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View Full Version : Garmin Maps and Google Earth Layers



BobcatJerry
03-04-2012, 12:50 AM
Here are some sights I have found that offer some maps for Garmin and Google Earth. Maybe you know about them, but maybe some new guys don't. I enjoy playing with them.

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/ is a sight where you can download all sorts of Maps and transparent maps. From all over the world. I have tried several and I think they are better than Garmins maps, plus most are free, not all. They are created by hobbyist or people who are into making maps. I used one for Idaho that had all the detail and more than Garmin. It showed you BLM land, US forest, boundaries and often shows more trails than Garmin. You can look at most on Garmin's Base camp program and pull them into your Garmin GPS. Watch your operating systems, as some are both Mac and Windows, and some are just Windows. I am currently on a Mac. Some are better than others, the ones marked editors choice are usually very good. I've used Topo Idaho and it worked great. I hunt whitetails in Ohio and Indiana. Don't really need a GPS, but hey, I like them. Garmin sold me a map of the great lakes region on a SD card. $80 I couldn't even look at it on my computer. Plus they made the split that Ohio was on one card and Indiana was on another. I would have to buy both. I downloaded Indiana Topo and it was great. I have used the map for Hawaii too and it is very detailed. Free

http://www.geocommunicator.gov is an interactive map that most of the states make their interactive maps from...I think. It is nice and has all sorts of stuff on it. Including BLM roads. With their services you can create a .kml file that you can create a layer that goes over what you are looking at on Google Earth. A .kml is a file that you can import into GE and a .kmz file is compressed. It refreshes and changes every so often as you move, showing you the BLM lands and roads in the area. They just recently changed it, as it use to have BLM, USF, State, and DIA maps. Really nice. They now only have the BLM land info. If you look around they tell you how to create the .kml file. Go to the index, and download the "how too" file. After creating it, if you get a white box with a red X you have selected to much data or data their server doesn't support. ONLY use the BLM info from this site. Took me a long time to figure this out. Select the SMA and Road services, and you can create a layer that has BLM areas and the roads from county to pack trials on it. Be careful as there is a lot of info here that can clutter up you GE, which you can always turn off.

You can also go the US forestry website and download .kml files that show the forest areas, state,and BIA lands. You kind of have to play with them to see if that .kml is what you really want, if not just delete it from your temporary places in GE. They go by regions, and some regions are better than other. Southwest region is detailed and has all the forests in it. There weren't any .kml's for Salmon/Challis forest in Idaho. I was able to get a very detailed layer, that had all the surface management areas, wildness areas, etc... That worked for New Mexico, but then when you go to Idaho, the layers don't appear, as they are in a different region.

There are map services I have seen listed here that basically offer the same info. I'm sure they are good, but this is an economical tool until you need something better.

Passing this stuff on. I'm not an expert or even claim to be knowledgeable on this stuff. So someone can correct me if needed. I have never seen it reference on this site, so I thought I would. Helps me out in scouting from home until I get boots on the ground. Hope it helps.

Muleys 24/7
03-04-2012, 08:34 AM
This can be very use full. Good post

Kevin Root
03-04-2012, 09:34 AM
This is a good resource. I've used it. Our California fish and game has deer zones listed so one can see detail on boundary lines. I like using the 3D effect like your flying above and useing the time effect to see light moving off the mountains as the sun moves. It is a great planning tool at home.

BobcatJerry
03-04-2012, 10:21 AM
GE 3d effect is pretty cool. I was amazed one time I went to Idaho I could recognize the basin we were going to hunt from the adjacent ridge a mile or two away, just because I had seen it so many times in 3d from GE. I like to exaggerate the relief in the preferences alittle to make sure the steepness of the terrain isn't soften too much, not nice to look at GE and thing you are going up the side of a slope and find out it's an ultra steep leg killer.

BobcatJerry
03-04-2012, 11:21 PM
I have a current doc from BLM that details how to download the layers in a much easier format than I listed above. I can email, but it is too large to attach. Let me know.

300Weatherby
03-05-2012, 02:39 PM
Great info!! Thanks

buckbull
03-05-2012, 07:14 PM
Awesome. This is why i love this forum so much.

packer58
03-05-2012, 09:44 PM
This is a good resource. I've used it. Our California fish and game has deer zones listed so one can see detail on boundary lines. I like using the 3D effect like your flying above and useing the time effect to see light moving off the mountains as the sun moves. It is a great planning tool at home.

Kevin,

Are you saying you can overlay hunting zones onto google earth? If so teach me how :o

Kevin Root
03-05-2012, 10:58 PM
Kevin,

Are you saying you can overlay hunting zones onto google earth? If so teach me how :o

Yes, it is all free download information :). You go to the CA Fish and game at the below site. Download the file noted Google Earth Map of Non-Lead Area and Deer Zones. Once you open up the file and unzip it will work/load in Goggle Earth under "My Places". Your able to upload wilderness areas in a lot of states as well to see the boundaries, ect in the same way.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/zonemapsinfo.html

packer58
03-06-2012, 12:37 AM
Thanks for tip Kevin.