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xplor'npaul
06-23-2006, 08:54 AM
Hi all,...hey, can anybody lead me to a good , easy to understand link, or book, or dvd on learning utm coordinate? Their much more accurate than lat and longitude........ Thanks!

Ghosttowns.com
06-23-2006, 11:18 AM
http://www.ghosttowns.com/topotmaps.html

xplor'npaul
06-23-2006, 01:21 PM
thanks ghosttown,....I saw that one....I was looking for something a little more in depth....much obliged tho!

bad bob
06-23-2006, 01:35 PM
Photo.....
Have you been to:
www.maptools.com/usingUTM/ (http://www.maptools.com/usingUTM/)

bb.

Bob
06-23-2006, 03:40 PM
Whoever thinks UTMs are more accurate than Lat/Long is incorrect. They are two ways to deal with coordinates, lat/long which treats the world as sphere which it isnít (it bulges at the middle and is a wee bit lumpy) and UTM which treats the earth as flat. Either method can as accurate as the precision of the numbers. UTM doesnít work well at all over any area much larger than a western state. Somewhere I have a program that can convert between UTM and Lat/Long as I was trying to get a more accurate location then the telephone number UTMs used by Nevada (They are within a mile but that ainít near as good as DMS about 100 feet about the 40 Parallel or decimal degrees where I can get down to a couple millimeters accurate with the proper GPS (Not a silly home $150 GPS but one that costs maybe 100 times that) but even with Decimal Degrees and a $150 GPS you can get within 100 feet. That is a typical 11/12 digit UTM. UTM is much easier to work with in a limited area and has other advantages but neither are inaccurate if you use the proper Datum to anchor your location.(Another reason to use UTM) and until the curvature of the earth comes into play I prefer UTM.

xplor'npaul
06-26-2006, 06:32 AM
Thanks both Bob's....... I appreciate it....... I saw a site on the net about utms, but cant remember it......it taught about using millimeter's on a 24000 scale map to get your location exactly........ will have to do some more looking........ any of you guys know if there is a 'puter program I can put on a lap top that will show my loc on a topo? in real time? Happy GT Hunting!

Bob
06-26-2006, 09:03 AM
Delorme and others offer canned programs that work with their data sets and an inexpensive GPS receiving device. These programs are fairly easy to use and I have used them to find my out of the desert in the dark when my headlight switch failed (On/off/on/off) on my Ford. The problem is the available resolution of their data sets.

There are several good programs in the $100/150 range that will allow you to register your own map and armed with a good GPS will show you where your at but registering a map (Getting the Correct Datum, etc.) is not fun. What I refer to is taking say a digital image of a 1910 USGS 1:100,000 Map and finding old things. The older the map, the less accurate but you can still find the original Benchmarks to handle different datums. These will allow you to snarf modern USGS 1:24,000 maps, Satellite imagery etc. They are not easy to use. The advantage is that for most states you can find digital imagery of all USGS data. I speak for Nevada where we also have Satellite imagery, historic maps and DEMsavailable but have found all 1:24000 maps for Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado , New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana and almost all for California (Although those are registered a bit different).

A $300/$400 Color GPS will do the same.

Search the web, there are numerous forums and discussion groups. Mountain Bikers, Enduro Motorcycle Racers, hikers all explore with the GPS attached to the handlebars or backpack. Several 4wd and ATV exploring groups have a a discussion thread just for this topic.

GaryB
06-26-2006, 03:33 PM
I use DeLorme, National Geographic and iGage programs and should have Magellan's some day soon. I use a Magellan Meridian Color (eBay snag) and it has a slot for a SD card for more memory to load any specific maps (or just more info) you want. You can use all of the above programs to track live with a GPS on a laptop or even the unit if you have the map loaded. GPS units are like who likes what beer or soda. Everyone has a different taste. I know the BLM uses Garmin, but Thales makes Magellan and they supply our military or so I hear, so who do you pick? Personally I'd use a Garmin or Magellan. I went Magellan as most of my 4X club uses them and sharing info is easier.

My Magellan is supposed to be accurate to within 12 meters (40 feet) without the use of an external antenna (which is more accurate as it pulls more satellites) but I have found it to be better than that, usually within 6 meters or less (under 20 feet). I figure if I can't find it within 20 feet, I need to get a clue. Doing club runs, the route usually overlap or are within 5 feet of each other when back tracking.

Using the USGS maps loaded to my GPS, I found some old graves once that were long from being marked conspicuously and some other people had not been able to find. IIRC the difference was 10 feet.

BTW I use Lat/Long as most info I get is dealt that way, but GPS units like mine can do multiple different units of measure or even 2 at once, like UTM and Lat/Lon that are up for your view to compare. The only time I have used UTM is when mapping for the BLM on occasion.

LauraA
06-26-2006, 03:54 PM
This post reminds me of a song.....
"LBJ took the IRT down to 4th Street USA, and when he got there what did he see, the youth of America on LSD......LBJ, IRT, USA, LSD, LBJ, FBI, CIA"
(don't mind me, I'm having a flashback and if you're old enough to remember this song...you should be too) :D

xplor'npaul
06-27-2006, 08:48 AM
thanks Gary B.........Uh, ok laura, the sixties were good to you eh? I rmember them.........kinda.......... :)

Dezdan
07-03-2006, 12:31 AM
If you want to be accurate, get something that is WAS enabled or can at least connect to a WAS device. Here is Ďmyí current unit that I am running with a Garmin GPS V.



http://www.desertmines.com/boards/OurGISBackPacks.jpg

coolguy0621
07-03-2006, 08:36 AM
I have a Garmin, cause that's what we used in the service. I love it, but just wish I knew more about it, I havent had much time to play with it. Normally I just plug in an address and go, or use it to navigate off of the millions of freeways here in L.A. I used to use it as it was ment to be used, plugging in waypoints, collecting way points, planning routes and finding your self on a map, finding and calculating distance and direction, speed - all that stuff, but I just haven't really needed to do much of that as of late.

I have heard that you can hook 'em up to the laptop and use the entire topo map with real time nav. and all of the normal aps. Has anyone done this??

........And Dezdan what are you mapping out, or what are you using those monsters for??? You must be down to the MilMeter, do you work for the forestry service??

coolguy0621
07-10-2006, 10:18 AM
Yo Dezdan..............What are the monsters for..................:confused:

Bob
07-10-2006, 12:32 PM
They look like the stuff I borrow from the BLM to ride single track trails. The collect a location every "x" seconds (On a dirt bike every 5 seconds, hiking every 10 seconds) and when you return them, the GIS people know where you have been. Before the DOD turned off their inaccuracy devices, they would simulateneously collect GPS signal at a known location and then back the error out. We now submit all our off-road races, hiking trails,etc, in that format. Makes it easy to plot a course or trail on a map.

coolguy0621
07-10-2006, 01:21 PM
Thanks..........interesting

GaryB
07-10-2006, 09:14 PM
Those are small compared to some of the vehicle mounted ones.

Neal in Nevada
08-08-2006, 05:30 AM
I have heard that you can hook 'em up to the laptop and use the entire topo map with real time nav. and all of the normal aps. Has anyone done this??


I have a unit that I can do that with...I use TopoUSA software and an Earthmate GPS hyperperformance receiver
which plugs into my laptop. The nicest part of the system is to set it up so that the screen on the laptop shows the track I am on towards the top of the screen and have the software set in 3-D and having the satellite data predownloaded to the laptop. I can put the receiver on the dash or roof and be driving and you can see the world around you in 3-D on the screen...and I can switch over to topomap mode with a keystroke. The only problem is I have a problem keeping my eyes on the road :eek: and watching the screen! That can be hazardous in the boonies of Nevada...

I use this setup to teach map reading...you would be surprised how fast students learn to read topo maps when they can see the lay of the land in 2-D, then see the same land in 3-D.

Johnnie
09-28-2006, 09:06 AM
http://www.ghosttowns.com/topotmaps.html

Thanks ghosttowns .com and everone els for the (map links):)

J & S

Dezdan
09-30-2006, 02:05 PM
........And Dezdan what are you mapping out, or what are you using those monsters for??? You must be down to the MilMeter, do you work for the forestry service??Sorry for the long delay, I haven't had a decent internet connection for sometime and when I did I was overwhelmed catching up on back emails. I work for the NPS now out of Death Valley mapping backcountry dirt roads under a Federal Highways grant for the Facilities Management Software Systems division of the NPS.

~Dan

brian10x
09-30-2006, 04:01 PM
Sorry for the long delay, I haven't had a decent internet connection for sometime and when I did I was overwhelmed catching up on back emails. I work for the NPS now out of Death Valley mapping backcountry dirt roads under a Federal Highways grant for the Facilities Management Software Systems division of the NPS.

~Dan
That sounds like the perfect job for a GT enthusiast.

You will keep us posted if you find a great, formally unmapped ghost town, won't ya?

coolguy0621
10-01-2006, 02:12 PM
I have a unit that I can do that with...I use TopoUSA software and an Earthmate GPS hyperperformance receiver
which plugs into my laptop. The nicest part of the system is to set it up so that the screen on the laptop shows the track I am on towards the top of the screen and have the software set in 3-D and having the satellite data predownloaded to the laptop. I can put the receiver on the dash or roof and be driving and you can see the world around you in 3-D on the screen...and I can switch over to topomap mode with a keystroke. The only problem is I have a problem keeping my eyes on the road :eek: and watching the screen! That can be hazardous in the boonies of Nevada...

I use this setup to teach map reading...you would be surprised how fast students learn to read topo maps when they can see the lay of the land in 2-D, then see the same land in 3-D.


I must have missed this reply some how, but this is what I would like to do with my hand held garmin. I just can't seem to make it work. I think I should bring my stuff some where and pay them to show me exactly what I want to know, I geuss.

Neal in Nevada
10-01-2006, 04:58 PM
I must have missed this reply some how, but this is what I would like to do with my hand held garmin. I just can't seem to make it work. I think I should bring my stuff some where and pay them to show me exactly what I want to know, I geuss.

You know, I had a heck of a time getting it to talk to TopoUSA...it seems to be a real common problem. I started by getting it to talk to a simple program like USAPhotoMaps, then worked towards more complex mapping software. Give USAPhotoMaps (http://www.jdmcox.com) a try - it is the best free mapping software I have seen and it is simple (like me:p ). Also, once you get it to talk to a piece of software, IMMEDIATELY create a cheat sheet and record all the settings of the GPS and the software - you'll be glad that you did (don't ask how I know).

GaryB
10-01-2006, 08:48 PM
You will keep us posted if you find a great, formally unmapped ghost town, won't ya?


I seriously doubt that's likely to happen in Death Valley :p

GaryB
10-01-2006, 08:52 PM
I work for the NPS now out of Death Valley mapping backcountry dirt roads under a Federal Highways grant for the Facilities Management Software Systems division of the NPS.

~Dan

Is this a full time gig or part time? And what exactly is the purpose for mapping the roads? Just hoping you guys aren't looking to close any, we like like to have 4X runs going into and out DV. In fact some guys are doing Titus this Wed. now that it's been re-opened :D

LauraA
10-02-2006, 04:27 AM
too many devils & lizards in the road, makes them bumpy.:mad: