Entries by mtjacobs58

NorCal Fire Response

The quick summary: If you are seeking information on the Northern California wildfires, or trying to understand CalTopo’s current fire activity layer, please see this blog post. Edit: big thanks to the Google crisis response team for rapidly lifting the map quota.  The OpenLayers warning no longer applies.  CalTopo will be intermittently running on OpenLayers […]

CalTopo Guide to Wildland Fire Information

NOTE: I wrote the bulk of this post in July, but shelved it due to some pending layer changes.  With the western US currently on fire, it seemed like a good time to finally wrap it up, although some of the references are no longer timely. Here in Truckee, smoke from the Detwiler fire – […]

Summer Layer Update

This morning I deployed a bunch of new layer changes, some of which have been in progress for a while.  From small to large: First up, the 40′ contour layer has been redone to use MapBuilder-based contour lines.  This allows for clean, accurate contour lines even when zoomed way in, instead of the pixellated lines […]

Announcing Team Accounts

Team accounts are a new feature designed to both improve data sharing within an organization, and allow organizations to buy a single subscription covering all their members. Maps can be saved to either an individual’s account or the team account, and both sets of data are rolled together in a user’s account dialog.  Because the […]

SAR Grab Bag

Once again, although the blog has not been updated, the wheels of progress are still turning at CalTopo HQ.  Here’s a quick run down on some new features that, while available to everyone, will mostly appeal to SAR users. Custom IconsCalTopo has long supported custom icons by allowing you to enter a URL on the […]

Introducing the GPSIO Extension

Most newer GPSs support USB Mass Storage, which means that when plugged into your computer, they show up as a drive with all your routes, tracks and waypoints saved as GPX files.  Older models, such as the Garmin 60csx still widely used in SAR, require a special protocol to transfer your data. For websites like […]

MapBuilder: It’s Back And Better Than Ever

CalTopo has been having some performance issues lately, no point in trying to pretend otherwise. Behind the scenes, there two different platforms: a Python/Mapnik/PostGIS stack that powers MapBuilder and auto-routing, and a Java app for everything else.  MapBuilder has been struggling for a while, but lately that started bleeding over into the rest of the […]

CalTopo Offline

In the very beginning, I started what would ultimately become CalTopo as a hobby project focused on offline environments – a command post or tailgate somewhere off in the woods far away from the nearest internet connection.  As CalTopo grew, that ability for entirely self-contained operation has remained as a little known but fundamental building […]

New Year, New Layers

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I spent the tail end of 2016 cooking up some new map layers.  Well, here we go. Terrain Shading and Custom ReliefIn SAR, it’s not uncommon to have a group of people huddled around a large-format map, looking at it from all angles.  While relief shading helps […]

2016 Q3/Q4 In Review

The CalTopo blog has been quiet since spring, but that doesn’t mean a lack of progress, much less a lack of work.  Time to take a quick look back at the second half of 2016. First, the personal front.  CalTopo has been my full-time job since May, and although it’s averaged more than 40 hours […]