google Earth. Fly to your guess. Zoom
to an appropriate scale, depending on how close you think you are.

 

Screen capture this image, and send it (along with your guess
coordinates) in an email to the Contact listed on the PDGA page. Explain you are
working to update the directory, how you arrived at your guess, and ask if it is
correct or where the tee actually is.

 

Correspond back and forth until you get a good location, then
update the directory, or allow the Contact to do it.