CacheCrazy.Com: Got a Map? Part 2

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Got a Map? Part 2


Join us for Part 2 of learning to use Map Source.

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back and learn how to use Map Source.

Last week we covered Part 1 in how to use Map Source (MS). This week we will cover Routes, Tracks, and much more.

If you are using a hand held GPSr then I hope you have your tracks "on". This allows the GPSr to keep TRACK of where you have been. It is a really good idea to not only have your tracks on, but to mark a waypoint of where you parked. I once forgot to do this in an area I was unfamiliar with, and it was dark, and we almost did not make it out of the woods. You can always try and follow your tracks back out, but sometimes the GPSr decides to "jump" all around leading you in all directions.

If your driving and keeping your tracks you can always follow them on your way driving out of wherever you are. I used this feature a lot before I had a Garmin Nuvi to use. Then when you get home you can download your tracks onto Map Source (MS) and see where you have been. I also use this feature when I am hiking and hunting. That way I know where I have been and I don't have to go back to an area unless I really want to. Here is a shot of some of my tracks on a local turkey hunting adventure. You can follow the tracks and where there are a lot of points is where I sat for a long time trying to call in a turkey in a field.

In this next picture you will notice a LOT of points where I was sitting. This shows you why it is important when placing a cache to take a number of waypoints and then average them out for the actual co-ordinates of where the cache is located. If you sit in one spot, or you are taking co-ordinates for a cache, the GPSr seems to jump around even though you are not really moving. That's just the way it is. Here's the example:

I sat in that spot for a long time, but it appears that I was walking all over, and I wasn't.

Another thing you can use the tracks for is a fun game for the kids. You have the kids go out in a large field with the GPSr and then you have them write their name by walking it out. It's really quite funny to see them do this. Then you transfer it to MS and see what it looks like. I did my name after work one day out in a big yard. Lots of people in the other building were probably wondering what I had been drinking. I did have fun though. Try this sometime and your kids will love it.

This next picture is of some land we have and I wanted to mark the corners of the land and then I could use the drawing tool of MS and see what my land looked like from above. What looks like the hammer head is 65 acres.

If you are placing a cache in an area where there is already a cache you can use the distance tool to see if the new cache you want to place is far enough away from the already published cache. It looks like this.

I hope this little tutorial has been a help to you if you don't already know how to use Map Source.


smithie23 said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with maps. I always feel a sense of having a "leg up" when using mapping tools. I've been using Topo 8 (too cheap to upgrade) and it's been a great experience.

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