Archives for category: – Maps

Australian map and app company Hema is mapping the Continental Divide more their North American mapping app. They’ve also created a cloud sharing service where users can upload and share tracks. Here’s an example.

Firelookout Route

Last week I posted about the quickest route to visit all 47 U.S. National Parks. If you’d like to optimize your own routes, there’s a website called RouteXL that will help you do it. If your route has 20 stops or less, it’s free.

For example, if you wanted to leave Portland, Oregon, and spend a night in all of the states old fire lookouts, this would be the quickest route. Click map above (click it for a live version).

To create your own route, add locations in the field at the top-left of the page and then click the Find Route button at the bottom-left corner of the page. You can then use the Download button at the bottom-left of the page to share the route, download it in any number of formats, or open it in Google Maps.

If you’d like to camp in an old fire lookout, here’s a link to all of the available sites in the western United States.

Links:
RouteXL.com
firelookout.org
recreation.gov

NationalParksTrip

August of 2016 marks 100 years since the founding of the National Park Service. To celebrate, a data scientist, Dr. Randal S. Olson, created an optimized route map showing the fastest way to visit all 47 national parks.

Click the map image for a live Google Map.

Source:
The Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip | Dr. Randal S. Olson Read the rest of this entry »

FlightTracker • WCXC

Have you ever wondered where that jet flying overhead was going? Well, if you have an internet connection, you can find out. A site called flightradar24 mashes live flight data with a Google map giving an amazing, live map of every flight in the sky. Click on any jet icon and see, among other things, the plane’s speed, location, altitude and destination.

If you have the Google Earth plugin installed on your browser, you can even click the 3D button and get a live, flight-simulator view from the plane’s cockpit. Pretty neat.

Link:
Flightradar24.com – Live flight tracker!


View Larger Map

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In case you’re traveling in the Pacific Northwest, I made a ferry map you may find useful. It shows routes for the two major ferry systems: the BC Ferry (blue routes), the Washington State Ferry (green routes), as well as the Victoria Clipper (red routes) and Coho (black route) ferries. All ferries accept cars and motorcycles, except for the Victoria Clipper, a high-speed ferry, which carries passenger only.

Seaplanes are another option. They fly pretty much everywhere. Kenmore Air is the biggest operator. NW Seaplanes is close behind. Saltspring Air flies within the Gulf Islands.

Note: the BC Ferry travels throughout British Columbia. I’m only showing their Gulf Island routes on this map. Also, if there’s anything on this map that I missed, please let me know.

Thanks!

Correction: A previous version of this map showed a Victoria Clipper route from Friday Harbor to Victoria. The route does not exist.

SS-L_SalishSea_new

I just came across these amazing charts that show the undersea topography of various U.S. cruising grounds in gorgeous relief. Each chart, built from layers of laser-cut birch, comes framed and ready to hang.

This particular one, of the Salish Sea, east of Vancouver Island, measures 25″ x 31″ and can be had for $248. Very nice indeed.

Link: Below the Boat

gas-map
If you don’t already have a similar app on your phone, this website might come in handy.

GasBuddy maps the price of gas in your local area (if you’re in the United States). Zoomed out it gives you average prices. Zoom in and get specific prices at specific locations. Pretty cool.

Click the image or this link to go to the live map.


Photo: Nik Schulz

After leaving the deserts of Arizona we crossed over into the deserts of California. We’d initially planned to camp at Joshua Tree’s south entrance off of the 10 freeway, but we completely missed the exit and ended up in Indio (in the Palm Springs/Coachella area). By the time we got there it was well past sundown and the wind was blowing an absolute gale. We shelved our camping plan and headed to a hotel.

After a hot shower and a good night of sleep we ready to head into Joshua Tree and found what was probably a more interesting way in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spiderwoman Rock, Canyon de Chelly. Photo: Nik Schulz


After leaving Taos we headed northwest across New Mexico toward Arizona. About 200 miles into that day’s drive, something loomed up over the edge of the horizon. It was Shiprock, the massive remains of an ancient volcano’s innards that rise 1,500 feet above the high desert plain. It was an otherworldly sentinel marking our entrance into the Navajo Nation.

Update: Here’s a quick video of the trip.

Shiprock looms ahead. Photo: Natalie Menacho

Read the rest of this entry »


For our first camping trip of the season together, my girlfriend, Natalie, and I took the canoe up to Lake Sonoma for some boat-in camping. Lake Sonoma is a man-made reservoir just east of Cloverdale, California. There are beautiful campsites around the edge of the lake, lots of shoreline to explore, and plenty of fishing — the lake contains one of California’s only landlocked steelhead populations.

We self registered for a campsite at park headquarters at the southern end of the lake then drove up to Yorty Creek to put in. With the canoe packed up, we shoved off for the 2.7 mile paddle to our campsite. It was fairly windy but, once we left the main basin of the lake, the water was much calmer. In an hour and fifteen minutes we were at Thumb Camp, Site #2. Read the rest of this entry »