Time to explore the trails

Enjoy ruby flushed sunsets sweeping through hemlocks and fresh rhododendron blooms as you hike through murals of eroded sandstone. Our maps take you there.

If you’re planning on hiking in the Daniel Boone NF, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Cumberland Gap NHP, or in Kentucky state parks, we might have a map and digital geodata for you. Check out our shop for maps and data you can purchase online.

We aggregate data from the National Weather Service, National Park Service, and Dry Sky to serve weather stations to help hikers understand weather and road conditions for the Daniel Boone National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

outrageGIS_SheltoweeTrace_south_CoverTime for a trip? Looking for a weekend in the woods, alone and untroubled by maintaining your boring social media accounts? Need to get lost for awhile? We understand that instinct and have maps to help.  Consider wandering into a landscape of sandstone cliffs, river fords, and bear in the Big South Fork and North Daniel Boone Country.

Time to check the weather before packing your gear. Each of our stations (GRSMCUGA, and DBNF) offer current weather observations, forecasts, webcams, archives, and climate information that updates every 15 minutes. Smell the mountain air, through the internet.

We have more weather mapping projects that we’re tinkering with. Check our GitHub repositiory that shows the radar for the Daniel Boone country and imagery from the GOES-16 satellite.

“Thus situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we experienced. I often observed to my brother, You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briars and thorns.”

An account from Daniel Boone, 1784 from “The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone” (1784), by John Filson and Daniel Boone.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with our GPS pack and GeoPDF

Recent blog posts

Natural Bridge profile from point cloud

Natural Bridge profile from point cloud

This summer we are planning an update to our popular Red River Gorge trail map. Since the release of the Lidar point cloud data for Daniel Boone National Forest, we have been excited to start the project. With a pixel resolution of 5-foot, this is the most detailed elevation layer we have for the Red River Gorge. Let’s take a look at some samples. An elevation profile of the well-known landmark, Natural Bridge arch, shows canopy slightly dimmed and you can clearly see the arch.

Cliffs over 100 feet in Chimney Top area

Cliffs over 100 feet in Chimney Top area

Many other interesting analyses are planned; for example, where are the high cliffs and overlooks? In the right image, we show the cliffs over 100-feet in height. We can clearly see the high cliffs of Pinch ‘Em Tight, Chimney Top, and the other high cliffs the line the Red River.

Cliffs over 220 feet in Small Wall area along Red River

Cliffs over 220 feet in Small Wall area along Red River

Of course, the inclination is to find the highest cliff in the Red River Geological Area. With a preliminary analysis, we have found the Small Wall climbing area has one of the highest cliffs at 220-feet.

Class mapping project

Web page for student maps

NRE 355, Introduction to Geospatial Applications for Land Analysis, is a class at the University of Kentucky (UK) that uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to study our environment. Every year NRE 355 constructs various maps centered around an environmental theme. Past themes have included Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve and Pine Mountain, both in Kentucky.

This semester our class focused on tree canopy coverage in specific neighborhood associations inside New Circle Road in Lexington, Kentucky to feature ecosystem services provided by urban tree canopy. We use ArcGIS software to process vector, raster, GPS, and lidar data that determines vegetation density, tree canopy coverage, and tree height. We publish GeoPDF and interactive maps that show our work.

This tree canopy study was conducted in several different neighborhoods within the area of New Circle Road in Lexington, Kentucky.

The neighborhoods involved were:

The neighborhood with the most tree canopy per acre was Ashland Park, while the lowest counted tree canopy per acre was in the MLK Neighborhood. The tallest tree was located in the Ashland Neighborhood, a spruce or tulip poplar measuring, with lidar technology, at 114 feet tall.

Visit the website: https://rvirto01.github.io/NRE355_Tree_canopy_study/

Bird’s eye view of the North Limestone Neighborhood Association showing tree heights relative to building heights


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High-resolution weather imagery from GOES-16

Though GOES-16 is not officially operational, the availability of imagery has steadily increased. We found the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosts a set of imagery. The satellite will become fully online in November and undoubtedly many other data sources will be available.

This weather satellite captures 16 spectral bands with time resolutions as quick as every 30 seconds. The spatial resolution (the size of each pixel) is between 0.5 km and 2 km and the visible grayscale image for the continental US is 12,000 x 9,000 pixels and is collected every 5 minutes.

We wrote a series of crontab jobs to automate the processing of weather imagery to display on our website.

Real-time satellite image maps

Check out all posts in our blog.

Recent photos

Sample some of the scenes we enjoy from the areas we live and work.

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