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#122264 - 10/12/09 07:58 PM Backpacking Mapping
Bear Cavalry Offline
member

Registered: 10/11/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Keweenaw Peninsula, MI
I just recently started using this site to map out routes that I have done and that I plan on doing, it's pretty cool.

www.MapMyHike.com

I can't remember where I got linked to it, it may have even been someone on this site, so if this place is common knowledge, sorry.

The cool part is that you don't even have to make an account to make a route. I did, it is easier to keep track of them that way.


Edited by Bear Cavalry (10/12/09 08:00 PM)

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#123545 - 11/08/09 10:24 PM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: Bear Cavalry]
bmwrider Offline
member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Michigan, just N of detroit
Wow, that is great, I am so glad you posted this, I have been looking for just such a site for 4 years, thanks, you rock.

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#128169 - 02/05/10 02:34 PM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: bmwrider]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I just discovered that if you pull up a location on Wikipedia and look for the map icon or "Coordinates" in the stats box, it will take you to a site called GeoHack (part of Wikimedia) that lists lots of maps and other info about the location.

Here is an example-
http://tinyurl.com/yhet462


Edited by TomD (02/05/10 02:48 PM)
_________________________
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#128195 - 02/05/10 06:09 PM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: Bear Cavalry]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Bear Cavalry, tried that site and it looks good, but even though it does evidently generate GPS/UTM coordinates, I can find no way to display them onsite. I need a way to put a curser on a map, preferably topo, and get the UTM coorinates. Anybody have a way of doing this?

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#128227 - 02/06/10 01:10 AM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: JPete]
jps1021 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Vegas
Originally Posted By JPete
I need a way to put a curser on a map, preferably topo, and get the UTM coorinates. Anybody have a way of doing this?



As for online sites, couldn't tell you. I just use them, mostly for mountain biking, to quickly get trail/gps data in .gpx format to create ride routes.

However, if you want to put mapping software on your PC, I have 3 free quality options for you that will all provide you with the function you seek. The 3 programs are Garmin MapSource, Topofusion and Google Earth. I use all three programs, depending on what I'm wanting to do. Here is how to install each program and get the UTM data displayed.

MapSource:
This one takes a few steps to install, but it's really not a PITA (Pain In The ***). MapSource normally comes with Garmin GPS units, but this is how I installed the program before I even bought my used GPS Map60csx. This is a pretty well known method for being able to get a functioning version of the software on your system.

First, download and install the Garmin Training Center software.

http://www8.garmin.com/software/TrainingCenter_351.exe

After installing TC, download and install the current MapSource software. The following link is subject to change as Garmin updates the software.

http://www8.garmin.com/software/MapSource_61511.exe

Now you will have the MapSource software installed with a simple US base map.

To get some topo data, go to GPSFileDepot and download and install the map(s) of interest to you.

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/

Now that you have installed some topo maps, start MapSource and click on the dropdown box below the menu bar (top left cornor of the window)and select a mapset that you installed.

As you move the cursor around the map, notice the Lat/Lon coords on the status bar at the bottom of the screen. To change this to display UTM coords, click on the Edit menu, Preferences... In the Preferences window, click on the Position tab. From the Grid dropdown menu, select UTM, then click the OK button. Now you should have the UTM coords displayed in the status bar. You're good to go from there.


Topofusion:
This will allow you to install the software in Demo mode, which will put translucent 'nag' graphics over top of your maps. Purchasing the software removes the nags, but the software is quite usable even in demo mode.


First download and install the Topofusion software.

http://www.topofusion.com/TopoFusion-Demo-Pro-3.97.exe

After installing the software, run it and go to the Map menu and select the type of map you want to display; you can do topos or various satellite or even combo maps. The map data/graphics are downloaded from online servers and then permanently stored locally to the hard drive.

Now, go to the Options menu, Preferences. In the Preferences window, click on the Units tab. Click on the Coordinates type dropdown and select UTM, then click the OK button. The coordinates will display in the right side of the button bar at the top of the screen, below the program menu bar. Done.

Google Earth:
Lots of fun features and great for creating routes just by picking out roads and trails from satellite images. However, you won't have the topo option available.

Download and install by going to the following link and agreeing to terms and such...

http://earth.google.com/intl/en/download-earth.html

After installing, run GE, click the Tools menu, Options... In the 3D View tab, go to the Show Lat/Long group option and Select Universal Transverse Mercator, then click the OK button. The coordinates will display in the status bar at the bottom of the window. And that's it.

Install them all, play around (they're all pretty easy to figure out) and enjoy!


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#128237 - 02/06/10 10:09 AM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: jps1021]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Wow, jps1021, That's just great. I'll be trying them very soon. I use a Garmin, did not find the software with it, but I,ll download. And I've been thinking of trying Google Earth.

What is involved here is an old trail, unmaintained for about twenty years. I thru-hiked it about thirty years ago, and parts of it much more recently, but some parts were hard to follow even then. I have fairly good topo maps, but in some places, I have to try to find it with little to go on. I have been trying to pinpoint various spots using a grid on the map, but have not been able to get sufficient accuracy to identify the spots i'm looking for (sometimes have to get within several feet in order to find the traces of the trail where it is obscured in heavy bush). This should do it.

This process is not helped by the fact that I am in Canada and our topos are 1:54 instead of the US standard of 1:25. Hope the sites given cover southern Ontario.

Again, many thanks. jcp

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#128277 - 02/06/10 04:07 PM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: JPete]
idahosteve Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 62
Loc: Idaho
I use TOPO, and have excellent and consistent results. I print and chart all the info I could ever want with this system. Its all integrated to my GPS etc. There are always issues, but overall, I've had nothing but SIMPLE success with this program. I can look at my GPS, and I can see REAL TIME LOCATION at any time. I now have 5 states of maps that I use. Cost, depending on wether you travel like I do, its $100 bucks for your state, but on ebay, you can consistently get a state for under $70. Its worth looking into if your serious for the long term.
There is a ton of info and feedback on this on the forum Im sure. Have fun


Edited by idahosteve (02/06/10 04:07 PM)
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#128284 - 02/06/10 05:50 PM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: idahosteve]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
I think a good alternative to Topo is memory-map software, particularly if you use a Windows mobile GPS-enabled smartphone or other device compatible with their stuff. They have a desktop application similar to Topo (but less buggy I think), they similarly sell per-state DVDs of maps (just over $70 per), but you can also opt to buy an upgraded version of their software that will import free USGS maps from the likes of libremap.

Their software works well on my smartphone, and I found their customer service really responsive, so I'm a happy customer. I'm also thinking of doing some hiking in England, and memory-map works with maps from some other countries, including UK Ordnance Survey maps.
_________________________
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http://postholer.com/brianle

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#128301 - 02/07/10 12:10 AM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: JPete]
jps1021 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Vegas
Originally Posted By JPete
This process is not helped by the fact that I am in Canada and our topos are 1:54 instead of the US standard of 1:25. Hope the sites given cover southern Ontario.


Oh!...Canada?

That does complicate things a bit. But, there are some maps on GPSFileDepot that cover Ontario. Not sure if any of them will be what you need though. Garmin does sell a mapset for Canada, but that will cost you.

You may have the best luck by using Google Earth and zooming in as close as you can before the images get too pixelized and try to visually pick up the trail off the satellite images. It's truly amazing what you can see from those images. And, many times you can spot the slight differences in vegatation patterns or coloring to tell where a little used trail or or even an animal trail is. May even help to change the perspective in the program and view in 3D with a slight angle (play around with the control in the top right corner of the screen, the one with the North [N] indicator). GE is a pretty amazing program. Even has a flight simulator and star chart build into it. Just look thru the program menus.

Hope you can find what you're looking for.

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#128384 - 02/08/10 02:51 AM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: jps1021]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Check out www.gpsfiledepot.com They have a lot of free maps including some topos and may have some for Canada. Some of them are for Garmins, so I don't know enough to know if they work with any GPS unit.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#128539 - 02/10/10 10:41 AM Re: Backpacking Mapping [Re: TomD]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By TomD


I did, and it led me to this site which lets you Draw and Save GPS Tracks that you can load into your GPS.

I just tested it with the NG Topo software and it worked great.

That's pretty darn cool...

Thanks Tom!!


Edited by billstephenson (02/10/10 10:41 AM)
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