Topo/Design Help or Critique?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    JmZ
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    Topo/Design Help or Critique?

    It's been a busy winter and been looking at some topo maps and started to scribble on 'em.

    I've got access to an aerial photo and 2' contour topo maps. Looking for anyone with some experience, time, and a willingness to look over some thoughts I've had. Please feel free to drop me a PM or contact me via e-mail at editor at nimbabike dot org.

    Files are too large to attach as images, sorry.

    Thanks!

    JmZ
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  2. #2
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    What are you looking for?

    What help do you need? Have you studied the IMBA book?

    I think the best way to do it is to look at a topo map, get an overall vision of what you want, and get out and hike it with a climometer (sp?) flag it and then come back and look at it later with fresh eyes. This is all best done with someone else that knows the do's and do nots.

    I hope this helps?

  3. #3
    Builder of Trails
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    Don't forget to include negative and positive control points when marking your map. If the map includes a disatnce scale, eg. 1/4" equals X-feet, then you can rough in a trail corridor that meets all the trail building rules.

    If you'd like me to look at them, you can email me @ dburatti @ austin.rr.com. I'm pretty busy over the next three days but can probably answer some questions.

    Dewayne

  4. #4
    "I thought you were dead"
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    2-foot contours!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    It's been a busy winter and been looking at some topo maps and started to scribble on 'em.

    I've got access to an aerial photo and 2' contour topo maps. Looking for anyone with some experience, time, and a willingness to look over some thoughts I've had. Please feel free to drop me a PM or contact me via e-mail at editor at nimbabike dot org.

    Files are too large to attach as images, sorry.

    Thanks!

    JmZ
    2-foot contours? Wow-wee... oh wait... Indiana huh? Okay. Sorry- I was getting excited, though soon realised that you're (1) in Indiana, and (2) 2-foot contours in Colorado would turn most of the quad into nothing but a big black blob. It would be nice to have intermediate contour lines in areas where our 20-foot contours end up being 1/2-mile apart on a 1:24,000 scale quad.

    Anyhow, before sending a PM, I was wondering if you knew if there is a Topo! product available for Indiana? The best part of the Topo! product is that users can add their own GPS waypoints and tracks to the digital map interface if you have the download cable for your GPS.

    Also, have you ever seen Google Earth? Google it and check it out if you have high speed internet access.

    Google Earth makes cartographers like myself (oh wait- I guess I am now a "GIS" technician) actually enjoy the advent of computer aided drafting. I still miss mylar, zip-a-tone and rapidograph pens.

    Once you find your location in Google Earth, zoom into a decent scale, you can hit the 'print screen' button on your keyboard, open the Paint program (see accessories w/in the start menu), and paste (control-v) the screen capture (print screen) into Paint. After that, you can cut away the excess, add lines, notations, etc. Photoshop works much, much better than MS-Paint. I think Topo! also allows users to add notations.

    In most areas of the US, users can zoom into their backyards using Google Earth. Resolution varies with location. I know that for Chicago, you can zoom down onto a street fair adjacent to "the bean" in the downtown area. I can zoom into and recognize my pickup truck sitting in my driveway, though a few miles away, the resolution drops to a point where large buildings are a blur.

    MS-Paint is pretty archaic. Do you have access to GIS (Geographic Information System) software? It's mostly just a techy-geeky silicon based light table, though it's relatively easy (and definately faster) to create and produce public meeting worthy maps. It also makes data storage, manipulation, and recovery a bit faster than our standard issue map drawers.

    Ever heard of, or used ArcView or AutoCAD Map? Non-profits usually can purchase ArcView through a grant with ESRI (ArcView's software manufacturer) for a few hundred dollars. I have worked with a few land trusts whom did this + acquired as much free data from their respective state and/or federal (USGS) mapping agencies.

    What else can I think of? Does Indiana have any sort of free on-line public access to USGS topo maps and/or aerial photography?

    Drop me a PM if you'd like to discuss further options. I'm not a full blown computer geek. Just a geologist, turned cartographer... oh yeah and now a GIS dummy.

  5. #5
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    ooops...

    Whoa... it must be getting late. I completely mis-interpreted this thread. I just re-read the post and thought... hmmm what was I thinking? Guess it was the hard-on for 2-foot contours.

    You can still contact me for specific trail design questions. I agree with the other replies: study the IMBA trail design book, map all possible negative and positive control points, hike, flag in a line or two, check grade with a clinometer, etc. Don't forget to check the land status!

    Scribbling on topos is the best part of any new trail project! Add a few friends to the scribbling process, a couple six packs of your favorite local brew, and you have yourself a bonafide trail designer party. Unfortunately, this isn't mentioned in the IMBA trail design book.

  6. #6
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnstormer
    Whoa... it must be getting late. I completely mis-interpreted this thread. I just re-read the post and thought... hmmm what was I thinking? Guess it was the hard-on for 2-foot contours.

    You can still contact me for specific trail design questions. I agree with the other replies: study the IMBA trail design book, map all possible negative and positive control points, hike, flag in a line or two, check grade with a clinometer, etc. Don't forget to check the land status!

    Scribbling on topos is the best part of any new trail project! Add a few friends to the scribbling process, a couple six packs of your favorite local brew, and you have yourself a bonafide trail designer party. Unfortunately, this isn't mentioned in the IMBA trail design book.
    Thanks to all. Things are progressing nicely.

    I had a copy of the IMBA trail design book... until I gave it to the Property Manager. Submitting the proposed trail on a topo map to the property manager is the first part of the process for us. (After the trail design party as it were). I don't want to tip my hat with hurdles still to leap, but things go ok.

    Our presentation consisted of Powerpoint slides, a plotted map with the trail sketched on it, and some supplemental materials. If all goes well we will be moving on to flagging a line, checking with the clinometer, and the like sometime this year.

    Now the next part is figuring out which Clinometers to get, what GPS to get, where to buy a <b><i>bunch</i></b> of pin flags etc.

    JmZ
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  7. #7
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    Supplies and tools...

    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    Thanks to all. Things are progressing nicely.

    I had a copy of the IMBA trail design book... until I gave it to the Property Manager. Submitting the proposed trail on a topo map to the property manager is the first part of the process for us. (After the trail design party as it were). I don't want to tip my hat with hurdles still to leap, but things go ok.

    Our presentation consisted of Powerpoint slides, a plotted map with the trail sketched on it, and some supplemental materials. If all goes well we will be moving on to flagging a line, checking with the clinometer, and the like sometime this year.

    Now the next part is figuring out which Clinometers to get, what GPS to get, where to buy a <b><i>bunch</i></b> of pin flags etc.

    JmZ
    Watch out when you purchase a clinometer. I accidently bought one that displays slope as grade and not slope in degrees. Now I have two clinometers. I also use a brunton transit, having a compass and clinometer combination. Good tool - even comes with a vanity & signal mirror, though they cost around $200.

    I use a Garmin 12XL. It was fairly inexpensive for a map-grade gps. It is easy to use and understand, plus I picked up the optional upload/download data cable and software.

    Pin flags? Hmmm. I think Home Depot may have them, though if you have any sort of surveying or civil engineering supply shop, they'll surely have them. We re-use our flags if we can find and recover them. Don't forget to get a color suited for your surrounding vegetation. Orange seems to work the best. If you have range cattle, they'll eat the flags and leave the steel, thus the gps may come in handy for re-determining where exactly your proposed route is/was.

    Wooden stakes are a great idea for marking control points, as well as for marking 50 to 100-meter tread distance control points. A 100-meter chain or tape (or even a wheeled distance counter) will help pinpoint linear distances.

    Good luck! Have fun!

  8. #8
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ

    Now the next part is figuring out which Clinometers to get

    JmZ
    Brunton. Bought mine new on Ebay for about $35. It came highly recommended from folks who travel around the country doing this sort of thing for a living.

  9. #9
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    Brunton or Suunto either are excellent. pin flags? forestry-suppliers is cheap and will likely give a discount to a non-profit, though my local hardware store is within .60 / per bundle of 100. of forestry-suppliers so unless i'm doing a big order, i buy local. imba says pink is the best all around color, florescent green is the worst (personal experience), orange is great except when leaves turn, pink always stands out.

  10. #10
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnawbonelefty
    Brunton or Suunto either are excellent. pin flags? forestry-suppliers is cheap and will likely give a discount to a non-profit, though my local hardware store is within .60 / per bundle of 100. of forestry-suppliers so unless i'm doing a big order, i buy local. imba says pink is the best all around color, florescent green is the worst (personal experience), orange is great except when leaves turn, pink always stands out.
    OK just starting to really dig.

    Can someone trouble this noobie on what's the differences betwen the Suunto and Brunto models.

    From looking at the websites... there is one that measres in slope and degrees and a different one that measures, um well, measurement to tell how tall a building, a tree, etc is.

    So what model numbers do I have to put in my E-Bay searches.

    Thanks!

    JmZ
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  11. #11
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    I have the suunto pm5 360 pc the brunton model that my partner in crime uses is the clinomaster. for trail building and to keep math out of the equation you want one that scales from 0 to 150%

    if you don't mind doing math you can use a compass and a plum bob. that would be accurate enough for trail work.

    currently we are doing alot of layout work, if you want to come down some weekend and help,
    let me know.

    ..R

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