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Printed Maps & App
Stay found. Stay informead. Our premium printed topographic maps and matching app for a once in a lifetime adventure

OnLine Data Books
Free online data books for your favorite trail, distances, elevation, climate, way points, terrain & fauna

Interactive Maps
GPS aware interactive maps, your location, topo, hybrid, satellite, trail track, way points, road, weather/snow overlays

Active Fires & Smoke
Know before you go! Get the lastest active fire & smoke information for your favorite trail

Snow Conditions
Get the lastest snow conditions for your favorite trail. Quantity, coverage, SNODAS, MODIS, historical and multi-year comparisons

Trip Planners
Create an extensive hike plan easily configurable to your hiking style. Distances, days, resupply, access points, etc

Gear Builder
Create your own fully customizable gear list with weight, pricing and divisable by section.

Trail Animals
Exhaustive resource for species ranges along your favorite trail. Includes amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles.

Complete Gear Lists
Hundreds of complete gear lists by those that walked the walk.

Elevations Profiles
The big picture. Single elevation profile of your favorite trail.

Journal Tools
Search for a journal, create a journal, add/edit an entry, configure your journal, EMail updates, integrated interactve trail map, PLB locations and more

Wall Maps
Print out your favorite trail to 6 feet high. Elevation chart and resupply locations.

Postholer Forum
Source for trail and site information or just talk about your favorite trail

Where it all begins.

Next Generation Interactive Maps

May 27, 2023

Next Gen Map
Image of new map. Click to interact.

The next generation of our interactive web map is slowly being rolled out. It is very similiar to the old google map. The layout is basically the same, some new layers have been added and some lightly used layers removed. Most notably, there is now an elevation chart that updates when panning. Currently, there are 84 distinct layers. I'm sure more will be added over time.

The biggest difference is what you don't see. Originally created in 2007 using Google Maps API it is now completely built with open source software, solely using HTML/CSS/JavaScript, cloud native data, your browser and that's it. For developers and those who think it's absurd to have AGOL sell your own data back to you, have a look under the hood.

The Details
Let's take a look at each of the map features.

The Information Pane
This is located at the top left, with the first line reading "Decimal Degrees". Let's look at each line:


Using Map Layers
The Postholer Interactive Map has always been noted for its hiking related layers. With 84 layers the new map is no different. Note, each layer group may have a 'No Layer' radio button. This will turn off the selected layer for that group.

Base Maps
While literally hundereds of base map layers are available, we keep that number to only a few unique base maps. All are publicly available, highly reliable base map tiles used widely across the GIS domain.

Points of Interest
These are layers directly related to terrain or specific to hiking, such as resupply. You can select more than one of these layers to display. Notable is the Meta/Mile Markers layer. This layer will display a 'mile marker' along the trail. Clicking on the mile marker will display further information, such as, elevation, today's weather (high/low temp, wind speed/gust/direction, 3 day rain/snow forecast)

Weather Forecast & Radar
Nothing is more important to a hiker than getting a weather forecast before they embark on their journey. The 'Point Forecast' layer allows you to do just that. Select this layer and click any where on the map. A window for that specific point will display a forecast from the National Weather Service.

These are layers specific to modeled SNODAS data. They allow you to see where and how much snow is sitting on the ground.

Fire Layers
Here you'll find current and historical fire layers as well as surface smoke. Very handy if you're sensitive to smoke or don't want to get chased off the trail by fire.

One of the most common questions hikers ask is, "How cold does it get?". The extensive set of climate data will answer that question. Annual precipitation, monthly min/mean/max monthly temps and monthly precipitation, too.

Protected Areas
These layers are handy for determining the land use type. If you're looking for a truly wilderness experience find a wilderness area that suits you. These layers have traditionally been popular with land managers and trail organizations.

County, state and tribal boundaries for those who like to marvel at their fiefdoms consisting of strip malls, low density housing and casinos.

Terrain layers are very handy for determining the type of terrain you'll be hiking in to. Of particular interest is the 'elevation step' which shows you elevation in 1000 foot colored increments.

Misc Layers
Catch all for non-specific and tenative layers.

Under the Hood
Other than storing our cloud native raster/vector data on a web server, no other back end services are used. This is the future for serving static data (updated hourly, daily, etc). The base maps are not hosted on postholer and we are not responsible for the care and feeding of these tile servers, which is ideal.

The performance and cost benefit of the above method cannot be understated. Some trail organizations use services such as ESRI's ArcGIS OnLine (AGOL). AGOL lets you upload your data and they serve it back to you and the public for a monthly fee. I am unable to convey the absurdity of this to you.

Enter cloud native data. In this case we are using Cloud Optimized Geotiff (COG) and FlatGeoBuf (FGB), which are raster and vector data respectively. All that is required to read/display this data is HTML/CSS/JavaScript from your web browser. This is as dumb and simple as it gets.

Specifically for raster data we use Daniel Dufour's fantastic GeoTIff JavaScript raster API's and's vector API. It's all tied together with the long standing workhorse of web mapping, LeafLetJS.

For further details on working with cloud native data visit this simple tutorial and example.

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