ROT Alaska Search And Rescue Dogs 2019

Remote Overland Travel: Route Planning and Navigation

Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs
August, 2019
Contact: Luc Mehl
Shared Google Drive

These resources are described in some detail, including video tutorials, at

A data-driven approach to remote overland travel allows you to identify best routes, bailouts, and best-guess at current conditions.

Remote Sensing

Other imagery


Route planning


  1. $20 annual subscription to access the superoverlay.kml (Free upgrade for SAR)
  2. Download the superoverlay.kml to view topo map, etc.
  3. Recently added MODIS and Sentinel imagery

Topo maps

  1. Caltopo offers a very mature printing interface. Unfortunately, I find that most of the maps in Alaska need some contrast adjustment to be workable.
  2. USGS quads can be downloaded and printed for free from topoView.
  3. DNR offers topo maps for view and print, without having to select individual quads.

  • 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 routes

Google Earth

  • different flavors
  • import topo (superoverlay.kml, Earth Point, or topoView)
  • layers
  • historical imagery
  • elevation profile
  • slope % to degrees
  • create route
  • share route


Gaia GPS app

  • app features (youtube tutorial)
  • custom layers:
    • ESRI Worldview (premium)
    • Google Earth (zoom level 16 vs. 19, preview at 63.1, -151)
    • Strava (E.g., Mount Ascension, Seward)
Google Earth,{x}&y={y}&z={z}&s=Ga

ESRI Satellite,{z}/{y}/{x}

Strava Heatmap,{z}/{x}/{y}.png
  • slope angle shading overlay
  • import route
  • hidden features: line of sight, distance and bearing
  • share/import/export/airdrop
  • 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