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Old June 18th, 2013, 00:53   #1
nardac
 
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Mapping New Airsoft Field

Anyone have any experience in mapping new trails cut into bush? We've been busy building and clearing, cutting trails, etc. Now I'd like to map the property, its about 30 acres and google maps is not detailed enough or doesnt show new trails.

Can anyone let me know what they've done in the past or have experience with. Iphone app would be great lol.

Mapping and GPS programs you'd recommend would be a good start.

Thanks
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Old June 18th, 2013, 01:44   #2
Kimbo
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Use a gps to walk the trails, then plug it into your computer and import your tracks onto google earth. Works great.

You can walk the perimeter as well to show the boundary and mark any interesting points with waypoints.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 04:00   #3
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I'd use ArcGIS or Map3D but you're better off with Google Earth and making a kml file. An Arc license is $1K I think, not to mention it's also kind of a piece of crap. Grass GIS is free but it's hell to setup and learn.

It also depends on the level of detail you want. There will be some GPS drift in your tracks if you just walk the trails but it's generally good enough. Just be wary of tree canopy cover because GPS signals will bounce like hell and you'll get super inaccurate tracks when you go to import to kml. I've heard forestry guys just clear cutting swathes of trees in order to get a good GPS signal for surveying a forested area so yeah....

Also iPhones, at least for Geocaching are accurate enough with it's GPS that it can be almost as good as a purpose built Garmin unit.

If you want it to be able to be viewed by people on their iphones you might consider doing an ArcGIS online thing but it's a pretty steep learning curve if you have no previous experience in the basic GIS stuff (otherwise it's as easy as pointing and clicking).
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:31   #4
Hectic
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I have an app on my galaxy that is called back contry trails (or something like that) you can get maps from the mnr (and other topographical maps they show elevation and everything) then use it like a gps mapper to track the trails you walk on and save them. You can change the colors of the different trails and even add lil icons for bases and such. Havent gotten the full version yet but the trial version was promising
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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:08   #5
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Here is the app
http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/
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Old June 18th, 2013, 12:27   #6
McKee
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I wouldn't recommend using ArcGIS for a task like this. ArcGIS is a pain in the ass to work with and more suited to complex tasks with alot of data processing. Making good looking and usable maps of simple trails and boundries is much better suited to google earth and a graphic editor.

As others stated, your best bet is to use google earth. Go walk your trails and the field perimeter boundary with the GPS tracks on then upload to google earth. Try to make each trail a seperate track file as this will be easier to distinguish them once on google earth. Upload the trails to whatever software your GPS works with then you can export the trails in a format google earth will read. You can then use google earth paths to trace the trails, points for specific features, as well as create polygons of areas you wish (such as parking lots, danger areas, out of bound sections, etc.). Play with all the settings regarding line sizing and colors to make it look decent. There is a free UTM grid overlayer plugin you can get for google earth.. I recommend this vice laying your own grids as UTM is compatible with all GPS units and is scaled properly for uniform area grids.

Once all the features and grid is layed and everything looks pretty, export it as an image from google earth and open it up in photoshop or whatever you have.. then you can use this for legends, scale bars, titles, etc..
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Old June 18th, 2013, 16:07   #7
nardac
 
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Thx for help, been playing with google earth. Works well for what I want, gonna walk trails with GPS and go from there.
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