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Recreational maps by Fastmap


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#1
Fastmap

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Dear cartographers,

Allow me to introduce myself. I?m a recent immigrant in British Columbia, Canada, interested in making local recreational hiking and biking maps that are not only accurate, but also easy to read and appealing to view. I now plan to buy a GPS to do some field research of trails and creeks for a local map. So if you meet a guy in a BC rain forest wading in the middle of a creek with a radio playing on full volume (bears!), no need to call 911 to get the understanding guys and the stiff shirt with extra long sleeves?
Another work thread I?m pondering over is how to design a bicycle map (1:75.000) to show the topography in a way that is very straightforward to understand. Most bikers have a(n) (in)tense relationship with hills and I have not seen any bike map that really has excelled in clarity showing where the hills are, how steep they are and how long. Topo lines tend to blur a map and I also hear that too many prospective map users have serious difficulties interpreting these. Shaded relief looks great when done by skilled artists, but seems to be more suitable for mountains than hills.
I have regrettably no map to show you yet.
My wish list:
1. Affordable and fairly recent orthorectified satellite images of British Columbia, 1-2 m resolution/pixel, or better. Quickbird images covering my area of interest look fabulous, but would cost roughly $80.000. And that?s simply out of reach.
2. A professor in cartography to help me straighten all my question marks. Also out of reach, but I?ll now turn to you all for help and advice!

Best regards
Fastmap (more of a wish than a fact)

#2
Martin Gamache

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Welcome to Cartotalk

BC is a big place. Where are you located?


Lower Mainland? Islands? Interior?

I'm moving to Prince George in 5 weeks!

One of the problems with bike mps is the scale. On a bike you tend to experience every hill and feature since your pace makes it hard to ignore these things. It would be hard to design a map(s) that would allow you to visualize the landscape at the same scale you interpret it on a bicycle.

Every mode of transportation has its pace and a way of experiencing the landscape and a map that is at the perfect scale and level of detail to help you do that. For hiking 1;24k-1;63k, For car travel 1:100,000 is pretty good (e.g. a Delorme or Benchmark Atlas ) On a train I really enjoyed a 1:50k atlas recently. Since I didn't have to carry this enormous book in my pack it was fine. On a plane because of the perspective and size of the terrain a combinataion photo/map at 1:100k is perfect.

I have seen some paper maps at around 1:100,100 that worked ok for biking but because you have to carry the things and the range of a bike is fairly long you may need several. I actually think that for a bike a scrolling digital map on a small screen may be the best. Linked to a GPS it could tell you when you are going uphill, and for how much longer you will be going uphill based on your speed. It could be a combination bike computer, gps and digital map/trip planner.

#3
MapMedia

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Welcome Fastmap!

I say that, as a biker, I like trail maps that keep me from getting lost when, if, I go off track, as well as have some qualititative ranking of the bike trails (how hard the trail is, up/down hill, water (!), and rocks (!!), to name a few. Actualy, my favorite bike map appears to be hand drawn, but only covers a single butte (~ 10 sq miles).

I assume you bike too? What do think is missing from the current bike maps of your area (if not the maps themselves).

#4
CHART

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Welcome Fastmap?

In BC automobile plates read; Beautiful British Columbia. The name beautiful is an understatement. Enjoy.

Is there a real name behind Fastmap?, more on this topic...
http://www.cartotalk...?showtopic=1446
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#5
BEAVER

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Here is one biking map that looks really nice and easy on the eyes.

Posted Image
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#6
Fastmap

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Thank you for your kind welcoming and tips.

Martin: I live on the Sunshine Coast but will soon move to Victoria. Have not been in Prince Rupert yet, but I plan to use all leisure time the next 30 years to learn to know BC? Wish you the best for your move, I know all about what moving means?
A biker myself I very much agree with your considerations about the strained relation between the map scale and all the frequent hill slopes we have to conquer. I just feel unhappy to surrender to the cartographically vulgar hill arrows on the road.
I think that your conception of having a screen with a moving GPS activated map on a bicycle is something that we will see very soon. My dream is a nice big screen on my bike?s handlebars connected to a GPS, a computer and mobile Internet. For me the ultimate moving map on the screen would be something like Google Earth. The basic technology is actually here today. There are however a few bicycle specific obstacles that still need to be addressed in an economically feasible way. Biking means a lot of exposure to vibration, shock, dirt and water. I have seen some military specification laptops that were designed to take a lot of abuse, but they seem all to be prohibitively expensive and heavy. The laptop must also be equipped internally with suitable cards for GPS and mobile internet. Theft protection is another obstacle on biking tours; you just don?t want to carry expensive stuff on the roads. But sorry, I see I have allowed myself to swerve into a topic belonging to another forum.

Chris: We have some very detailed (GPS tracks I guess) mountain bike trail maps made by and for mountain bikers. They are very accurate but usually lack a cartographic touch (very vector). Maps suitable for road biking here in southern BC range from excellent (Vancouver and Victoria to mention a few) to really bad. By a bad map I don?t mean merely extremely ugly, I have in my possession one blatantly lying map showing a lot of town streets that simply don?t exist. A new experience for me. Most recreational maps are updates and selective enhancements of our official, but often considerably aged topographical maps (the National Topographical System). Regarding recreational maps there is still a lot to do here. And with receding forestry, fishing and mining, tourism is a priority in BC.

Jacques: Yes. Some maps here may lie, but the license plates tell the truth. I think I have to remain nameless for a time, although I certainly feel slightly embarrassed about it.

Beaver: Thank you for the mountain bike map image. It is really a pleasure to view, the kind of work I wish I did myself. Mountain bikers are however more proficient map readers and skilled in topography interpretation because they have an active interest in hills. My target audience, road bikers, tend to avoid hills, and being more casual they are not always prepared to dedicate themselves to profundities like map topography.

Cheers, Fastmap

#7
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Off topic.... but then again a lot posts run off topic...

Re: GPS. I use a Garmin 76CX mounted on my bike... Great to capture data (with WAAS enable. I get sub 3 meter accuracy. This is good enough for creating- updating maps.).

From my point of view a consumer GPS for biking is good to:
- tell where you have been, how fast, how far... (overlay your route on Google.... etc). A bit of a gadget if you will.
- tell you exactly where you are. (Not as much of gadget for this use).
- if you push your techno abilities it can help you plan your route before the trip....and numerous other things.

However IMO you NEED that quality paper map to give you the big picture. You also need for your GPS, the proper data adapted for the type of activity of your area of interest. To that effect there is a big gap to fill. I think that is why part of my business demand lately, has been to create custom data for Garmins. Same made-to-measure needs just for a different medium.
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