U.S. National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Siorc, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Siorc

    Siorc Tiger Shark Supporter

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    National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM's) --- FREE and coordinated with GPS on your phone!

    After nearly leading a group to a dead-end on a mountainside last week, I decided I really need to have the MVUM's for where I'm adventuring. Discovered that you can download them all for free into an app on your phone that will also show you GPS location on the MVUM! I'm just starting to play with the app, but it looks really good, especially for the price.

    Instructions below from the Lolo National Forest website. I have also downloaded free MVUM's from various other national forests.


    If you own a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android (4.0.3 or newer), you can take the Lolo National Forest MVUMs with you.


    1. Download the free Avenza PDFMaps app, available at http://www.avenza.com/pdf-maps to your mobile device.

    2. Once you have Avenza on your mobile device, use your device to download the maps at pdf-maps.com while running the App. Select 'Get Maps' and search for “Lolo MVUM” to download MVUMs for Missoula, Ninemile, Plains/Thompson Falls, Seeley Lake and Superior Ranger Districts.

    With the app and maps installed on your mobile device, you will be able to:
    • View your location on the PDF MVUM using the built-in GPS device
    • Measure distances and areas
    • Plot waypoints
    • View maps offline
    • And more…
    Through a no-cost contract with Avenza Systems, Inc., the USDA Forest Service has made electronic versions of its Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) available as free downloads for smartphones and tablets.​
    #1
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    These are really useful maps. I primarily use a Garmin Montana for riding navigation. I am able to convert the MVUMs to kmz files and store them on the Montana and in Basecamp as overlays.

    I also use Avenza on my Android phone as a backup to the Montana and do often load the MVUMs to it too.
    #2
  3. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    If you pay for Gaia, MVUM is available as an overlay/layer
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  4. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    And...if you use Furkot.com to plan your rides in/through the NF, you can show MVUM, up-to-date, data on the map and include the MVUM routes in your route plan - or just save them as informational (Skipped routes) Tracks in your exported Trip (GPX, KML...). One more thing...if you export using KML you can set and save the Track Color as well.
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  5. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I love Furkot, but haven't messed around with things like "informational tracks" etc. That's cool. I need to do some digging.
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  6. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    If you have any questions on how to use the "Skipped routes" - which require a Furkot Pass - post a Q over on the Furkot thread so we don't hijack the OP's MVUM.
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  7. Layton

    Layton Long timer

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    How do you convert the MVUMs to kmz files?

    I really need to be able to do that as some of the MVUM are only available on Avenza and I need to be able to use it in a Montana.

    Thanks
    #7
  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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  9. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    the really hard/crappy way is to use basecamp , google earth, or similar desktop programs. They only stretch and skew the image, which makes matching up ALL the roads a severe pita with low quality results.

    i use an application called locus map pro on my android phone to create kmz files from any image file, even a picture snapped by the phones camera.

    if the image is in pdf format (which makes ZERO SENSE) I’ll first convert it to jpeg with a program called x2img pro.

    it takes about thirty seconds to convert from pdf to jpeg.

    then it takes about two minutes to drop waypoints between the original jpeg vas an underlying map with locus. The difference with using locus is that you drop EXACT POINTS on both the image and an underlying map, and can use lots of points (I normally use 8-12) to get precise road matches and landmark matches. The old way that google earth and basecamp used was terrible. You would pull one edge and in the process throw off all the other edges.

    I have a tutorial video somewhere I’ll try to tomorrow... but the results look like this or better, depending on the image quality

    09112807-1460-486D-90BF-E6812C4A399D.png
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  10. Layton

    Layton Long timer

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    I thought I should follow up on this.

    I ended up using the MAPC2MAPC program to do the conversion.

    I found that the PDF’s that the forest service provides had the Georeferencing data in them so the conversation super simple.
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  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    already geo referenced?
    sweet!

    are they color too ?

    here in Alabama we just got black n white TVs, so color is kind of a big deal for MVUM , for us ;-)
    #11
  12. Layton

    Layton Long timer

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    The official MVUM are not in color.

    There is an unofficial one that is in color but I didn’t try it for two reasons.
    1. It’s unofficial.
    2. The file would be huge as it is of the entire Black Hills where the MVUM is broken up into two files.
    #12
  13. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    the georgia mvums are color. they're only around 10-15mb
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  14. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I have converted a few large color MVUMs. The files are large but both Basecamp and the Montana were able to handle them. I was a little surprised at this.

    I do find on the Montana that things work better if I disable some of my custom maps by renaming them to not be .kmz.

    Some guys I ride with have so many Customs maps on the Montana that they have to do this to avoid error messages.
    #14
  15. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    The current MVUM "best-practice" is to code the road/trail line-segments by line-type: e.g, Dash-line, Double-Dash-line, Bold-*, Dot, etc. Some NF's are still using the old GIS formatting tools that do color-coding. It's too bad that there is no mandate as to when and how the NF managers GIS data is represented other than producing the MVUM PDF on each NF's Travel Management webpage. Currently, it's not even mandatory that the MVUM data be promoted to the National Database (data.gov) which only requires a push of the Enter Key by the GIS Manager at each NF. I've gone to the trouble of finding the email addr's of several NF GIS Managers that have not promoted their data to data.gov and asked them to do so. Data.gov is a public/open API database for all US public GIS data. The USDA use to promote having Application Developers create public facing value add App's using this data. This is how Gaia and Furkot.com are able to show you MVU Maps data. Gaia Maps pulls the MVUM PDF's and renders them, while Furkot.com pulls the complete MVU GIS (and other) data from data.gov every few days.
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  16. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    do you mean that just having multiple kmz on the device slow it down?

    i have about 80, but normally only turn on (visible) 10-15 at a time. if i turn on all 80 there's a difference but it's not slow like s 276cx or anything like that
    #16