Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
25

Europe Austria: The Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen (BEV, "Federal bureau for metrology and surveying") publishes the ÖK50 series in scale 1:50000, covering the whole country. Each map has a four-digit code, and for each (blue) ÖK50 map, there are two (green) ÖK25 maps in 1:25000 for the east and west half carrying the same number (XXXX-Ost and ...


15

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


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


9

In the UK your best bet is to use the Ordanance Survey website where you can purchase maps: Ordnance Survey. 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 down to 25000:1 for the UK!...


9

Google maps is free as in beer but doesn't usually show hiking trails. Open Street Maps 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 ...


8

I use My Topo 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.


7

Pythagoras is actually exactly what you would use, approximated as finely as you need for accuracy. What I mean by approximated, is: If you are following a continuous incline, you really only need one right angled triangle to calculate your hypotenuse, but if your incline varies, a more accurate figure will be gained by taking each change of incline as a ...


5

As the other answers point out using trigonometry you can determine the height of a distant peak. You can also use the same approach horizontally to determine the distance between two points. Provided that the length of one side of a triangle is known the other two sides can be calculated. Using a combination of these techniques any area can be divided into ...


5

Vegetation is recorded when it exceeds 20% cover of the landscape for an area greater than one acre (0.4 ha), and 6 ft (2 m) or more in height - tall enough to conceal troops or fugitives - with the same consideration for clearings within vegetated areas. USGS Topographic Maps


5

What exactly do you want to measure? If you want to estimate shoe usage, it would be better to measure steps, not the distance. If you want to estimate fatigue, than there's a heuristic, you should assume that 100m up is the equivalent of 1km on flat terrain. So you have walked 20 km equivalents. It has taken you twice as much time as you would be ...


4

In places where the contour lines are closer together, the slope is steeper. Where the lines are further apart, the slope is gentler. In a spot where you see several lines merge together, that is a sheer drop-off. Avoid those, obviously. Look for nesting Vs on the map. These are ridges, or possibly ravines. Water (blue) bisecting the V will tell you it is a ...


4

You can get a good estimate of the distance walked by timing or pacing. Naismith's Rule (a way of estimating the time to walk a distance when ascents are involved) can help with the timing aspect but is only an estimation of the time taken to walk a certain distance taking ups and down into account. From the knowledge of expected average speed and time taken,...


4

So if we'd walked, say 10Km as the "crow flies" and climbed 1Km how far had we actually walked (roughly)? (looks like Math Markup isn't enabled here?) km = sqrt( distance^2 + elevation^2 ) = sqrt( 10^2 + 1^2 ) You added a whole 50 meters to your hike with that 1km elevation gain. That's assuming a steady slope. If the route is up hill and down dale you ...


4

You are looking at a ski resort. The blue and red lines are the slopes. The straight lines are the lifts. https://dachstein-salzkammergut.com/de/winter/winterregion/panoramakarte-winter/


3

The change in distance from flat is fairly small. A 10% slope is about when you start toe striking instead of heel striking. Your leg is bent when your foot touches the ground and you have to straighten it. This is a lot more work. Your distance is about 0.5% extra due to the slope. A standard stair has a rise over run of 7 over 10. Now you are going ...


3

I have used the free caltopo.com for my recent trips. They use 7.5 minute quadrangles and stitch them together seemlessly. It is possible to create custom maps by creating tracks or import tracks created with Google Earth. They also have a topographical image overlay for Google Earth, which I have used extensively.


3

The University of Texas Library has some decent 1:100,000 topo maps of Peru for free download: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/topo/peru/ Sample (Machupicchu):


2

You can make your own easy enough. Just print onto a clear transparency (used primarily in overhead projectors). Tape that onto some clear plastic (can purchase at Home Depot and maybe art store).


2

Map scales are decided by the cartographer based on what they think is the the best scale for the map they're producing. This is naturally a judgment call sort of like the projection of the map. If you feel like the cartographer's choice is unbearable then I'd suggest you find a different map that covers the same territory. I believe you can find complete ...


2

According to this USGS pamphlet (last page, bottom right), solid green is "Forest". This link gives us The mesomorphic tree canopy is typically >10% cover and often exceeds 5 m in height (I was not able to find a good reference for a definition to "Shrubland" for the spotted irregular green to get a second notion of how green is used.) In the map you ...


2

Denmark, including Faroe Islands and Greenland (also Sweden): ScanMaps Many different scales, ages and media as well as customized, personal maps printed and sent to you. Site is in Danish, but you can change to English. The official government institution for Geo-data links to this (commercial) site for printed maps. Topographic, Digital maps are ...


2

My color vision isn't perfect so I'm not completely sure what you're talking about on that map. I see two things on there that you might be talking about: 1) I see several paths with names that start with "Variante". The similarity with the word "Variant" in English makes me think these are other options for this hike. While these are in red and blue ...


1

Here are a couple options: This guide is a general preparation and has good resources to save on a phone or something else, like phone numbers and general info, it also has a map, not detailed, but it does: Download Link This is a better PDF from Parcs Canada to download and you can zoom using your electronic device (note: it is over 5mb): Trail map for ...


1

While getting U.S.G.S maps are very good... If you are going to a specific park, check their website and search for trail books with organization that support the park such as the "Friends of [park name]". These organizations often have special books with limited printing with maps of specific areas in the park. Examples: Algonquin Provincial Park has its ...


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