Resource for Hikers
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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
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
Get the lastest snow conditions for your favorite trail. Quantity, coverage, SNODAS, MODIS, historical and multi-year comparisons
Create an extensive hike plan easily configurable to your hiking style. Distances, days, resupply, access points, etc
Create your own fully customizable gear list with weight, pricing and divisable by section.
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.
The big picture. Single elevation profile of your favorite trail.
Search for a journal, create a journal, add/edit an entry, configure your journal, EMail updates, integrated interactve trail map, PLB locations and more
Print out your favorite trail to 6 feet high. Elevation chart and resupply locations.
Source for trail and site information or just talk about your favorite trail
Where it all begins.
May 27, 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For further details on working with cloud native data visit this simple tutorial and example.
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