View Full Version : Maps & Sat Photos

2005-07-25, 04:54
Hey guys, I've noticed that not many threads discuss what type of maps you use or where you get them. :confused:
I came across this program (noticed it mentioned on a canoeing forum) and have played around with it for a little bit. I think it's great so far. You can get FREE b/w satelite photos with a 1m/pixel resolution, or FREE color topo maps with a 4m/pixel resolution, or some free color sat pix of major urban areas with REALLY GOOD resolution.
I was able to see a picture of my house, map my local canoe route (and measure it!), and check out where my in-laws went of vacation.
It is limited to just the U.S. though. Anyway, here's the link: http://jdmcox.com/
Let me know if this helps anyone, or if there are similar programs available (especially for Canada, would like to plan a wilderness canoe trip soon :smile: )!

2005-07-25, 11:54

my wife owns a GIS software retail company selling ESRI ArcGIS and its various extensions and utilities, so we can generate our own maps pretty easily from databased USGI Topo maps. All that said, I still use USGI 1:25,000 scale maps converted to MGRS more than anything else. The scale is reliable, GPS compatible, can be referenced with UTM/MGRS and Lat/Long coordinates. Have tight elevation gradations for a better understanding of the terrain, etc. Trail maps at specific sites are a nice secondary reference, but the detail and scale are usually pretty damned sketchy.

On the Presidential Range in New Hampshire I STRONGLY favor the Bradford Washburn maps. They are precisely detailed and accurate. The only problem with them is that they feature a unique scale that does not correspond to any map protractor I have available right now. I'm going to see if I can gin something up though along with a buddy of mine. Could be fun, WILL be frustrating.

USGI topo maps would be EXPENSIVE for a long distance hike. For the AT the ATC map series is indespensable and affordable, but trying to stitch together your own equally detailed map series for the PTC or CDT or another custom long distance hike, could be painful.

2005-07-25, 15:28
For Canada:
When you zoom in make sure you get down to 1:50,000
and keep clicking on the map until you are zoomed right in.

These are good enough maps to use if you are not going somewhere to deep and dangerous. If you are planning something more wild they are certainly good enough for initial trip planning before you go out and buy a better map. The Toporama maps come 1:50000 but you can mess around in Paint and get fairly good resolution down to a smaller scale or go to whatever scale you want. You may wish to add your own lines for LAT and LON. I think you can do all that in Microsoft Paint.

I use 1:63360 for 1" to a mile on a 10 miles x 16 miles which you can take to Staples and get plasticized to 11"x17". Sometimes I break all the rules and have a scale 1 inch = 1 km or 1 cm = 1 mile. It is fun to make your own maps. The plasticized maps are heavy, but they are tough enough to cook on.

p.s. I do most of my hiking in New Brunswick.
The Fundy Foot path runs from O21H06 to O21H11.

2005-07-25, 16:06
Sattelite Photos for Canada:

Holy Smokes I think I can see my house!
I have never used these before, but they give you a really good idea of ground cover. If they are reasonably up to date even stuff like logging operations doesn't change that much. Great for bushwacking.

2005-07-31, 02:31
some good Web-references are given. thanks.
These may be of some interest or help...

http://Maps.Google.com/ toggles Map/Sat
http://Earth.Google.com/ has some 3D

enjoy the view.
-- toyfj40

2005-07-31, 07:12

SGT Rock
2005-07-31, 10:35
some good Web-references are given. thanks.
These may be of some interest or help...

http://maps.google.com/ toggles Map/Sat
http://earth.google.com/ has some 3D

enjoy the view.
-- toyfj40

That has a cool interface, my house is not in one of the detaild areas though:bawling:

2005-08-09, 03:14
That IS neat. I can get a view of anywhere on that. However there only seem to be photos available for major cities (and Indiana, go figure). I like the USAPhotos one because of its usefulness being able to get pictures of anywhere (lower 48 anyway) and being able to easily switch back and forth between the topos and photos.

Rock, your house should be on the one in my first post.

SGT Rock
2005-08-09, 12:53
I looked at where my house is, it is in a spot between two of the sections that have detailed photos of them. So it just a green blob. The only way I know it is where my house should be is the road intersection.

2005-08-09, 21:23
This is one of the best web sites I have ever been to. I have spent hours on it for the past few days and have traveled the world with it. It makes being away from home alittle bit easier to stand when I can soom in on my neighborhood, currently I am serving in South Korea with the Air Force. Thanks for the site.

2005-08-11, 20:29

First off, Grill Sgt, you doing any backpacking in Korea? I was there in 94-95, working at the embassy, and hiked all over the place, the buses run everywhere and if you're ambitious enough to get a SOFA or international liscense, you can rent scooters in Seoul (Don't let your bosses know). If you get the chance, bug your superiors to get you down to the rapelling course down in Chegudo(sp?) It's amazing! Don't le homesickness ruin your tour, Korea is amazing once you get away from the "American sectors".

To Topic though: This program is amazing. I had to manage at work on Saturday night and planned on just chilling out and planing my weekend camping trip (3rd week, Bodega Bay, Mexico, Half Moon Bay, woot!) and used Photomaps to do a zoom view of the topo, scolled over to the side, printed the scale to the same zoom factor and sued it as a simple map of the park, along with an ariel photo. I'm planning a westcoast-eastcoast hike soon, and this is helping me alot in some of the finer planning stages.

Thanks for the contribution. Anybody notice a way to get a USGS map identifier from the program to make ordering maps easier? This would totally beat their map finder.


2005-08-11, 22:32
I didn't just go check this myself, but Topozone.com or Terraserver.com, I think, has USA topo map references. (at least they do if you name a place and do a search; then they reference a topo and ask you to pick the best match). HTH MutinousDoug

2005-08-12, 02:01
Google is not that detailed, but it has some nice features.
I've bought the "plus" edition that allows me to import my GPS routes and waypoints. Unfortunately it doesn't work the other way around, yet.
I've also used Google Earth to measure up this years hike and to define "milestones" on the route to track how we're advancing.
Just my 5cents on Google Earth - Also look at http://moon.google.com and zoom all the way in :biggrin:

2005-08-12, 12:10
ROFLMAO!! :rofl:

2005-08-12, 13:12
Great! Next camping trip I go onto the moon, all I'm bringing is crackers and Dr. Pepper. lol. I love google's sense of humor....

2005-08-17, 03:09
I don't really know how to buy maps from USAPhotoMaps, but you can overlay the UTM grid on your pics. And try pressing "L".