Thursday, May 21, 2015

Maps and Guides

I've been somewhat busy with life, health and financial matters this spring, and really for the last 18 months (don't get me started on gastroenterologists cluelessness on diagnosing problems), but have been tinkering on some of the related work to the photo guide, and here's some reviews or ideas.

First, the USGS has put all their historical maps on-line in PDF files. This includes all scales and all maps from this year to the 1920's. You can get a description of the maps along with search for maps on the server.

So far I've downloaded all of the maps which encompasses Mt. Rainier NP, as as you know you can get the most recent published map from this Website or the USGS, you can download the on-going updates from the USGS server above.

It appears the USGS is updating the series for Mt. Rainier NP, and likely the surrounding area as the server has the 2000-2014 orthophoto quad and draft maps available. They're hard to decipher and read since their production copies, but shows newer published maps will be forthcoming.

On another note, if you have an iPad or iPhone (I don't have an Android or other phones so I don't know about apps for them), you can get an app hiking Mt. Rainier NP, which is pretty good for the information, albeit with some errors.

Mostly where it's good are the trail maps and descriptions, which are fairly inclusive of the immediate areas of the areas most visitors access and visit. It lacks in the backcountry areas, as seen from the display of the areas covered in the app.

One place I found fault was the weather data. Several of the sites don't link to the right or actual Website for the information but other sites on map. I'm not sure the reason, but you can get the right site and data for Mt Rainier NP on my Website.

I also found an app which can use USGS topographic maps to chart your hike. The app is iHike GPS which seems decent, albeit the iPhone screen is too small to be useful for me. They do make an iPad version and it would be better since iPad Mini or Air batteries last longer and don't add much weight to a backpack.

Anyway. that's the stuff for now. I'll continue to tinker while gettting better and add the real, long overdue, stuff soon.