Tag Archives: Maps

Alan’s POTA Mapping Tip!

Many thanks to Alan (W2AEW) who shares the following tip:


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to locate maps for the national and state parks. Some of the parks have good maps on their websites, some do not. Others have maps, but they aren’t detailed enough sometimes to definitively determine if you’re within the boundary or not.

I’ve found that one of the best sources for the national, state and local park boundaries is OpenStreetMap.org. This is a free mapping site. One missing piece is that it does not map National or State Trails very often. But, for park boundaries, it is great.

For example, this map clearly shows that most of Barnegat Light State Park (K-1609) is also within the boundaries of the NJ Pinelands Reserve (K-6609). From experience, I know that this also falls within the NJ Heritage Coastal Trail (K-6544) – thus making it a 3-fer.

At my early activations from this park, I did not know that it was part of Pinelands and thought it was only a 2-fer.

I have also used an app called “onX road” on my phone which can show owners of properties, but in order to see that, it isn’t free.

Just another tool for your toolbox.

Thank you for the tip, Alan! I have not used OpenStreetMap.org as a POTA tool, but I certainly will moving forward. 

I have been using the free app, Parceled, on my iPhone to discover the owners of land parcels–it works brilliantly and is free (so far).

Thanks again, Alan!

If you have a mapping tip you’d like to share, please comment!

The Indispensable Gazetteer

If you live here in the States and like to play radio in the field, I highly recommend one of the DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer issues.

Although I use electronic devices like smart phones and dedicated GPS, it’s always nice to have a paper map. I always have one of these Gazetteers in my car. You should never be without a paper map, I say.

I love the Gazetteer because it shows lines of elevation and every/any possible road and trail.  It’s incredibly useful for finding summit road and trail access points and also for finding game land entry areas.

Funny, but I opened my new Gazetteer while still in the parking lot of the camping store and almost instantly spotted a brilliant new access point for the Overland Victory trail in Morganton. It’s an even better activation spot than I’ve used in the past.

Last year, I wanted to purchase the latest edition for North Carolina but I’m sure due to the pandemic, they were as rare as hens teeth!

The other week, I found one in a local camping store and grabbed it! The store owner told me he’d only gotten a handful in recently and had been out for months. Check for one at your local camping store, book store or outdoor center. If you can’t find one there, check Amazom.com (affiliate link).

I’m a huge map geek. Although I don’t recall them including topographic information, when I lived in the UK, I was a massive fan of A to Z road maps for their design. I’d love to know if there’s a topo map equivalent.

If you live outside the US, I’d love to know what maps you use for your field activities! Please comment!