Entries by mtjacobs58

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 […]

CalTopo – Now With SNOTEL

The lack of recent posts doesn’t mean a lack of development, only that the focus has been on bugfixes and minor improvements – from better compatibility with USB Mass Storage capable Garmins to decimal minute support in the PDF generator.  Still, for the last couple months two new layers were lurking in the background, getting […]

New Land Management and Fire History Layers

I’ve recently added two new layers to CalTopo, both built built on government datasets but with homegrown rendering. Northern California burning The fire history layer shows wildfire activity since 2000.  There are some regional datasets that go back much further, but this was the best I could find for national coverage.  Fires are color-coded by year […]

SARTopo – CalTopo for SAR

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 […]

Summit Views and Aerial Maps

I can finally announce the CalTopo Viewfinder (working name), a new page that shows a simulated view for any spot in the lower 48.  Play with it today by right-clicking on the map background and choosing “View From Here”, or simply go to caltopo.com/view. The default view is a ground-level wireframe with peak names, which is […]

Viewshed Analysis

Viewshed analyses, typically the realm of expensive GIS software, show you all the areas that are visible from a given point.  They can be useful for estimating radio effectiveness, planning photographs or simply checking out the view from a high point.  CalTopo now supports them in easy, drag-and-drop form. slowly growing list of data analysis […]

Freehand Drawing

Update: Based on user feedback I’ve swapped click-hold and shift-click-hold to better mimic the standard behavior.  Freehand drawing is now enabled through shift-click-hold; click-hold will drag the map as usual. CalTopo now supports freehand drawing, allowing you to place lines by moving your mouse rather than individually dropping each point.  This required booting Google’s drawing […]

Offline Maps With CalTopo To Go

As hinted at with the introduction of browser maps, you can now take CalTopo on the road, offline, without an internet connection.  Download maps ahead of time, edit them in the field, and then re-upload them when you hit civilization – or simply take some layered map goodness with you for offline viewing. Step One: […]

One-Off and Browser Maps

I’m happy to announce a couple of long-overdue additions to CalTopo.  The first, one-off maps, allows you to create and share a map without tying it to your account.  You can also save maps to your browser using HTML5 local storage, which helps lay the groundwork for an offline version of CalTopo.  And, maps are […]

Printing PDF Topo Maps (and Map Packs)

CalTopo has supported PDF printing for a little while, but it was tucked away until I made sure that generating the PDFs wouldn’t overload my server.  It’s now front and center in the UI, along with higher resolution PDFs and an important new feature – multi-page map packs. First off, clicking the print icon in […]