Entries by mtjacobs58

Revised Marker Icons

In keeping with the recent line style update, I’ve made some changes to marker icons.  While a few icons have been added, the focus was adding colorability and rotatability, and laying the groundwork to add additional icons at a later date. Instead of showing all possible icons, the marker dialog now shows the icon’s style, […]

USGS Stream and Reservoir Gauges

Building on the code already in place for Snotel, I’m pleased to announce another real-time datasource: USGS water gauges.  While it’s more of a frontcountry source than a backcountry one, streamflow information can still give you a good picture of the snowmelt situation and help determine whether rivers are easily crossable.  Of course boaters use it […]

New Fire Activity Layer

As the summer fire season approaches, I decided to take another look at integrating current fire activity with CalTopo.  There’s a wealth of government supplied fire information out there, and I’ve long thought about integrating this into a custom source that plays well with CalTopo’s other map layers.  When the MODIS layer I’d previously been […]

Line Modification

Tips for creating a line – like dropping points, freehand drawing and undo – were previously covered in this blog post.  Options for modifying existing lines have slowly been growing, and I think it’s time to take a detailed look at them. All of these options are accessed by right clicking on an existing line.  Vertex […]

Line Styles

In a move that’s been a long time coming, CalTopo now supports line styles. When creating or editing a line, there’s now a style option next to color, defaulting to solid.  Click on it to choose a line style. A number of directional and nondirectional styles are provided, but if you’d like to see something […]

Custom Map Layers

In the past, I’ve struggled with the balance between providing a wide range of map layers and keeping the layer list relevant for the majority of users.  The approach I originally adopted was to provide a large base list and a way to customize which layers were visible on the screen. This turned out to […]

Cursor Elevation

CalTopo can now show the current cursor or center elevation under the coordinates at the top right (continental US only).  At least until I get any performance issues worked out, this is off by default – but you only have to turn it on once, as the choice is saved in a browser cookie. Previously, […]

Better Terrain Identification

While scouting some backcountry ski terrain l last weekend, I had trouble identifying a slope.  I’d taken a photo and could match that to what I saw on the view from here feature, but the slope itself was unlabeled.  I had trouble identifying the nearby peaks – while they were named, entering “abc peak, ca” […]

The Daily Grind

When you start a new project, you can devote 100% of your time to new, exciting stuff.  As the project grows and matures, maintenance and general upkeep take over.  Eventually the cool features, the ones you wake up excited to go work on and change the world with, get pushed to the side.  Sneaking time […]

Where’s the Sun?

It’s a simple question, but one I haven’t found a satisfying answer to: where’s the sun?  How do you look at a map and figure out which areas are mostly sheltered from its rays and which ones receive strong midwinter sun?  When will your campsite first see direct light in the morning, and will it […]