How to Make GPS Maps?

How to Make GPS MapsCreating GPS maps can sometimes prove to be a tough task. However, with the right tools and some level of computer literacy and expertise, you can easily do it. Making your own personal maps is fun, entertaining, a learning experience and satisfying. The amount of detail on the map, scale and features can be customized according to your needs. Completed maps can then be published or printed later. When a printed map becomes worn out, you can always print another one. This article gives you the steps on how to make your own GPS maps.

Select A GPS Unit

If you do not have one already, you should select a GPS unit at this stage. GPS units are manufactured by different companies. They come in different styles and sizes. Some of the most common brands that manufacture GPS devices include Trimble, Magellan and Garmin. A hand held GPS device is the most preferable for mapping purposes. This is because of its portability. It can also be set to map out a route which can be downloaded into a computer and you can later import it into mapping software.

Choose a Good Laptop Or PC

Mapping software requires some certain specifications in terms of memory, processing speed and storage. The machine selected should meet the requirements listed on the software. Some software used in mapping includes Google maps and Arc GIS.

Install the SoftwareHow to Make GPS Maps

After you have selected a computer that has the right specifications required, you can then proceed to install the data and mapping software that comes with the GPS device. This will include data such as highways, roads, rivers, points of interest and marine data.

If some of these data is missing from the basic GPS software, then it can be purchased separately. If the map you are making is for biking or hiking, then topographical data is the one that can provide the required level of detail.

Connect the GPS to Your Computer

This should be made according to the style and brand of the device. Many GPS devices provide a standard USB connector on one end and a micro or mini USB on the other end. Other brands also include a microSD that can be inserted to your computer using an adapter.

It is important to make sure that the cables or the microSD are correctly inserted so that the data is transferred correctly. Disruption of data transfer or improper connection might lead to corruption of data on both ends therefore jeopardizing the whole process.

Importation

After the GPS is connected to the computer, you can then import the route that you had selected directly into the mapping software. You can then go ahead to customize the map with the objects and features that you want. There are different features that are available at the mapping software library. You can then go ahead and print the map on a inkjet or laser printer. Do make sure that the printer selected provides full color. A full color printer will display all the features as they appear on the mapping software.

Conclusion

It is clear from the above description that it is not hard to make your own GPS maps. You just need to have the correct software and hardware.

Why to Make Your Own Maps on Devices?

Overview

There are several factors that may necessitate the need for a map. You can be planning a trip, a treasure hunt, running or biking trails or even educational. Whichever the need, there are always two options by which you can obtain a map. You can buy the already created maps, or you can create your own map with the online tools that are readily available. Here we will look at why make your own map and the benefits.

Save On Costs

There are a couple of online tools that you can use in making maps. These include Google Maps, GoogWhy to Make Your Own Maps on Devicesle Earth, Animaps, Umapper, Scribble Maps, Click2map, Zeemaps, Maptiler, Gmap Gis, Geocommons among others. Most of these mapping tools are available in both free and paid versions and it all depends with the level of customisation that you want.

The most commonly used is Google maps. Google maps allow you to download maps of a certain location that you can then load into your map making software and customize according to your needs. Purchasing topographical maps is way more expensive.

Topographical maps come with landmarks and features some of which you may not need in your map. Topographical maps are also updated every year due to changing nature of human activities. It would therefore prove to be an expensive option of buying maps every year just for the additional of a few extra features.

Easy To Make

With easy to follow tutorials, making your own personal map is easy. You just need to have the right tools and you can then proceed to make your own maps. The online tutorials have been crafted by specialists and professionals who understand how hard it can be for a novice to create a map from scratch. These tutorials give a step by step guide which is easy to follow even for people who are not trained cartographers.

Easy To Customize

Why to Make Your Own Maps on Devices 1As outlined earlier, with your own soft copy of a map, it is easier to customize and add optional features. You can map out based on your interests on hobbies. You can include on the map the places where you go to swim, play watch movies and hang out without including unnecessary clutter. You can add and remove features depending on your preference. Most maps that are bought are provided in formats that are not editable.

Most companies do not sell the shape files they used to make the maps. You just have to trust their accuracy which is not always a guarantee. Others only sell printed versions in hard copies so that they cannot be reprinted to protect their copyrights.

Learning Experience

Making your own maps is a fun experience by itself. You get to see your work coming through from scratch. On top of the fun part, creating your own map is also a perfect learning opportunity. You get the chance to learn about new software and terminology and also explore your creative side. With regular practice, you can then go ahead to turn this skills into a professional career.

Conclusion

There are several benefits on why you should make your own map. You get to gain some new skill and on top of that you also save on costs that could have been spent purchasing ready maps.

How to Make Your Own Treasure Map for Metal Detecting?

Overview

How to Make Your Own Treasure Map for Metal DetectingA treasure map can be used for many ways such as games, school plays, treasure hunting or just fun activities with your family and friends. With a metal detector, you can then search those nuggets as described in the map. Making your own treasure map is easy and fun at the same time. The materials used are locally available and you will not need to spend a lot.

Creating the Design

  • It is important to think about the type of treasure map that you want to make. It could be a path filled with landmarks or just a map with several spots of hidden objects underneath the ground. It is important to ensure that the start can be found easily and place where the treasures are hidden is not easily disturbed.
  • Draw your map on a piece of white plain paper. Do include a compass so that the treasure hunters will know their bearings. You can also include some written notes on clues where the treasure might be hidden. If you want your map to be durable, you can then use a thicker piece such as a card stock.
  • Draw the specific features and objects that you want to include in your map. You can use a variety of different inks, water colour paints, coloured pencils and pencils with different sharpness to make it unique. Mark the place where the treasure is hidden with a red X. Then proceed to include landmarks to mark the beginning and end of the treasure hunt. Feel free to include other things such as mountains, houses, trees, plants, rivers and other water bodies. To make your treasure map more creative, include some fun elements such as castles and serpents.

Make Your Map Look Authentic and Classic

To make the map look old and worn out, tear the edges of the paper. Use a wet tea bag to wipe both sides of the paper. The paper will turn brown and completely saturated. This makes the map appear as if it has passed through many generations of treasure hunters. To increase the worn look, crumple the paper several times into a ball and leave it overnight to dry. To add an extra touch of authenticity, wipe it with cooking oil on both sides after drying overnight. You should be very careful not to tear the map while unfolding it. After wiping it with cooking oil, it will look crunchy. Leave it outside to dry. After it has completely dried, your treasure map will look very old.

Using the Treasure Map

How to Make Your Own Treasure Map for Metal DetectingYou can use the map as a scavenger hunt. Include real treasures, prizes and clues. You can make the treasures metallic in a way that they can be detected with a metal detector. You can then spend an afternoon with your family and friends hunting for treasures with your newly created treasure map and a few metal detectors. You can then turn your home into a wilderness full of treasures.

Conclusion

Treasure hunting is a fun way to spend those weekend afternoons. It can be done outdoors and indoors. You do not need complicated equipment. Just make your own treasure map, get as creative as you can and enjoy the ultimate adventure.

Make your Own Map for Running Trails and Plantar Fasciitis Footwear

What Do You Want In a Running Map?

Make your Own Map for Running Trails and Plantar Fasciitis FootwearPlanning a running trail is all about personal preference. Some people might prefer to run on pavements, others rails and others in parks. There are different things to consider for when choosing the location of your running map. If you are an athlete training for an upcoming event or just training to keep fit, you should consider hilly areas to include in your running trail. Those who are normal runners can stick to pavements since they do not require those intense sessions. Once you have settled on the trail in your mind, you can then make a solid map to represent your ideas.

Consider Other People’s Trails

When you are designing your own map for running, trails, it is advisable to consider other people’s routes lying in the same region. You can use online tools and use a combination of keywords to search for a trail that you want to be following. You can use a tool such as MapMyRun to help you in mapping and identifying other trails in the vicinity. This will help you in identifying dangerous neighbourhoods and bad terrain. In the online software for mapping, you can filter by date created, nature of the trail, and the length.

Map Your Own Route

After identifying the trail you want to follow, length and terrain, you can then proceed to map it out. There are different tools that are free and easy to use. Some are Smartphone apps such as Runkeeper, Runningmap and MapMyRun. On your screen, click your starting point and move along the trail. Your Smartphone will highlight all the route details. You can then proceed to save it online and access it on a computer later for printing.

Running Footwear

Make your Own Map for Running Trails and Plantar Fasciitis FootwearWhen you are running, you put pressure and stress on your foot. It is therefore to use the right kind of shoes. People suffering from plantar fasciitis need the right type of shoes to minimize pain in the feet. Most runners chose to use orthotic inserts on normal running shoes which are not always advisable. Orthotic inserts cannot provide the comfort and support that the right running shoes for plantar fasciitis can provide. Running footwear for plantar fasciitis should have the following features;

  • Back that is super comfortable and well cushioned. This will protect the foot from damage and excess pain
  • Shock absorber. This will spread the weight of the body evenly when the foot strikes the ground. This ensures that there is no particular part of the foot that receives all the impact.
  • Solid heel counters. A good running shoe for people with plantar fasciitis should have solid heel counters, firm midsole, and a flexible toe box to maintain a comfortable position for the foot.
  • Motion control. Shoes designed for plantar fasciitis are rigid and reduce overpronation. Motion control plantar fasciitis footwear maintains the foot’s natural position and reduces improper foot realignment.

Shoe Varieties for Plantar Fasciitis

  • Asics GEL-Kayano 20 Running Shoes
  • New Balance 990v3
  • Brooks Beast 12
  • Saucony Kinvara 4

Conclusion

Choosing to make your own running map for running trails can appear challenging initially. With proper planning and gathering the right information, you can easily create one that meets your requirements. When running, it is advisable to use the correct footwear that will reduce too much pressure and tension on your feet.

How to Make Your Own Golf Course Map with a GPS Rangefinder?

How to Make Your Own Golf Course Map with a GPS RangefindeGolf has become a popular sport all over the world irrespective of social background although it was traditionally regarded as a game for the upper class in the society; a lot of such beliefs have changed since then. It is a game played by all age groups. You might be a golf enthusiast, or someone who just wants to map out an existing golf course.

These easy to follow steps will guide you on how to make your own golf course map with a GPS rangefinder. You will be using this as your pocket guide when you are out there playing golf.

List of Features to Be Mapped

  • The golf course itselfHow to Make Your Own Golf Course Map with a GPS Rangefinde
  • Golf driving range
  • Golf shop: this is where golfers can purchase items such as balls and gloves
  • Fairway: a path which has short cut grass leading to the hole
  • The holes: the hole where the ball lands
  • Putting green: an area of short grass surrounding the whole
  • Rough section: this is an area comprised of tall grass which is found between the out-of-bounds and the fairway.
  • Sand banker: also referred as the sand pit
  • Tee zone: this is an area from which the golfer hits the ball.

Mapping Steps

– Diagram of the course

The first step towards creating your own golf course map is obtaining a diagram of the specific course that you want to design. You can obtain this image for free from Google maps. Another good source of obtaining this image is from your hand held GPS device and a rangefinder (See Golf Spy Review) to provide you with  various distances for hazards, views, holes as well as the layout of the golf course.

The only situation when you cannot be able to obtain Google maps is when the course map you want to design is too near a sensitive military facility. After obtaining the map, you should then extract the actual course location from the entire map to remain with a map which shows more features but covers a smaller area.

– Identify the locations of the various features

Once you have obtained a map and information of the course that you want to design, you can then proceed to place the features on your map. This can prove to be very tedious since a lot of precision and detail is required when placing the different features on the map.

You can use the coordinates on your GPS device to identify the exact places where the different features should be placed. Since you will be using this map as your pocket guide during the actual golfing, it is advisable to be accurate as possible. Therefore the coordinates on the map should correspond with the GPS points on the GPS device.

After you have finished mapping out the different features of the golf course, you should then proceed to outline the hole playing area with a boundary. This will cover the green, the fairways, the rough category and the tees. The hole playing area is normally lined with paths or trees on a real golf course.

Conclusion

With an easy to follow, step by step guide, you can create your own golf course map. The GPS range finder will provide you with the data required for the golf course.