Remote Overland Travel: Route Planning and Navigation
These resources are described in some detail, including video tutorials, at thingstolucat.com.
This data-driven approach to remote overland travel allows you to identify best routes, bailouts, and best-guess at current conditions.
- MODIS: 2x daily, low resolution, NASA Worldview
- Landsat: Sentinel Hub
- Sentinel 2 L2A: 4-5x /week, best resolution, Sentinel Hub
EO Browser is another option for Sentinel 2, but is not as user friendly. CalTopo has added some of these imagery sources, but with limited options (one image per week, etc.)
- ESRI Worldview, via Bing Aerial or any ESRI portal (e.g., DNR). Much higher resolution near Juneau than Google Earth. Available with Gaia Pro, can be manually loaded with Gaia Standard.
- Arctic DEM
When looking to collect information about a new region, these sources might be useful. For example, how is Mt. Stroller White typically accessed?
CalTopo is functionally equivalent to SARTopo. SARTopo has more team and incident management features.
- $20 annual subscription to access the superoverlay.kml (Free upgrade for SAR)
- Download the superoverlay.kml to view topo map, etc.
- CalTopo offers a very mature printing interface. Unfortunately, I find that most of the maps in Alaska need some contrast adjustment to be workable.
- USGS quads can be downloaded and printed for free from topoView. No easy way to add routes.
- DNR offers topo maps for view and print, without having to select individual quads. No easy way to add routes.
- QGis is open source software that can be used to create maps (georeferenced or not) with various free basemaps. Routes can easily be added.
- Google Earth’s different flavors
- import topo (superoverlay.kml, Earth Point, or topoView)
- historical imagery
- elevation profile
- slope % to degrees
- create route
- share route
- 6-month Premium promo code only valid for new users
- If you already have an account, small discount code
- Website features
- base layers
- route planning
- community tracks
Gaia GPS app
All app features, YouTube tutorial
Manually import basemaps:
Manually import Strava heatmap:
Load Open Street Map Traces (GPS tracks). Gaiagps.com –> layers –> edit –> Feature/Weather Overlays
The OSM Tracks layer is color coded by direction. (ref)
- slope angle shading overlay
- import route
- hidden features: line of sight, distance and bearing
- manually enter point (choose 2 of these)
- 63.065852°, -151.009386°
- 67° 4’46.94″N, 158°56’32.86″W
- 62° 6.858’N, 144° 39.006’W
- 4 V, 551721.70 m E, 6305751.73 m N
- import point/route from text or email
- battery life
Managing phone batteries
- best practices
- solar panels
- extra batteries
The GPS chip in phones is only accurate to 100 ft, and in practice, two side-by-side phones can record locations several hundred feet apart.
Bad Elf makes a plug-in accessory that boosts accuracy to 10 ft. This accessory is not field-tough.
Bad Elf makes a standalone GPS unit that gets 10 foot accuracy and plays well (bluetooth) with Gaia and other apps.