Entries by mtjacobs58

Support CalTopo: GPS Maps

There are still some environments where a smartphone won’t do, and you need the battery life and weather resistance of a dedicated GPS.  SAR is one of those environments, but it’s also one that demands accurate, high-quality maps.  Once you’ve gotten used to tracking your location on a satellite image, or dodging cliffs on a […]

Elevation and Vegetation at a Glance

Long distance hiking leaves plenty of time for reflection, and an accelerated JMT trip I did this fall was no exception.  Despite being armed with maps and elevation profiles, I realized that I still wasn’t aware whether a given day would be spent in shady forests or on barren, south-facing slopes.  I’d also been pondering […]

Feature Week: Print to KMZ

I’ve received a few emails asking where the KMZ link in the left bar went.  It’s been replaced by a print-to-KMZ option: Why?  Because instead of just map layers, KMZ exports can now have markers and lines “printed” on them.  These are not traditional KML placemarks – for that, use the standard Export option.  Instead, […]

Feature Week: Bulk Operations

If you’ve ever wanted to change the color on a number of lines at once, the new bulk operations feature will nicely complement folders.  The Markers and Shapes boxes, along with folders, now have a Bulk Ops link at the bottom. Bulk operations can only be run on one object type at a time, so […]

Feature Week: Folders and WYSIWYG Printing

Over the years I’ve had a number of users ask for a way to organize markers, lines and polygons within a map.  There have also been requests for a way to print only some objects, or to print markers with labels and shapes without, and so on.  Today’s post covers a new way to do […]

Feature Week: Automatic Syncing and Collaboration

The past several weeks have seen significant behind-the-scenes performance upgrades to CalTopo, including mass migration of lines and polygons to a more efficient storage format.  Some of these changes were not without risk, so if anything looks off, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Only time will tell, but it looks like I’m out […]

Mo Users, Mo Problems

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been getting progressively more frequent emails from the Binary Canary monitoring service letting me know that CalTopo was down.  It was sometimes unresponsive for extended periods of time, but since it generally came back on its own, I did what any good developer would do and ignored the problem until it […]

Daily Dose of MODIS

I’ve written previously about the MODIS satellites and their constant imaging of the planet; CalTopo’s fire activity layer is derived from their infrared sensors, with a lot of post-processing by the federal government.  There’s now a new pair of layers that make use of the visible-spectrum sensors: current and archived MODIS imagery. The Latest MODIS […]

End to End: Closed Contour Yosemite Maps

A few years ago, I ran across Dan Cervelli’s excellent Closed Contour map of the Sierra.  At the time I was just getting started with CalTopo and learning my way around GIS, and Closed Contour really opened my eyes to the cool stuff you can do with Mapnik.  I had no idea it was so […]

PDFs get Geospatial

Printing Geospatial PDFs that can be used in programs like Avenza PDF Maps is an oft-requested feature that’s been hanging over my head for some time.  Having looked into it and abandoned the effort, I’ve lived life dreading the prospect of wading back into the fray.  However I took another crack at it this week and, armed […]