Entries by mtjacobs58

High Resolution Post-Fire Imagery

Thanks to a generous offer from a contact on the Google Crisis Response team, CalTopo is temporarily displaying high-resolution imagery for portions of the fire-affected areas in Napa and Sonoma counties.  This imagery was taken by DigitalGlobe on Wed the 11th, and although the fires are still ongoing, it provides some degree of insight into […]

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 […]