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Online Interactive Maps for Boondocking


charlyhors

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We've been on the road full time for about 8 months, and using mostly BLM, etc for the last 3 months, since finishing our solar install. We LOVE staying in remote areas, and have been having good luck in AZ and Utah (currently).

 

My biggest challenge with booning is finding nice, remote, beautiful, ACCESSIBLE and legal places to park. And that's where maps come in. I've always been a big map fan - forest service, BLM, etc. But when you travel a lot, you can spend big bucks over time.

 

Lately I've been noticing there are some pretty good interactive maps online. The first one I found by accident was ASLD maps: http://gis.azland.gov/webapps/parcel/ which allowed me to move it wherever I wanted, zoom into really close, layer with entity ownership colors (BLM, Wildlife, forest, etc), and allowed me to choose layers showing roads, topographic, satellite imagery (even seeing rv's on booning sites) and I thought my need for buying maps was over.

 

Then, just recently, they dropped some of the menu controls and revamped them, and I can no longer see land ownership coloration. That really kicked this in the head, as that's what tells me where I can legally park.

 

I've encountered these same online interactive map applications on some of the forest service sites - centered on their forests, of course, but you can move and zoom all across the country, once you access their map. But still, can't layer land ownership on their maps.

 

It appears there is a general government online interactive land use/topo/satellite imagery application available, that different agencies allow you to use IN PART, like the sites above.

 

Has anyone found good interactive online maps that show land ownership and allow a zoom feature, satellite and topo, etc? Anyone found a cellular app that works well for checking out booning spots in advance? Let's hear from some of you techies.... B)

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I just looked at the azland link and I can see the ownership colorations for BLM, city or county parks, NFS, Indian land, etc

 

It USED to show the colorations better, so you could really see the ind ownership of the property. It's not doing that now since they changed the menu. I can tell because there is basically no yellow (BLM) showing in Utah and Arizona, where I've been travelling. I think whoever owns the site has removed some of its public level functions. Wish I could find a better portal, cuz this could be the answer for mapping needs.

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Then, just recently, they dropped some of the menu controls and revamped them, and I can no longer see land ownership coloration. That really kicked this in the head, as that's what tells me where I can legally park.

Thanks for posting the link to that great map. Regarding your loss of coloration; have you checked that little "slider control" near the upper right corner of the window right under the larger selection icons? If it happens to get slid all the way to the left the colors go away.

Thanks,

ron

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Thanks for posting the link to that great map. Regarding your loss of coloration; have you checked that little "slider control" near the upper right corner of the window right under the larger selection icons? If it happens to get slid all the way to the left the colors go away.

Thanks,

ron

Ron, yes, I've slid it both ways. Could you check an area you know to be BLM and see if you can get the yellow shaded area to display? Then I would know its just my computer.

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Ron, yes, I've slid it both ways. Could you check an area you know to be BLM and see if you can get the yellow shaded area to display? Then I would know its just my computer.

When I view the map at your link those colors work fine, BLM and many others, but only for AZ. If I go to other states I'm only able to get the maps without the colors showing ownership/control of that land. The URL of the web page suggests it is for AZ so I tried to see if I could find a similar web page for other states but wasn't able to.

---ron

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Ron, yes, I've slid it both ways. Could you check an area you know to be BLM and see if you can get the yellow shaded area to display? Then I would know its just my computer.

 

My computer does NOT show BLM lands on the Arizona lands site. It shows some small yellow areas that look like state of Arizona agricultural leases. Whoops, when I click on the middle icon, it brought up the land ownership layers and DOES show BLM land!!

 

There are lots of maps coming out for GIS units to show not only ownership, but the name and address of the owner. These are being pulled from the county records so should be the most accurate. Sportsman Warehouse, Cabella's and other outdoor stores carry them and they are also on line.

 

Some states have great ownership maps. Washington and Montana are the ones I tracked fairly closely.

 

LIke most people I use multiple sources for ownership maps. Almost all have mistakes or are not kept updated. The best maps ARE the same maps that the agencies use internally. Some agencies are putting those out for the public instead of generating special maps.

 

I find it almost as easy to locate public lands just at looking at the roads and landscape.

 

Remember the "best" lands were taken out of public ownership before the turn of the 20th century. So the river bottoms, etc. are usually in private hands. Those public lands in areas like that were re-acquired recently and in most cases are posted as public. Many times, I have found great spots with satellite imagery only to find on the ground that I did NOT own them (public land).

 

Roads on public lands are almost always built to a much higher standard for environmental reasons. They also have features that allow others to use the land...i.e. cattle guards as opposed to gates. Now this is not absolute, but after awhile you can just smell a public road versus private. What you do miss is abandoned public roads that after a few years start looking like private roads....however, they are still public.

 

I assume you know that out west you can OWN the road and not the land next to it. Many times, people try to post the road closed by artful location of the no trespassing sign. Forest Service ALWAYS gets a public easement on their roads. BLM does in some cases gets a easement for GOVERNMENT purposes ONLY, which does not include public access. Some state agencies are the same as BLM.

 

Other ways to tell. Rangelands and other lands are always better managed by Federal agencies than private landowners. So if you see overgrazed land it is probably private. Fences. Private landowners tend to take care of their fences. On public lands 'old fences" are many times just left. Public lands tend to be much larger in area so the fences should be farther apart.

 

In areas where public use is growing many times BLM and Forest Service are starting to POST public land. Of course, private landowners have always posted their lands. In some cases, they also post public land!! I have run into this several times and you should notify the local office if you suspect this is the case.

 

As you travel more on public lands I am sure you will be able to spot what is public and private without even referring to a map in most cases!! I have a bunch of stuff on this subject on my blog, but it is scattered throughout the years. Hmm, maybe I will try to pull all of them into one spot.

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Does anybody use computer or GPS maps for finding and navigating boondocking sites? Or cell phone apps?

I use Google Earth a lot for finding mountain bike trails, Jeep trails, old ranches and mines, etc. It's a great tool and, at least in desert areas, can often show you how steep a trail is and whether or not it's rocky or sandy. And the bypasses around some spots.

 

WDR

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I use Google Earth a lot for finding mountain bike trails, Jeep trails, old ranches and mines, etc. It's a great tool and, at least in desert areas, can often show you how steep a trail is and whether or not it's rocky or sandy. And the bypasses around some spots.

 

WDR

I was wondering about Google Earth, but it seems Google has now changed to a subscription service with all sorts of maps, etc. Also found a site, I think, Trails.com or something like that, that offers all the maps you could want online, printing them if you want, and Trail books online free as well with your $50 a year subscription. I probably spend twice that at least on maps and area guides, etc. WDR - do you use google earth on your cell, tablet, laptop? Just from your car? on your person as you hike?

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  • 3 months later...

The Technomads offer what it is the OP maybe looking for. The link below is their discussion about US Public Lands mobile app.

 

http://www.technomadia.com/2014/04/introducing-us-public-lands-for-iphone-ipad/

You might want to read the discussion in this topic. The information on the website you linked to states: "for all of the properties administered by the federal government that are more than 640 acres in size..." A previous write up in the adds stated: "...Please note, the National Atlas maps only report to the nearest 640 acres (or about a square mile). This is obviously not detailed enough to be precise around borders, or for determining where private inholdings within public lands are located. US Public Lands should only be used as an overview, and you should always confirm more precise details by consulting more detailed maps, local field offices or the websites links with in the app..."

 

In that thread you will also read:

 

...It's not designed specifically as a boondocking app, and we really wish we could find some public domain source map data to improve the accuracy of the app...We keep our eye out for higher resolution and newer map overlays .. and the app will be updated when we do...

So the question I have is whether the app has been updated using higher resolution maps? The statement about 640 acre parcels makes me think not.

 

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