New images and data from GOES-16

Visit the page to view and download imagery

Over Christmas break, it was time to automate collecting and displaying the incredibly detailed imagery from the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager. A problem that plagued previous efforts was not accessing the raw data, a netCDF formatted file for the contiguous U.S. which can be downloaded freely from a variety of cloud data hosts. With the raw data, one can project, modify and use it in web mapping libraries like Leaflet.

This page offers a slippy map of grayscale and color imagery and is updated every 15 minutes. You can download GeoTIFFs of rendered layers that can be used in GIS applications.

Sheltowee Trace interactive mobile map

Locate yourself on the ST

We’ve updated our map of the Sheltowee Trace on our ST site: The map has symbols for official recreation sites and trails for the Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and Cumberland Falls and Natural Bridge State Resort Parks. Of course, it has the ST and mile markers from the northern terminus.

Since we deployed this map last year, we have updated the Leaflet and MapBox JS to make the work with a GPS-enabled device as long as you have a cellular data connection. The points of interests and trails are clickable with useful travel information.

Our next goal is to fill out the map with more scenic destinations and include more photographs. Let us know if you have any suggestions.

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Sheltowee Trace South, 2015

Six 19" x 27" pages

Six 19″ x 27″ pages

We’ve finished our Sheltowee Trace South, 2015 map. This rich color topographic trail map includes almost the entire Big South Fork National Recreation and River Area and the southern half of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Map is six 19″ x 27″ pages and is available laminated. Check it out!

Woodland Art Fair, 2015

Come down to the Woodland Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday,  August 15 and 16. We’ve made big progress on the Sheltowee Trace South map and we’ll have samples to show at our booth.  While in the same format as Sheltowee Trace North map, we’re adding an additional sheet to cover the Big South Area.

Working draft of the Sheltowee Trace South map

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or there abouts. We’ll stay as long as you’re visiting!

Our booth location and coordinates are shown on the below map. We’ll be between Troublesome and Difficulty Creeks, at least spirit! Find us on the Woodland Christian Church side of the fair at the shady bottom of the hill.

2009 Sheltowee Trace South now available

Laminated ST South map

Laminated ST South map

After many requests from hikers and map enthusiasts, our map that shows the ST 2009 southern alignment (Pickett State Park as southern terminus) is back in a limited edition print run. Folks called nearly everyday asking for this map. We answered with a custom map edition.

While the southern terminus is now at Burnt Mill Bridge in the Big South Fork, this is the only map that shows the Sheltowee Trace between the Big South Fork and Turkey Foot. This map also shows the Kentucky Trail and long portions of the John Muir Trail, which the ST also uses.

This laminated map is now for sale at $24.

Topography and Hemlock Habitat

Elevation range in feet within an area 164-foot square

Elevation range in feet within an area 164-foot square

Sheltered coves and north-facing cliffs are hemlock habitats in Eastern Kentucky. This map shows range of elevation change within a 164-foot square area. Red areas indicate the highest relief, which are mountain slopes in the coal fields, and cliffs along the Pottsville Escarpment and Pine and Cumberland Mountains fault. Since most cliff is sandstone, areas indicated as cliffs would presumably have sandy soils, which is a condition for other evergreen species habitats, e.g., mountain laurel and rhododendron.

This is first-run test. Further analysis would include adding aspect, evergreen canopy cover, and soils to better refine predicting hemlock habitat.

Sheltowee Trace online map

screenshot_smallWe’ve started an online map for the Sheltowee Trace, because it keeps getting longer with each new season. This month, it is 319 miles (and some change) long.

This map is mobile compatible and will locate you on the trail if your device has GPS. Try it out and tell us what you think.

The map includes the new extension from Leatherwood Ford to Honey Creek.

319 Photos

We’re gearing up with a new online #SheltoweeMap with a participatory aspect. Keep tuned and get a map for exploring.

In the meantime, check out some photographs from the Sheltowee Trace from our archive:

and current photos:

Woodland Art Fair time, 2014!

Come down to the Woodland Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17,and check out our new Sheltowee Trace North map. We have a couple neat projects in the works and would like to hear your trail adventure stories.

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map. Click to enlarge.

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Sheltowee Trace North map

Trails in the northern half of the Daniel Boone

Trails in the northern half of the Daniel Boone

We are now printing the Sheltowee Trace North map, which covers the ST and official trails between the Northern Terminus and Mckee in Jackson County, Kentucky. That’s 138 miles of ST and  130 miles of official trail. The map is same scale as our previous ST south maps, but the sheet size has been enlarged to 19″ x 27″ and packs down to 4.5″ x 6.5″. We will also offer a lamination and heat press service to make these maps bomber in the field.

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map. Click to enlarge.

A couple unique additions to this title might be useful for the serious trail enthusiast. The map is formatted to show the trail network of Cave Run Lake and Red River Gorge on single, separate sheets. The new ST reroute around Morehead and new trails in Cave Run are located. Groceries, public libraries, power lines, and pipelines are located. We’ve added 1,000 m UTM grid. What else? Lots of love and devotion for the trails of the Daniel Boone.


Low resolutions drafts of the press sheets (note these previews require Flash). These have been altered in final version. The only way to see the finished map is to hold it in your hand!

Northern Terminus
Cave Run Lake
Red River Gorge
Southern Gorge, Turkey Foot, and McKee

Just like the South ST map, when the ST leaves a sheet it has a letter in a red box as label to match the trail on the next sheet. Just follow A…B…C… for 138 miles.

Thanks for the input in correcting thre above drafts!

Working on a Cumberland Falls map

July draft of Cumberland Falls trail map

July draft of Cumberland Falls trail map

This July we have started a topographic trail map for the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. The map will use aerial photography, 20-foot elevation contours, and GPS mapped trails. This two-sided 13.5″ x 19″ full-color map will show the entire park and connecting trails into the Daniel Boone NF, including Dog Slaughter Falls. This map is at 1:15,000 scale. The second map will zoom into the central area of the park and show trails at 1:5,000 scale. We anticipate this will be an awesome map, especially when used under a moonbow.

Winter into Spring, Kentucky 2014

Winter to Spring in Satellite Images, 2014

Winter to Spring in Satellite Images, 2014

After an unusually long and cold winter, Kentucky has finally emerged to full-blown spring weather. These five images show the clearest, cloud-free day for each month from January 1 to May 5. Snow is clearly seen in the first two months and it’s striking how defined the snow lines are, perhaps 20 miles. You could have heavy snow in Lexington, but snow free in Richmond.

In the January image, we can see the hemlock and pine forest in the Red River Gorge and recently mined ares in eastern Kentucky. In the February image, Cave Run Lake appears frozen.

Another interesting observation is the rate pastures and forests leaf out. Kentucky’s pastures became green in early April, while the forests leaf out by the first days of May.

March is my favorite image. The sun is the highest while the vegetation is at the minimum.  Soon, the explosion of photosynthesis will sweeten the earth with life.

No wildfires are seen (maybe one in April image in eastern Kentucky).

Kentucky transitions into fall

MODIS images of changing seasons in Kentucky, 2013

MODIS images of changing seasons in Kentucky, 2013


These satellite images are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on two satellites, Aqua and Terra. MODIS captures 36 electromagnetic wavelength bands to measure atmospheric water vapor, ozone, aerosols, land fire, surface temperature, and many other important variables of global climate. These images are visible light and clearly show the change in deciduous canopy cover within roughly a month of time. Spatial resolutions are between 250 m to 1 km.

Draft of North Sheltowee Trace Map

Interactive viewer to proof the content of the map.

Interactive viewer to proof the content of the map.

We are sharing our first draft of the Sheltowee Trace North map and we encourage you to proof it and give us feedback. The map covers the ST from the north terminus in Rowan County, Kentucky to DBNF’s Turkey Foot Campground along the banks of the War Fork near McKee, Jackson County.

The print format of this map will be 19″ x 27″ and on two double-sided sheets. The layout format is following: map one is Northern Terminus to Corner Ridge at Mariba; and map two is Corner Ridge to Turkey Foot.

Since the northern half of the ST has more contiguous public land, we went to the big sheet showing larger tracts of area. Trails in the Cave Run Lake and Red River Gorge areas are completely covered; in fact, this map might cover all official trails in the Cumberland Ranger District.

What needs to be done? We still need to add elevation contour labels and Sheltowee Trace mile markers. The south map counts miles from the old southern terminus and is no longer correct. To resolve mile markers on the north map, we’ll start counting from the northern terminus and provide a conversion for north-bound hikers using either the new or old southern terminus. Any suggestions about this mile maker plan?

A few notes about the map viewer. This map viewer is built out of TileMill and should work with most modern browsers, including mobile. As we develop new data about the alignment and distance of the Trace, we can easily update this draft. The images are reduced in resolution and they will appear a little ragged. We’re proofing content, here so please don’t the aesthetics, yet!

NOTE: the interactive works in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and IE8. You’ll need to run compatibility mode if your browser is IE9 or greater.

Sheltowee Trace Bird’s Eye View Map

Draft of the ST 3D

We have been working on our 3D map of the Sheltowee Trace. This Bird’s Eye View map shows the official forest service trails and recreation areas on a 3D map of the Pottsville Escarpment that separates the rugged Cumberland Plateau with the more rolling Bluegrass and Pennyrile regions.

We encourage you to explore this map give us any feedback. We will probably print portions of the map as insets in the Sheltowee Trace north map on which we are currently working.

Visit the map:


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