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SGT Rock
2013-11-19, 20:30
I've had some experiences with hikers getting misplaced in the road/trail network around Thunder rock. It even happened to me. Anyhow, as a fix, I've worked up a little map. Tell me what you think. It would have helped me.

SGT Rock
2013-11-19, 21:02
Tuned it up a little because it wasn't very sharp

Hog On Ice
2013-11-19, 21:10
notes on Thunder Rock map

1. in middle note "Nobo: Gravel ends, cross creek & asend old road bed" word ascend is misspelled

2. in first/upper note "SoBo: Decent to curve in the road, cross the road and decend on an old road bed" both occurrences of the word "descend" are misspelled.

3. suggest adding Parking symbols for next to the campground and possibly next to the powerhouse (we parked there because campground was closed after checking with the TVA folks) ?

4. in refined version the middle note does not point to the same spot as the initial version

Lone Wolf
2013-11-19, 21:12
notes on Thunder Rock map

1. in middle note "Nobo: Gravel ends, cross creek & asend old road bed" word ascend is misspelled

2. in first/upper note "SoBo: Decent to curve in the road, cross the road and decend on an old road bed" both occurrences of the word "descend" are misspelled.

3. suggest adding Parking symbols for next to the campground and possibly next to the powerhouse (we parked there because campground was closed after checking with the TVA folks) ?
ok camo....

Hog On Ice
2013-11-19, 21:17
Wolf - if it was a forum post I would not have commented but for a published book it should be corrected

SGT Rock
2013-11-19, 21:23
I just caught those spelling errors myself. Good idea on the parking symbol. I also had to fix a couple elements that got off during the re-size. I also enlarge the fonts on some of the elements as they didn't look good on the print test I ran.

SGT Rock
2013-11-19, 21:23
He is doing me a favor.

Hog On Ice
2013-11-19, 21:45
I just caught those spelling errors myself. Good idea on the parking symbol. I also had to fix a couple elements that got off during the re-size. I also enlarge the fonts on some of the elements as they didn't look good on the print test I ran.

in first/upper note "SoBo: Decent to curve in the road, cross the road and descend on an old road bed" the first occurrence of the word "descend" is still misspelled.

SGT Rock
2013-11-19, 21:49
Hmmm... must have hit undo accidentally and missed it.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

Ray
2013-11-19, 21:52
Oh. I thought he meant you could be indecent after the curve in the road.

Tin Man
2013-11-19, 21:52
make sure you include a notation: 'for tin man shuttle service dial ..."

Crikey
2013-11-19, 23:21
make sure you include a notation: 'for tin man shuttle service dial ..."

911 .

Superman
2013-11-19, 23:27
911 .

lmao

Rasty
2013-11-19, 23:44
Rock, what program are you using for these maps?

Kanga
2013-11-20, 09:58
much mo' bettah!

SGT Rock
2013-11-20, 11:20
Rock, what program are you using for these maps?

It's a process involving a few different programs. I tried many methods and quite a few programs, and what I've found that works for making the more readable and easy to adjust maps is a three part process.

Step 1: I get a map from maybe Google or MapQuest (for towns, roads, and such), or make it myself in software like Delorme using a GPS Track for trails like this track. In this specific case everything was done in Delorme because a good chunk of FS45 is not on any map I could find. So I had to both drive the roads and hike the trails to establish where everything was. I do a screen capture or multiple screen captures to get all the details I want at a level that looks sufficient.

Step 2: In a graphics program, I import the screen captures and stitch them together to make one image. Then I figure which elements I want to keep and use for the map. Map software often puts details in that are superfluous to what you are trying to say with a map. I've found that it is better to get rid of that stuff than to leave it on and clutter the map. So in a map like this or the Slickrock Bypass I want to have trails, roads, and water bodies. In the case of this map specifically I also found that the power house and the power lines could serve as navigational aids so I put them on as well. At this point I do not put on any text, map symbols, etc. I've found that this should be left off until the next step. To finish this step I delete or hide the background image and export the layers I've built for the map. In this step I use Corel Draw, but you could use any draw programs that you find comfortable and allow you to build in layers and export into a GIF image with an invisible background.

Step 3: In the software you use for creating the page for the guidebook (I actually use Microsoft Excel), you import the GIF file you just created, and adjust it to the format of your page. This generally involves shrinking, cropping, and sometimes a little skewing to get it in a page and look good. I usually make my map layer bigger (cover more area) than I will actually think I need so I can crop it down. I've also had a couple of instances where I made a town map, then found a service I wanted to list that was just right outside the map area I made. Once you have that set, you then add in the graphic symbols and information that your map needs. I usually use text boxes for the symbols, then change the orientation and such to make them meet the elements on the map like the streams. If you find that the data you are trying to put on the map crowds or covers another element of information, then you can quickly shuffle parts around to clear them up - this is why it is best not to add them in step 2. A benefit to doing it this way is that if a business folds, or if you find a new one to add, then you can just do an edit in your publishing software with a quick text change and not have to go back to the map or graphics software.

There is a step 4, and that is basically proofing the maps. What looks good on screen doesn't always look good in print. You need to print it (I use a laser printer) to scale and see what the reader will have in their hands. Sometimes this will cause you to change something, in this map's case it did.

All that can be tedious. I've taken an entire day to do a town map from scratch. Blue Ridge, GA is a PITA.

Crikey
2013-11-20, 11:44
I used to work with a cartographer who made maps for the NIH. You want me to reach out to him and see if there is a more efficient way? He's a great guy and loves to help with maps.

He's a hiker as well.

SGT Rock
2013-11-20, 11:55
I'm always interested in learning new methods and ideas. The only thing really is I've built all my maps at this point (except one small one) and it would probably be more work to redo the stuff in a new way. The good thing about my system is when I built these maps for the 2011 guide, I can reuse them every year after that without doing step 1 & 2 again. The bad thing is the trial and error getting them set up for the first time. So since 2011 I haven't had to do anything to my 9 town maps except shift some text around. My current next bad project is creating a map of the trail, houses, and roads where the BMT passes between US76 and Patterson Mountain. Every year we get more home construction in this area and more problems with the trail. As I understand it, there is now someone's house and driveway where the trail went just a couple of years ago. I don't live near there so it is hard for me to keep up with. And aerial photography of the section doesn't have enough detail to make a strip map and keep it updated that way. I'm more at a loss at this point with how to even make the map and keep up with the map in this section. I've got a hole in the guidebook for it, but it isn't going to be a huge hole and I've got to figure out how to do this without making a big mess of a map.

Another Kevin
2013-11-22, 18:33
I'm not going to suggest to SGT Rock that he should change his workflow, particularly since the maps are mostly done, but there's a pretty good mapmaking program - just short of a professional cartographer's standards - available for free: Quantum GIS (http://www.qgis.org/).

A couple of years ago, I did a few 'getting started' style blog posts (http://dftscript.blogspot.com/search/label/map) on it. They don't describe my current workflow. I found more data sources and I'm doing things a bit differently. But I'd be glad to help anyone who's trying to get started. The learning curve is pretty steep, because map software has to do a lot.

I also have a process set up for doing mobile maps, which is a little bit different. It, too, generates some fairly decent results (http://kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/test2.html?la=42.274&lo=-74.106&z=13): I can bring my map pretty much seamlessly into my smartphone GPS.