A “beta” of a new map interface using Google Maps is up and running for the Davidson River Area (link). The new maps allow zooming, panning, various base layers (such as Satellite, USGS Topos, and the excellent new Google Terrain view). With the new Google maps you can:
- Zoom in and out, and scroll seamlessly across the entire region
- Swap out the base imagery and map layers
- Mouse over a trail to hilight it (helps you see individual trails in a network)
- Click trails and placemarks for additional information and links
The major drawback to this interface is that it’s not very printable. So all Best Hikes and Rides will continue to be mapped separately, which can be printed out and taken with you when you go.
The new Google maps are powered by a database. I’ll eventually get all the trails in there – but right now it has just a small number of them. Trail data will eventually be downloadable via KML, GPX, and other GPS- and GIS- formats. (For now, here’s a Google Earth .kmz of every trail I have). Trail data is taken from a variety of sources, including USFS GIS data, spot-checked with satellite views and other published maps, freely available GPS maps that people post on their hikes and rides, as well as memory of the trail in relation to the terrain.
Be sure to send us feedback as to how you like the new maps (and of course if you notice any errors)!