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Re: What is the USGS thinking here?

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avatar What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 10:35AM
So I saw the USGS is having a sale with certain maps for $1, so I started browsing to see if any topos I need to buy are on that list (nope). When scanning Falls Ridge, I noticed a 2012 7.5'' map and downloaded it (LINK), and low and behold, there are no trails shown on the map. The 1992 provisional map (LINK) has them, as does the 1990 provisional map (LINK). Shouldn't the USGS be making their maps better over time? Even though I would buy these maps for off-trail use, an official trail seems like a pretty important landmark to include on a map like that.

So I guess buy the 2012 map and draw in the trails from the 1992 map by hand? confused smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2012 10:46AM by mbear.
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 10:45AM
1992



2012





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2012 10:45AM by mbear.
Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 05:34PM
The 2012 map looks like it is computer generated--many labels are in locations that would obscure trails and other missing features, something that would not be done if they had been placed by hand. I suspect some data sets were missing when the map was generated, or the data for these has been moved into different map products.

Curiously, there are some significant contour differences between the 1997 and 2012 maps, such as the dome east of McGee Lake.

At least the contours are not metric :-)
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 05:40PM
mmmmmmmmbear,
patience... some of use really do have jobs.

wink

the 2009 and 2012 maps are their "Digital maps" which originally contained sat. imagery...
The 2012 now includes both a topo map equivalent and sat.
You can turn them off or on as you like.

As for the topo itself. I would not take that hiking off trail anyway. It's pretty terrible.
It makes everything look like it is hike-able and no cliffs anywhere. Look at the 1992 and
that is reality.

Why you want to buy anything anyway? Just print out what you like.

Also, remember there are two great map links below... Gmap4 and closedcontour.com ...

What are they thinking? Beats me. Less is more?
Maybe they will have layers with 1992 data in it also... maybe that is where they are going.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 06:09PM
Looks like the issue is the trails aren't currently in a GIS database that they're using: USGS "US Topo" Series Article. They appear to be looking for a way to mass-produce maps w/ rapid update based upon electronic data.

They mention planning to add more features as they go along. I don't think these would be suitable for backcountry use until they get the geographic feature set up to par with traditional topos.

Edit: note that peak and lake elevations are also missing. This does seem to be very much a work-in-progress.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2012 06:11PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 07:11PM
Quote
chick-on
As for the topo itself. I would not take that hiking off trail anyway. It's pretty terrible.
It makes everything look like it is hike-able and no cliffs anywhere. Look at the 1992 and
that is reality.

Crap, my memory was bad. For some reason I remembered it being pretty easy offtrail on the west ridge from your thread, but looking back at it you pretty much said the exact opposite.

Quote

Why you want to buy anything anyway? Just print out what you like.

I like having those big and easy to read USGS maps when I hike. Printing out sections on a small sheet makes it a pain to read with the contours so jumbled and if I'm breaking it up into a bunch of sheets it makes it a pain to identify peaks. Just my experience using the maps I have bought versus ones I printed out.
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 08:54PM
Your point about a BIG map is well taken.

I guess you are referring to Falls Ridge... i.e.:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,42824

I keep thinking about that tree. And so want to go back in better light and get more pictures of it.

Falls Ridge is just a whole heck o lot of up and down.

I was playing with a photo I took last year from Grand. Here it is:


It gives a good (or it should) idea of what you have to deal with w/r to Falls Ridge. But it's worth it.

The eastern portion is high on my list of things to do this year. Time will tell.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 09:11PM
Quote
chick-on
Your point about a BIG map is well taken.

I guess you are referring to Falls Ridge... i.e.:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,42824

I keep thinking about that tree. And so want to go back in better light and get more pictures of it.

Falls Ridge is just a whole heck o lot of up and down.

I was playing with a photo I took last year from Grand. Here it is:


It gives a good (or it should) idea of what you have to deal with w/r to Falls Ridge. But it's worth it.

The eastern portion is high on my list of things to do this year. Time will tell.

Have fun

Looks amazing. I definitely won't have time for it when I make it out to the park, as I was thinking not too difficult half day, not tough class 3 cross-country. Early-onset old-timers disease I guess. wink



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2012 09:11PM by mbear.
Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 18, 2012 06:22AM
The USGS has split their maps into two groups.

1. Beginning in 2009, the USGS began publishing maps in a new GeoPDF format. These maps are called "US Topo". http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/

2. USGS now uses the word "historical" to refer to all maps published prior to the switch to GeoPDFs. Good news - They have made very high quality scans of almost all (yes 'all') of these paper maps and anyone can download them for free. http://nationalmap.gov/historical/index.html

On a related point, I stumbled over this site:
http://www.gelib.com/historic-topographic-maps.htm

This next link displays their map index. It takes awhile to load.
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=http://www.gelib.com/maps/_NL/historic-topographic-maps.kml

Zoom in and then click a marker.
A window will open with links to one or more KML files.
Each file is an old scanned topo that has been georeferenced.
Copy the URL to the KML file and then make a GMAP4 URL like the following link. This last link displays the 1924 topo for Mt Rainier.

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=http://www.gelib.com/maps/Topos/30x30/WA/Mt_Rainier_1924/Mt_Rainier_1924.kml
It takes a few seconds to load.

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 18, 2012 07:52AM
Thanks for all the details. I'll have to look and see how well the old maps are georeferenced.
It can be quite the bit of work to get it "just" right.

For a bunch of the old trails I've spent time and done some of this. Here is an example:
Old Four Mile Trail KMZ - 1934

Newer GPS units allow these to be loaded and displayed. Great feature IMO.

Thanks for all your mapping efforts



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 20, 2012 12:06AM
Quote
chick-on
mmmmmmmmbear,
patience... some of use really do have jobs.

wink


They've been keeping you busy at El Pollo Loco, lately? smiling smiley
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 06:05PM
Quote
basilbop
At least the contours are not metric :-)

Haha, that's pretty annoying on the 7.5'' quad for Mount Ritter.
avatar Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 03:56PM
Surprised no has a comment on this. I'm pretty disappointed if this is the new standard the USGS is using in their topos. The 2012 Ten Lakes 7.5'' map also doesn't show trails.
Re: What is the USGS thinking here?
April 17, 2012 05:15PM
Well, since I've yet to relocate to the West Coast and so only get to Yosemite for about 1 week a year, I've still got plenty of on-trail hikes to do (albeit sometimes on abandoned trails) so this would make the new ones a non-starter for me. I suppose the new ones are less cluttered but I can't say much more than that about them.
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