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Mapping an area?

Started by Stormstaff, December 28, 2010, 08:23:40 AM

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I guess I'll start here. Please forgive me if I should have this in one of the subforums.

I'm new to this so please bare with me. I have an Oregon 450 that I'd like to use to make some maps of a couple of our local Boy Scout campgrounds.

Campsites, water, shelters, latrines, etc.

Where do I start? What extra programs/software is needed?

Thanks in advance!


Who's your audience?  What kind of devices do you want to run the maps on?  What do you plan to use the maps for?

Assuming you want to create vector based maps:

This tutorial will tell you everything you need to know:

This tutorial is less detailed, but it's shorter, and is good to get a quick overview.

If you want to make raster based maps this might help:


Ok, complete noob here. Vector based? Is there a mapping glossary somewhere? Mapping for dummies?

Seriously. I was thinking of being able to walk the area, mark waypoints for the poi's, etc. Then be able to print out maps for visitors to be able to find places fairly easy.

What "seems" to me as basic but I may be making it harder than it seems.

I'll look at the links and see if by reding them if it answers some of my questions.



Vector maps consist of a collection of points with coordinates. The software then "connects the dots" to form lines, points and polygons. So a road would be a line (or polyline), a lake would be a polygon and a mountain summit could be a point. The polygons can be filled with colors or textures and so can the lines. The points can be represented with icons, like a little picture of a mountain in the example above. Traditional Garmin maps are vector based.

The other primary type of map is Raster based. Put simply, this is just a picture that could be almost anything - satellite image, scanned topo map, or a buried treasure map drawn on a napkin. The image has been scaled and located on the face of the earth such that things you see (like your house) are in the correct geographic location.

Does that help?

You could use your tracks and waypoints that you create to make the map you describe, and it would be vector-based (lines and points). But it would also be nice to see something else for a point of reference, like a satellite image or a map of a state park. The best way to accomplish this would probably be the tutorial that Seldom has linked to here:

You could then simply display your track and waypoints on top of the image right in the GPS or in BaseCamp. Or if you want to get fancier, you could convert the tracks to "roads" and the waypoints to POI's on a vector-based map. Many ways to do that, but this might be the easiest:,1438.0.html

You could print the maps using Basecamp. Enjoy...


What state are they in?  If you are in one of the 37 states My Trails covers, you could mark the stuff with your GPS, send it to me, and I would add it to My Trails.  I already have this kind of data for several BS camps. 


Thanks Boyd. I'll do some more reading. I appeciate the responses and explanations.

I'm in Illinois.


I'm in IL (Alton) too.  My Trails already has several Boy Scount Camps in IL.  Which ones were you thinking about?  To add something to My Trails, basically I just need a waypoint.  Ot if a trail or rd needs to be added, a track of it.


Interesting - I am originally from St. Louis. My mother's family came from Southern Illinois (Marion). :)


Quote from: Boyd on December 28, 2010, 07:55:12 PM
Interesting - I am originally from St. Louis. My mother's family came from Southern Illinois (Marion). :)

Small world. I'm in Kankakee, about 50 miles south of Chicago.