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Old 08-14-2016, 10:07 AM   #29
Rivet Master
Thalweg's Avatar
1962 24' Tradewind
Buffalo , Wyoming
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 570
I've been learning a "best of both worlds" option. That being, using my paper maps with a gps. There is an app, called "PDF Maps" for I-Phone-Pad or Android that allows you to use any map in a PDF format with the gps in the gadget. I usually make my own maps, but you can scan any paper map and put it in your phone. Then the gps will show your location on the map. There are two challenges. First, you've got to have a large format scanner to scan your map. Some libraries have those, or Kinko's (or whatever they're called now), or maybe you could get an engineering firm to do it for you. Second, you've got to georeference the map, which is essentially assigning location coordinates to the map so it knows where it is in the world. This can be done in Google Earth, though it's a little cumbersome.

Alternatively, you can buy thousands of maps already scanned and georeferenced (there are free ones available too). You just put them on your gadget by e-mailing them to yourself.

I find this to be a great option, as much of the standard data and maps on the consumer grade gps's is really dumbed down. With paper, we can get exactly what we want, at the scale we want.

I always keep the paper too, because the battery on my phone will always die at the worst time.

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