Where is the best place to get maps? How about map tools? What are some good websites for weather?
- If you are only interested in topographic maps then you can’t beat the USGS Map Locator and Downloader. Through this website you can download a PDF version of any USGS map for free or you can order one (prices vary based on type) and have it shipped to you. This is my main source for maps, I’ve downloaded a ton, ordered several, its easy and they have great historical maps too.
- Another fun website is the National Map Viewer. This site lets you play with different layers to get better information on things like streams or roads. You can download and order maps from this site too but it’s more complicated than using the USGS site and over half the time the website will time out without processing my request.
- If you can’t wait to have a map shipped or you just want to hold it before you buy it, many outdoors and hunting stores will carry USGS topo maps. The USGS website has a page that will help you find a local map dealer.
For all your map tool needs I recommend www.maptools.com. No matter what kind of protractor, square or ruler you are looking for, they will have it. They also have some great map reading and navigation tutorials.
- Do you want a weather forecast for you camping spot, you know, the one that isn’t even close to the smallest of small towns? The National Weather Service has a site that will give you current weather and a forecast based on Latitude and Longitude Coordinates. You can enter them in the box that asks for the city, state or zip code.
- Do you want to know when the sun will rise and how many hours of daylight you will have at your out of the way camp site? Check out the NOAA Solar Calendar. It’s handy google earth layout is easy to use or you can also type in your own coordinates.
- Lets not forget that NOAA also has a declination calculator too.
These are some of my go to web sites for navigation related information. Where do you turn for this type of information?