CalTopo started as a project to provide better maps for search and rescue. As I focused more effort on caltopo.com, the SAR version lagged behind and it became harder to bring new features from CalTopo back to the SAR code. This summer I put a lot of effort into reworking things, and while CalTopo hasn’t seen many new features, the SAR version is finally ready for a re-launch.
So without further rambling, I give you SARTopo.com – CalTopo for SAR. SARTopo takes the existing CalTopo UI that you’ve learned to at least live with if not love, and adds additional search and rescue object types like operational periods, assignments, clues and resources.
These extra objects make it easy to do things that are cumbersome at best with traditional mapping software: editing the same dataset from several computers, printing assignment maps on multiple backgrounds, dumping segments to GPS, filtering stray tracks and waypoints, color-coding data by operational period or resource type, and a lot more.
Both the software that makes this happen and the map layers I’ve created are available for free to search and rescue teams. You can load them on a laptop and run a mobile version of SARTopo in the field, miles from the nearest internet connection, with statewide map data including USGS topos, USFS topos, aerial imagery, shaded relief, contour lines, slope shading, viewshed analysis and even the “view from here” feature.
For more information on offline use, please visit sarsoft.org.
|Assignments, Clues, Resources: some of the added SAR features|
Now that SARTopo is finally live, I look forward to returning more attention to CalTopo, and several new feature blog posts are coming shortly.