A simple GPS tool for the phone

If you visit this site often, you likely have a favorite map app on your phone. I certainly do and I have installed dozens of apps over the years. Most focus on placing your location as a dot on the map.

The dot

Any map app that shows your location as a dot on the map fosters a dependence on your exact location. We end up saying, "I am here" instead of asking "Where am I?"

To build strong spatial awareness, we should look at the dot after studying the plain map and doing an exercise in terrain association. Can we orient the map (best done with a paper map, folks) so that map north aligns with observed north? Can we then identify features on the map and estimate their distance from us?

These are questions in topograhic map reading. If you carefully observe your environment and compare its representation on the map, you will not need the dot.

When there was no dot

Let’s say the early 1990s. Before that time, we used paper maps. Soon after, handheld GPS units became popular and only showed coordinates for your position and maybe some other location statistics like speed, elevation, distance & bearing to next waypoint. They were often used with a paper map that had a grid (with linear units on a flat space) or a graticule (angular units on a curved space) that helped a user measure their location.

Using coordinates, we looked at the paper map’s margin for marks that pointed you to a general location. To find the exact location, we looked up and asked, "Where am I?" and compared the map with what we saw. We built a mental map of our surroundings. There was no dot.

An app without a dot?

So, we thought we would kick it back to the 90s and make a browser app that mimics these early devices. Because our maps have detailed graticules and mile markers for the Sheltowee Trace, this app should compliment your journey into topography and map reading. This app is designed for mobile devices and below is a screen capture of a use on an iPhone.

Screen Capture of control panel

GPS app can be loaded here: https://outrageGIS.com/gps

This app is free, open source, doesn’t need to be installed, and won’t collect any information from you.

Happy adventures!

Sheltowee Trace elevation profile

Working on the 2020 update of the Sheltowee Trace maps using high-resolution DEMs derived from lidar point clouds. An elevation profile was created by sampling elevation every 264 feet along the 343-mile trail. This profile shows the proposed extension from Burnt Mill bridge to Rugby.

Enlarge

The resolution is high enough to see the indentation of wider trail beds, which helps verify GPS data.

Trail bed observed new Gray’s Arch recreation area

The updated trail maps should be at the printer by mid-July.

Woodland Art Fair time!

Come down to the Kentucky Art Market and Woodland Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday,  August 17 and 18, 2019. We have new t-shirts of the Red River Gorge.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or thereabouts.

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.

Toward a scenic trail index

Sheltowee Trace, Daniel Boone National Forest, and Big South Fork scenic trail index
Visit the web page

Over the years we’ve pursued some measure that reveals the character of 900+ miles of trail here. Often we talk about a trail’s length or steepness with other dimensions gleaned from the base map. In this experiment, we are creating zones at discreet locations along trails and estimating the character of that location.

Over 14,000 polygons are shown on this 3D Mapbox map. The color indicates the type of scenery and height shows how much relief is the area. Future additions to this map include adding a searching tool and summary statistics for each trail.

Red River Gorge t-shirt

T-shirt front

Looking for a new fashion statement?

We’ve printed a map of the Red River Gorge on a 100%-cotton, heavy-weight t-shirt.

This double-sided t-shirt will be first available at the Kentucky Art Market, which is adjacent to the Woodland Arts Fair. This August 2019.

T-shirt back

Courthouse Rock animation

Journey to Courthouse Rock in lidar point cloud

Bird’s-eye view of Cumberland Falls

Rendered in a lidar point cloud

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: sheltoweetrace.com/hike. 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.

[Read more…]

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.

http://www.SheltoweeTrace.com/hike

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: http://pixel.outragegis.com/main.php?g2_view=keyalbum.KeywordAlbum&g2_keyword=Sheltowee+Trace

and current photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28640579@N02/

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