About the maps

How I made the maps

[Taking compass bearings]

Each map consists of a features layer of my making overlaid onto an area of Google Maps™ coverage.  I used Google Maps™ satellite images for my map base.  I located features on the satellite image, zooming in as much as possible.  The maximum zoom level is 18 in the Trinidad area.  Click here to see a representative Google Maps™ image with zoom level 18.  At this scale, each pixel is about 0.5m (1.5ft) across.  I digitized coordinates to line up with the satellite image as much as possible.

[Taking notes]

Many portions of trails are under trees and are invisible on the satellite image.  To map these, I surveyed with a compass and pacing. From experience, I know that I take 75cm (2.5ft) steps on level or moderately sloping pathways, and smaller steps on stairs or steep slopes.  As I hiked, I took notes on direction and distance.

Returning home, I plotted my results on graph paper. Using my photo editor, I cleaned up the graphs, made them into negatives and overlayed them on the Google Maps™ satellite image.  I then had lines that I could digitize.

[Graph of trail route]
My hand plot of the upper Mill Creek Trail

Hand plot digitized on Google Maps™ satellite image

Getting the most out of the maps

I hope the maps are simple and straightforward to use, but there is much information. Here are a few tips to help you get the most from them:

Printing the maps

Before you print, do a print preview.  Experiment with landscape mode and changing scale.  This may be good enough.  However, for the very best results, I do a screen capture. Here are the steps I take:

  1. I open my web browser and my photo editor at the same time.
  2. For the highest resolution, I put my web browser in full-screen mode (the F11 key on most computers), then refresh the screen (via refresh or Ctrl-R).
  3. I click the link for the map I want to print.
  4. I adjust the Google Maps™ position, zoom level and view type for my needs and preferences.
  5. I press the Print Scrn key to capture the map image on the clipboard, then paste the image into my photo editor (usually Ctrl-V).
  6. I make any adjustments that I wish to make to the image with the photo editor.  I usually increase the contrast of the satellite images.
  7. I select paper for the map.  I generally prefer photo-quality matte.
  8. I size the image for the paper, select an appropriate photo quality and print the map.
  9. Please be aware - the maps are copyrighted.  I am happy for you to print them in your home for personal use, and to take print-outs with you to sight-see and to hike, but please do not post or distribute physical or electronic copies.  The Google Maps™ base is separately copyrighted.  Please refer to the Google Maps™ geo-guidelines.

I created these maps in 2010.  I welcome your comments, critiques and suggestions. Please write.  I hope that you enjoy using the maps as much I did making them!

[Jim Popenoe]