Topographic Maps

Ever wonder how to read a topographic map? Our video has the answers or check out the text version below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BovKMfr0BkA What are all those wiggling random lines doing on your map? Those are contour lines and you are looking at a topographic map commonly shortened to just a topo map. These lines provide a way to show elevation, a third dimension, on a flat two dimensional map. This is possible because each contour line represents a specific elevation. Darkened contour lines have their elevation labeled on the map itself. The lines between them are set apart at intervals defined…

Latitude and Longitude

Check out our video or if you would rather read about latitude and longitude we've got that too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqfI3eDUw5E Latitude and Longitude is not the preferred coordinate system if you spend a lot of time plotting your location on a map and calculating distances but it is commonly used with GPS units particularly when geocaching. It also may be the only coordinate system available when you are using old maps or if you are in a foreign country. What is Latitude and Longitude? Lines of Latitude, called parallels, wrap around the earth parallel to the equator. They are always the…

Plotting UTM Coordinates

Are you curious about how to plot UTM coordinates? Check out this short video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg8znvd7nMw And as usual, if the video isn't your thing a text version is below. To help clarify how to use the UTM System I'm going to demonstrate how to plot points on a map. First make sure you've drawn the 1,000 meter grid lines on the map. Without them it is so difficult to be accurate that your plotting could be useless. Take a look at your grid coordinates. We are going to use 13T 0461138mE 4565191mN. For plotting purposes some of this information just…

The UTM Coordinate System

What is the UTM coordinate system and why should you care? We've made a video about it or you can read below if moving pictures aren't your thing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfgwC8f4wwY When you are exploring, whether on a trail or in the middle of nowhere it's important to be able to figure out exactly where you are. This is where the UTM coordinate system can help. What is UTM? UTM stands for Universal Transverse Mercator. I'm going to cut out a lot of detail and just say the UTM system divides the world into a series of squares. This makes a lot of navigation…

Introduction to Maps

Are you curious about how to read a map? Let's take the first step with this short video all about reading a map. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyLznJahzNQ Or if moving pictures aren't your thing..... Have you ever wished you were better at reading a map? Being confident in your ability to read maps can help you explore further and enjoy more of all your outdoor adventures. Its a great skill to have and a good thing to review once in a while. The first thing you want to do when you get your hands on a map is take a minute to review…