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  • Mapping public vs. private land

    Hi all, for the folks that didn't see the "Topozone replacement" thread from the Mapping & GPS forum, I put together a little web site that allows you to search for USGS place names and then view USGS topo maps of the results in a Google Maps interface. As the name of the thread suggested, it was basically to re-create TopoZone.com since that is now a pay site.

    Well, after getting the basic maps working I thought it would be cool if I could add an overlay to the map showing public vs. private land. I have a couple park-wide maps that show this, but since they cover the whole park everything is tiny on the map. On the website you can see in much better detail. I assume I'm not the only one looking for this type of information, so I thought I'd post a note here. Private land is shaded darker on the map, whereas public land appears normal. You can check it out at:

    http://adirondack-park.net/topo/

    A couple caveats: first and foremost, I got the data from the NYS GIS website, and it's around 10 years old (despite the fact that on the site it says the data is updated annually). This means that a lot of major purchases that have happened since then still show up as private land. The one that jumped out at me the most was Little Tupper Lake. The APA has some updated data on a CD, but according to their website it's still only from 2001. I'm waiting to hear back from someone there about getting more up-to-date stuff.

    Second, the data considers water as a separate category, neither public nor private. That's why lakes aren't shaded, even if they're surrounded by private land. As you can also see, the data doesn't line up perfectly with the underlying maps, so if you zoom way in you can see a bit of difference along the lakeshores. The lesson here is, it's not perfect -- and if you use this and end up getting arrested for trespassing, don't blame me

    Third, it's really difficult to see the shading if you switch to the satellite view.

    Let me know if you have any problems. Thanks!

  • #2
    It is loading real slow today, will check later.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by colden46 View Post
      A couple caveats: first and foremost, I got the data from the NYS GIS website, and it's around 10 years old (despite the fact that on the site it says the data is updated annually). This means that a lot of major purchases that have happened since then still show up as private land. The one that jumped out at me the most was Little Tupper Lake. The APA has some updated data on a CD, but according to their website it's still only from 2001. I'm waiting to hear back from someone there about getting more up-to-date stuff.
      I'm pretty sure the up-to-date GIS data should exist, or at least data much more recent than 2001. It's what the APA and DEC use for their own work. The question is, do they have it in a format available for public use? The Adirondack Council produced an updated version of their park map last year, including Tahawus, Round Lake, Bog Lake, Lyon Mountain, and all the 2005-06 land classifications.

      But this looks good! As far as the Adirondacks go, you've already one-upped TopoZone!

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      • #4
        Wildriver: Exactly, the up-to-date data is certainly somewhere. The paper map I got from the APA a couple years ago is more up-to-date than the stuff I downloaded two days ago! I wouldn't imagine it would be very difficult to create an updated dataset, since the files are just an export from ArcGIS. But according to the APA's page describing their data CD, there was a fair amount of work involved (search for Process Description). I'm not a GIS guy, so who knows.

        Antler: Yeah, I noticed terraserver (the place that hosts the topo images) is really slow today. Grrr... I guess I'm getting what I paid for.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by colden46 View Post
          Wildriver: Exactly, the up-to-date data is certainly somewhere. The paper map I got from the APA a couple years ago is more up-to-date than the stuff I downloaded two days ago! I wouldn't imagine it would be very difficult to create an updated dataset, since the files are just an export from ArcGIS. But according to the APA's page describing their data CD, there was a fair amount of work involved (search for Process Description). I'm not a GIS guy, so who knows.

          Antler: Yeah, I noticed terraserver (the place that hosts the topo images) is really slow today. Grrr... I guess I'm getting what I paid for.
          It happens with all of them from time to time. I was not going anywhere today so it did not matter.

          You did a bang up job. In addition blowing away topozone in the ADK's the same can be said for the cascades.

          Oh as for the Cascades we need a measuring wheel or Tony Goodwin out here real bad. The Mountaineers published a new guide for Snoqualmie recently. The area east and a bit north of Rainier. I was looking for a short afternoon hike last fall. Found the writeup for Little Ranger Peak 5066' The guy wrote it up as 3 miles 1500 foot gain. In the summary he confirms that as "6miles round trip 1500'." Providing that info twice in the writeup it looked like it would fit the bill. Fortunately I had a trail map so I dug it out and noticed the trail head was at 2400 feet. Wait a minute! 2400 + 1500 = 3900 at least it does in the Adirondacks. Then I noticed that the trail was much more than 3 miles one way.

          You can check it out using your site. Little Ranger Peak (wa) use the A balloon. The trail follows highway 410 about .4 miles east of the road for nearly 2 miles it then turns east climbing to a ridge where the topo map has a shelter marked on it. It is 7.9 miles from the parking lot to the shelter. You then follow the ridge 1.1 miles to the summit. Kinda like doing Allen ain't it? He was a bit off, his 6mile rt with 1500 foot gain turns out to be 18 miles rt with 2666 gain. So much for a short afternoon walk.

          I found the first ten trails I checked were like that missing the mark by a lot. I wrote the Mountaineers pointing out the 0 for 10 asking nicely, I thought nicely, if the author actually hiked any of those trails. That was six months ago, no reply.

          So send Tony Goodwin or a measuring wheel because there is a definite need.

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          • #6
            Cool. Now how about laying down a layer with all of the trails. And then, while you're at it, putting some caches of beer out there for me while I'm on the trail? Seriously though, this will make my life easier... less jail and bail.
            How is it that you are heading west? Well, we face north and then really sudden like turn left.

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            • #7
              If Wildriver or the ADK/TrailsIllustrated want to donate some trail overlays (complete with geographic coordinates, of course) I would be happy to add trails too

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              • #8
                Here is more recent 2007-2008 data. Let me know if you need anything else. One is for state lands, the other for state parks

                http://www.vomaps.com/declands.zip

                http://www.vomaps.com/oprhp07.zip

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                • #9
                  Some great links, thanks Gentlemen!

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                  • #10
                    map site

                    Thanks....nice job

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                    • #11
                      I don't know what you all are talking about, but I just discovered ArcGIS Explorer (a free program) that has sattelite and topo maps much better than anything you'll see on google in my opinion.

                      You can 3D the topos and the sattelite images. after you install the program the default map is the sattelite image map but if you click on Help in the tool bar and select "ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center" it will take you to a web site where you can download the world topo map (and others, including a street map - which shows the truck route from south meadows as a street.)

                      I don't think the downloads are the actual maps because they are only 140k, so they must be just links to the maps on the ArcGIS server.

                      After downloading, just click on file, open and select the one you want to view in ArcGIS Explorer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ny-beaver View Post
                        Here is more recent 2007-2008 data. Let me know if you need anything else. One is for state lands, the other for state parks

                        http://www.vomaps.com/declands.zip

                        http://www.vomaps.com/oprhp07.zip
                        Veeeery interesting. I've been using data on the APA disks; specifically the file that shows land classes. I found that the APA disk data shows land boundaries that are extremely similar to the above files but differ in some ways. 1. Class 5 land on the APA disks is a shape whereas it's a hole in the midst of shapes on the above. 2. Class 5 land on the APA disk stops at water's edge whereas the hole on the above does not. That's logical, of course. 3. The water's edges on the APA disk do not coincide with the water bodies on National Wetlands Inventory shapefiles by a difference of a couple hundred feet whereas the above shapes differ from the APA disk data by a couple hundred feet but in a different direction. These are not projection or datum mismatches. The attached screen image shows the APA Class 5 land as semi-transparent lavender, the hole from the above data as a magenta outline, and the NWI data in various renderings, open water being solid blue. Note how the APA data has a hole for the water but the water misses it. It's interesting that the land parcel shapes from the two sources coincide at the SE corner but not elsewhere. Ain't mapping fun???
                        Last edited by Graybeard; 10-08-2009, 10:31 AM.
                        Respect everyone, trust with caution, paddle your own canoe.

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                        • #13
                          http://mapper.acme.com

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                          • #14
                            Regarding:

                            http://adirondack-park.net/topo/

                            I notice this site is down right now, as of a couple days ago; the display is:

                            Error connecting to database: Access denied for user 'topoweb'@'localhost' (using password: YES)

                            Does anyone know if this site is still being maintained, and who to contact? It is a very useful map site.

                            Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TCD View Post
                              Regarding:

                              http://adirondack-park.net/topo/

                              I notice this site is down right now, as of a couple days ago; the display is:

                              Error connecting to database: Access denied for user 'topoweb'@'localhost' (using password: YES)

                              Does anyone know if this site is still being maintained, and who to contact? It is a very useful map site.

                              Thanks.
                              Should be fixed. Sorry about that, the server it was running on had a database issue.

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