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Old 03-03-2011, 11:04 PM   #21
DSettahr
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Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
Huh? Maybe I am misunderstanding what you said. I don't understand the "it won't work" part.

You certainly have a described a method of how to plot UTM coordinates on a map, but it doesn't have anything to do with how you navigate with them. If you mean that you need outside communication to obtain said coordinates, then it is true you wouldn't have those coordinates in the first place without a radio signal (GPS or traditional radio), or finding a note under a rock, or someone telling you face to face in the field. But plotting coordinates of a point on a map has nothing to do with how you are navigating with them.
It won't work with map and compass, because your hand held compass can't give you the UTM coordinates for your current location. Certainly, you can use a compass to find your location on the map (through triangulation), and from there find your UTM coordinates, but by then, you already know where you are on the map.

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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
The National Geographic maps do have the UTM grids, which can aid greatly in bushwhacking with a GPS. If you set your GPS to UTM NAD27, you can take the coordinates from the GPS unit, and pretty easily find where you are on the National Geographic map.
I guess I thought I made it pretty clear, but yes, this a method for taking coordinates from a GPS unit, and using them to find where you are on the map.

If you can plot your coordinates on the map, then you can know what direction to travel to get to your intended destination. Lets say you're trying to find a small pond, and in bushwhacking through the woods, you've gotten a bit turned around. You can't see anything through the trees, and the terrain around you is too flat to be of any use. You pull out your GPS, let it find the coordinates for you, plot them on the map, and presto! You can draw a line on your map between your current location and the pond, use your compass to get an azimuth, and be off on your way!

Or, let's say you're crossing streams, and need to turn and follow a particular stream downhill. You've crossed what you think is the appropriate number of streams, but one of them was so small you're not sure if it's shown on the map or not, and whether or not it should be counted. Again, you pull out your GPS, get the coordinates, plot them on the map, and can instantly see if you've come to the right stream.

Being able to point to where you are on the map is a pretty integral aspect of navigation, and this is just one method of being able to do so. My point was simply that with a GPS unit, and the knowledge of how to plot UTM coordinates, the National Geographic maps, while not the best map for doing so, are actually pretty useful for bushwhacking and off trail navigation.

Of course, if you're really good, you can take latitude and longitude coordinates and plot them too.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
It won't work with map and compass, because your hand held compass can't give you the UTM coordinates for your current location. Certainly, you can use a compass to find your location on the map (through triangulation), and from there find your UTM coordinates, but by then, you already know where you are on the map.
Well of course your compass does not give you UTM coordinates. But a GPS is not the only source of UTM coordinates. Explaining a method to plot coordinates on the map, I believe, was the goal of the process you described in the first post, and you did a good job of describing how to plot a point given its UTM coordinates. Plotting coordinates of some point on a map and setting course to travel to that point from any other point "works" with map and compass just as well as with a GPS.

When and how you actually obtain those coordinates would be the issue. Not from your compass, but from piece of paper you have with you with a set of destination coordinates, or that is left for you to find by someone, or that is dropped from a helicopter, and so could a vhf radio or a cell phone give you coordinates to travel to. You plot them the same way as you described, and set your compass course on the map to go. Good to know how.

As a matter of fact, during a SAR mission a Ranger might call to a crew to head to a new set of coordinates. I can well imagine plotting that point and traveling to it purely by terrain following without even using GPS, whether a GPS exists or not. So I contend that with your fine plotting description that it doesn't make sense to say "it doesn't work with map and compass", as if a M&C user has no need to plot UTM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:26 AM   #23
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Of course, if you're really good, you can take latitude and longitude coordinates and plot them too.
In a strange quirkiness, if you call coordinates directly to a helicopter for support (as in SAR), the pilot prefers lat/long over UTM. You can read either or both off from a topo map, but of course the conversion to lat/long is easier to do with a couple of clicks on your GPS.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:05 AM   #24
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????????

Which NG Topo software are you using? I have the state series and the detail is IDENTICAL to the USGS quads for the
same region.

Hawk
I have National Geographic Adirondack Park Explorer 3D version 4.3 2007

My Wildflower is version 2.0, 1999


But quick cut of Giant Mtn. to compare, max zoom on both

Nat Geo


vs

Wildflower




For the Wildflower to cover the same area as the Nat Geo it would be bigger than the screen (and too big an image file to post here)
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:49 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=DSettahr;165744

Each of the blue grid boxes on the map is exactly 1000m wide and tall, and the units for UTM coordinates are meters. So for example, if you are in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, and your GPS tells you that you are at 557250 east, and 4886750 north, I can do some simple math to find where I am on the map.

I then take the two lines and find where they meet... and finally, measure a quarter of the way to the next line to the right, and then a quarter of the way to the next line to the north. Presto! I must be at the Calkins Brook lean-tos!

[/QUOTE]


I thought the calkins brook lean-tos were in the High Peaks Wilderness area, below Correys.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #26
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Haha you're right, I started writing that up using a point on the Northville-Raquette Lake map, and decided to switch to the High Peaks map because I figured more people would have that one. I'll fix it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:08 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
As a matter of fact, during a SAR mission a Ranger might call to a crew to head to a new set of coordinates. I can well imagine plotting that point and traveling to it purely by terrain following without even using GPS, whether a GPS exists or not. So I contend that with your fine plotting description that it doesn't make sense to say "it doesn't work with map and compass", as if a M&C user has no need to plot UTM.
But this is a different situation, and applies only if a map and compass user already knows where they are "on the map," through some other method (triangulation or dead reckoning). Certainly a map and compass user could benefit from this skill in this situation.

Well forget about "having your coordinates radioed to you" and "finding your coordinates on a piece of paper under a rock" because those are silly methods that don't apply to the average hiker.

My point in saying "it doesn't work with map and compass" was simply that if you want to know where you are on the map, the method of plotting UTM coordinates requires a GPS unit to give you those coordinates. If you have a compass, then you're going to use a different method.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:48 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by qam1 View Post
I have National Geographic Adirondack Park Explorer 3D version 4.3 2007

My Wildflower is version 2.0, 1999


But quick cut of Giant Mtn. to compare, max zoom on both

Nat Geo


vs

Wildflower




For the Wildflower to cover the same area as the Nat Geo it would be bigger than the screen (and too big an image file to post here)
That explains it. I had the National Geographic Adirondack Park Explorer as well and you are right it's not that good. The other thing was when panning, sometimes the mouse pointer would not scroll across a seam that separated two quads.

However, the State series of Topo's are dead on to the USGS Quads and work flawlessly. Don't hesitate to check them out in the future. If you're ever in my neighborhood I'll be more then happy to let you see for yourself.

I'va always thought myself a "map man" but you threw me a curve on this "Wildflower Topo". More details please.

hawk
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:58 PM   #29
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Call it Wildflower, call it USGS quads, as long as you call it 1 x 24,000, IMHO you can't beat it for getting around in the 'dacks.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:38 AM   #30
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Call it Wildflower, call it USGS quads, as long as you call it 1 x 24,000, IMHO you can't beat it for getting around in the 'dacks.
1:24000
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:02 PM   #31
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1:24000

lol I must have gotten my mords wixed up.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:54 AM   #32
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That explains it. I had the National Geographic Adirondack Park Explorer as well and you are right it's not that good. The other thing was when panning, sometimes the mouse pointer would not scroll across a seam that separated two quads.

However, the State series of Topo's are dead on to the USGS Quads and work flawlessly. Don't hesitate to check them out in the future. If you're ever in my neighborhood I'll be more then happy to let you see for yourself.

I'va always thought myself a "map man" but you threw me a curve on this "Wildflower Topo". More details please.

hawk
Thanks I'll look into it, when I like something I tend to keep it until it dies and I still like the Wildflower, the Nat Geo was actually a Christmas present (I hate when people buy me stuff for hiking).

The Wildflower Topo was the first (or one of the 1st) TOPO softwares.
Version 2 for the Adirondacks was their last, after that National Geographic brought them out and subsequent releases like the "Adirondack Park Explorer" have been released under the Nat Geo name.

Version 2 which I have, came with 2 CDs one for the North and one for the South. They overlap so unless you travel really far the two CD is really not an issue. They use the 1978 USGS metric series and the 1955 USGS for the areas not covered by the 1978.

It's got 6 zoom levels (though the last is so zoomed it's only good if for some reason you can't read a letter or number) and I prefer it because it just so easy to use. Moving, zooming, marking and saving points are so simple.

I also have Delorme Topo version 5 (Another X-mas present) and a Garmin USA topo (Friend gave it to me) and hate them both. They are not user friendly at all, trying to move around, zoom in or out, measuring distances, etc is so frustratingly difficult I just gave up and continue to use the Wildflower.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #33
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I also have Delorme Topo version 5 (Another X-mas present) and a Garmin USA topo (Friend gave it to me) and hate them both. They are not user friendly at all, trying to move around, zoom in or out, measuring distances, etc is so frustratingly difficult I just gave up and continue to use the Wildflower.
First Topo software I ever had was the DeLorme (which is a fine paper map retailer) but I was vastly disappointed in the product. It just didn't really look like a topo map. I had difficulty picturing the topography in my mind from the funky contours as they drew them.

I have the garmin Topo East and west (1:100,000 scale) as well as the National parks East (1:20,000) scale. They are all that work in my Garmin GPS and are sufficient, the National park (Which includes the Adirondack park and the Appalachian Trail!) is OK.

I usually get the lay of the land (NO smart remarks!!) from the NG Topo's, plan my routes and then upload the routes and waypoints, etc into the GPS to work with. That pretty much gives me the best of both worlds. Good depiction of the terrain at home and complete, accurate and detailed data in the GPS for the field.

Hawk
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:33 PM   #34
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Could use some opinions on my map purchase. I own Topo USA and am thinking about adding National Geographic Software Maps. I own an Etrex Vista HCX. I would like to have a little bit better maps of the establish trails for planning. The two options are the New York/New Jersey or the Park version. Anyone own both, which one is going to give me better trail information, lean-to/camping locations. Right now I use the ADK paper map with TOPO and it works but not satisfied.

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:18 PM   #35
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I bought the pack of Nat Geo maps a while back and I really like them. The only thing about them that sometimes gets me are their estimated trail lengths. It's not as if they are way off the mark but they don't always reflect the distances of posted signs. I think I did a day hike to Cat Mountain and the total distance according to the signs was 10 miles round trip. The Nat Geo maps have the total distance marked as 12.8 miles. i.e. 6.4 one way. Because this was only a short day hike that I was familiar with it didn't matter so much but planning a longer hike could mean much greater margins of error. I suppose the argument could be made that you'd rather over than underestimate but it still messes with my "OCD" a bit. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy...
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:28 PM   #36
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I bought the pack of Nat Geo maps a while back and I really like them. The only thing about them that sometimes gets me are their estimated trail lengths. It's not as if they are way off the mark but they don't always reflect the distances of posted signs. I think I did a day hike to Cat Mountain and the total distance according to the signs was 10 miles round trip. The Nat Geo maps have the total distance marked as 12.8 miles. i.e. 6.4 one way. Because this was only a short day hike that I was familiar with it didn't matter so much but planning a longer hike could mean much greater margins of error. I suppose the argument could be made that you'd rather over than underestimate but it still messes with my "OCD" a bit. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy...
What makes you sure it was the maps that were wrong? The trail signs are often in error.

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Old 03-30-2011, 04:10 PM   #37
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Yeah, it's pretty commonly accepted that the signs are often incorrect. Usually (not always) the signs are accurate within a few tenths of a mile, but the distances on the National Geographic Maps are typically more accurate.

Often, the errors are probably attributed to rounding. Lets say you have 3 destinations, A, B, and C, in a line. B is 2.54 miles from A, and C is 3.23 miles from B. Because the signs are in tenths of a mile, they are rounded to 2.5 and 3.2, respectively. But because the two distances add up to 5.77 miles, a sign at Point A indicates that C is 5.8 miles away. 2.5 plus 3.2 is 5.7 miles however, hence the discrepancy in the signs.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:48 PM   #38
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So I figured out which way I would go with the new maps. I ordered the National Geographic TOPO! Northeastern software package. It covers Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It was only $10 more than the NY/NJ set!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:50 AM   #39
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Quick update: I got the Northeast package with 12 CDs. It is an older version 3.4.3 that does not allow a USB connect GPS. NG sells an upgrade for $20 that will get me to TOPO 4.0 which has the USB support so I can transfer waypoint and tracks. Still will cost me less than $80 for a ton of states and USB support so I am happy. BTW it is currently only available in a used condition...I got the last new one I could find on the web :-).
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:27 PM   #40
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Quick update: I got the Northeast package with 12 CDs. It is an older version 3.4.3 that does not allow a USB connect GPS. NG sells an upgrade for $20 that will get me to TOPO 4.0 which has the USB support so I can transfer waypoint and tracks. Still will cost me less than $80 for a ton of states and USB support so I am happy. BTW it is currently only available in a used condition...I got the last new one I could find on the web :-).
It's worth the upgrade to 4.0+
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