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Old 11-20-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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New Forest Service Maps for Phone/Tablet

I thought some of you guys might find this interesting...

Originally Posted by USFS News Release
U.S. Forest Service offers new digital maps for mobile devices

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2013 –

The U.S. Forest Service now offers access to a variety of visitor maps for people using Android and iOS devices.

“This mobile app makes it easier than ever to plan your visit to a national forest or grassland,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “By putting important forest information right at your fingertips, it will encourage more Americans to get outside and explore their forests.”

The digital maps are part of USDA’s work toward reaching President Obama’s initiative to create a paperless government that also provides the American public with better, more accessible information. Online customer surveys also indicated a desire for more online products and information, such as maps. The Forest Service is currently working on the first phase of a website redesign, expected to debut early in 2014, which centers on a map-based tool for planning trips onto our nation’s forests, grasslands and other special places.
The PDF Maps Mobile App, developed by Avenza Systems Inc., is available as a free download from iTunes and the Android Play Store. The app provides access to Forest Service maps, such as motor-vehicle-use maps, which are free while pages from national forest atlases are 99 cents and forest visitor maps are $4.99. Prices are pending for other agency maps.

The maps are geo-referenced with the user’s location appearing as a blue dot. The app works on iPhones (3GS or newer) and iPads with WiFi+3G. It also works with Android 4 or newer operating systems on devices with at least 1 gigabyte of memory.
Through the app, users can purchase and download professionally created maps that are stored on their devices. They can use the maps based on their location when GPS is available. The maps also will allow users to measure distance and area, find coordinates, open a current view in Google maps, plot place marks, add notes, enter their own data and add photos as attributes. Almost 700 Forest Service maps are available through the app.

In areas of national forests and grasslands where Internet connections are unavailable, the app and static maps work well if users download the maps prior to their visit. The apps and maps also will be useful for wildland firefighters.

In geographic areas with Internet availability users will be able to use the products with live data. The interactive map is expected to be available on a limited basis starting in March 2014.

Paper maps are still available for purchase online at the National Forest Store.
The Forest Service differs from other federal government agencies in how the Forest Visitor map is funded. The Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1938 calls for the sale of maps as the funding mechanism to revise and produce maps for the public. In 1999 the Act was amended to include products available through the web as “geo-referenced data.”

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:54 AM   #2
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That is awesome!
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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FWIW - If you download the pdfmap app, you can get the georeferenced TOPO maps for free from their mapstore. I downloaded one of the new ones from the forest service and it looked better, but the amount of info was similar from what I could tell (I.e. Same number of contour lines etc.).

See this thread for some more info.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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I am trying out the BackCountry Navigator trial version (free for 20 or so days). It has topo, forest service and BLM maps (and many others). Topo and FS are free but you have to buy the BLM maps (which show deeded vs public lands). You can download map sections ahead of time in case you are out of cell service. This is a HUGE improvement over paper maps to supplement your GPS (as long as you don't lose power to your phone)!
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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PDF Maps is really cool, but I'm only seeing a basic ONP map and no Olympic NF maps. Seems weird.

EDIT: Found 'em, had topo maps disabled on my search results.
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kitsapian screwed with this post 11-24-2013 at 09:16 PM
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
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This is important news, wbedient. Thanks for the alert ... I'll pass it along.
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