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RE: Wind design on hillside and slopes - tools

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I use a trail GPS for recreation , I wish I had remembered to take it with me to the site I mentioned in my wind topo post. Since I do not have good topo info, I started looking at google earth. You can get elevations by moving your mouse over the image and you can measure distances with the ruler tool. Unfortunatley there is not an topo layer in Google Earth, but there is a topo terrain view in Google Maps, so you can go back and forth between the two.  I found that you can download and open a USGS topo map overlay .kmz file and it will place the map over your point of interest in Google Earth and you can print out the map at decent resolution. I found it to be kind of buggy and sometimes does not load or loads after a long delay. I found the file on a blog and I am not sure if it is legal to distribute so I have not posted the link.

From: Dennis Wish [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:47 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Wind design on hillside and slopes - tools

I received a Garmin Nuvis 205W GPS for my car from family. The prices are dropping and it was purchased for $100.00 locally and is normally over $200.00. I discovered that it is not only accurate for pedestrian use to find a cache from a game posted on the Garmin website where coordinates are provided to help you locate a point of interest cache, but that the device also maintained a proper elevation measurement while driving up into the mountains. In the current wind force analysis of ASCE 7-05, a hillside structure needs to be analyzed for wind traveling up the slope. The bottom and top  elevation of the hill needs to be identified as does the site location. Not only is the unit worth the money for use as a trip guide, it can be used while walking around and gives accurate results of building site locations within a few feet +/- as well as accurate elevation information. This helped me save a bit on a project that I had which required this information. Yes, you can obtain the same information on MSN or Google Earth, but it if you use a GPS system, I am assuming that it is a standard feature on virtually all units. For about $100.00 – the 205W was a bargain.





Dennis S. Wish


Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer (C-41250)

Structural Engineering

54625 Avenida Bermudas

La Quinta, CA. 92253


Phone: 760.564.0884 (phone, fax and messages)