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12

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center published the following map of the conterminous United States in 2005: It has been published as a factsheet with a PDF (that can be zoomed for more detail): Watts, R.D., R.W. Compton, J.H. McCammon, C.L. Rich, and S.M. Wright. 2005. Distance to the nearest road in the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey ...


12

A topographic map, as we see here, is made up of a number of lines.: Every point on a given line is at the same elevation. Where the lines get closer the slope is steeper, and vice versa. But that doesn't tell you directly which way the slope is going, so they put numbers on the lines - the slope goes up towards the higher numbers. These numbers indicate ...


12

There are several ways to determine true north, especially when you have a map and compass: Competent maps, like most intended for backcountry hiking, will have the magnetic declination marked. This is usually in one of the corners. Take a look at any USGS topo map, for example. The compass will tell you the direction to magnetic north, and the map tells ...


11

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has topographical maps arranged in the typical 7.5 minute quadrangle format, available for free viewing & download online for all of the US. Links: USGS Topo Maps USGS Map Locator and Downloader


11

Of course, there are many long-distance hiking trails without any available maps. As far as I'm aware, none of the European long-distance trails have dedicated end-to-end maps, unless you count Openstreetmap or a collection of several hundred topographic maps. In some places they're well-mapped, e.g. when passing through Switzerland, Germany, or France, ...


10

What you describe is exactly how it was done: Accurate measurement of distances and angles Obviously, measuring distances on flat ground is relatively straightforward: you use a known length measurement (perhaps a robe marked at known intervals); and to measure the distance to a distant point, use two points and a bit of geometry (Pythagoras is helpful ...


10

GPS is simply not a good way to measure trail distance. This is because the raw GPS fixes have a lot of noise on them. If you take them literally, then you get a much longer distance than you actually moved. If you low pass filter them too much, you cut off corners and get a shorter distance. The usual algorithm is to apply some low pass filtering, but ...


9

While Rory Alsop's answer points exactly to the method followed by cartographers and geologists before the invention of GPS and other modern techniques, I'd like to make a point that it was done with an assumption that they knew what altitude they are at and when you stand at planar location located from a mountain at a known distance and you can figure out ...


8

I would consider using OSM as they are available for garmin devices.


8

There are two main things that can go wrong with gps accuracy. The first is the quality of the signal, which can be less than for a dedicated gps unit (less space for an antenna and other design compromises). Of course the question of how you carry it comes into play here (a low pocket isn't very good and this may be worse than with a dedicated unit ...


7

Google maps is free as in beer but doesn't usually show hiking trails. OpenStreetMaps is a free and open source site that works sort of like Wikipedia, and it often has good coverage of hiking trails, but the coverage may be somewhat hit-or-miss. For example, I've put in some trails for specific areas in California that are near my house or that I've visited....


7

Prerequisites: A Topographical Map for the area you are in. Ordnance Survey's Landranger series cover all of the UK. A compass suitable for the task. (I use the Silva Expedition 54) Knowledge of your current location on the map. Step 1: Taking Bearing. Point your compass at the distant peak. (This is done without a map, by physically looking at the ...


7

The topics of navigation and cartography are two sides of the same coin, and there are entire books written about each. It is interesting to study the history of cartography because it very graphically shows the corresponding improvements in navigation over time. In order to make an accurate map, you need to know first where you are making your ...


6

That's actually a very difficult question to answer, since there's a lot of ambiguity about what's a "road," etc. Some geographers in Alaska tried to tackle a similar question here, in an Alaska Dispatch article.


6

I use www.mytopo.com to order waterproof topo maps to take camping with me. They also have a good interactive online tool which you can use to find a specific area.


6

In the UK your best bet is to use the Ordanance Survey website where you can purchase maps: http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/ I've used the getamap feature which is great at creating your own maps! Which is useful if your hike goes over several map boundaries - often the case in the Lake District!! You can also use Bing maps which has OS map data ...


6

Check this link out: http://peaklist.org/misc/links_to_map_resources.html It contains this and many more countries: UNITED STATES TOPOZONE.COM If all sites could be just like topozone. Topozone has a seamless map of the US at all published USGS scales; 1:24,000, 1:100,000, and 1:250,000, and 1:63,360 for Alaska. Recent changes to topozone mean that you ...


6

Yes, you can. I have managed to trek long upto a week with a set of satellite images. For that, I needed some skill in orientation, tracing down a trail and then setting the position in accordance with the satellite image. It does require skills in Navigation because, in most of the cases where people complain about Satellite Images not being good enough, ...


6

The Kungsleden (lit. kings way in Swedish) is a 440 km long trail in northern Sweden/Scandinavia. From Wiki: The trail is separated in four portions which each represent approximately one week of hiking. The most practiced part is by far the northernmost, between Abisko and Kebnekaise. The season, when the huts are open usually runs between mid-...


5

TopOSM The map features both contour lines and relief shading derived from data sources such as the USGS National Elevation Dataset, MassGIS and SRTM. Hydrographic features, such as lakes, rivers and wetlands, come from the USGS National Hydrographic Dataset and MassGIS. Roads, place names and all other map features are from the OpenStreetMap project. ...


5

I am only familiar with US topos, but a point the other answers miss is that the US Geological Survey have mapping standards, and most non-USGS maps (at least in America) match the USGS standards. I'd suggest you start by learning the standard symbols in your area. Make up flash cards and you can easily quiz yourself as you have a few minutes (this is a ...


5

With these maps it's all about elevation - just remember a few main points: Each line represents a constant elevation (height) - so if you walk along that line you'll be walking flat. The numbers represent the elevation, the higher the number the higher you are. Usually it's in something like metres or feet above sea level, check the key/legend (UK/US!) ...


5

Spain is mediocre when it comes to topographic maps. Certainly beats Italy, but you won't find the quality of France, Switzerland, Germany, or northern Europe. They're not too old — you can find maps less than 10 years old in the new digital series, at scales down to 1:25,000. In general, what's on the map exists and is accurate. Unfortunately: most ...


5

I would recommend a site like CalTopo (my favorite) or Hillmap; you can import GPX files into them, or click on points to define a path. For Caltopo, creating a path by clicking might not be immediately obvious; first choose "Add New Object", then select "Line", and once you've edited any details you can click each waypoint or hold down shift while ...


5

We have an article about this topic, since Gaia GPS users frequently ask - why GPS recording can be inaccurate. The short answer is, as others have said, GPS isn't perfectly accurate. If you compare a GPS measurement to a measurement from a measuring wheel, there will be a discrepancy in stat calculations, regardless of GPS chip or post-processing ...


4

What you mean is called "Orientierungslauf" or in short "OL" in Germany. There are some events, but it is best you get in touch with some organizers over there perhaps using this list of upcoming orienteering marches. In my experience the events of this kind which are not highly popular are mostly not (yet) present on the internet. It's "popular" around ...


4

I'm a kiwi too (a director of Hiking New Zealand.com) We do remote guided small group trips around NZ. Some of us are starting to play around with digital map solutions. A good one I found is BackCountryNavigator PRO. It cost a few bucks but is excellent. You can download maps for when you are out of Internet range and your GPS works on it. Don't use Google ...


4

I am from New Zealand and I tend to agree with the topomap service. Another great resource is the Department of Conservation Website http://www.doc.govt.nz Happy Hiking


4

Letterboxing is very much the precursor to geocaching, although it's available in relatively limited places compared to the former. Dartmoor is where it was invented, and is thus the most popular place - you can easily find some boxes just by looking under "suspicious" rocks. I believe it's also available elsewhere in some areas in the US, though I'm not ...


4

Omnimap seem to have all 1:50k maps with a delivery time of around two weeks. However, Omnimap are quite expensive (US$ 16.95 per sheet). By comparison, MapWorld New Zealand charges NZ$ 7.90 (US$ 6.50) per map. Land Information New Zealand have a (probably incomplete) list of international resellers. This list includes Omnimap. Probably some of the domestic ...



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