Author Archives: Kate Dougherty

Gaia GPS & China’s GPS Restrictions

In the interest of national security, the Chinese government strictly controls geographic data, and deliberately skews maps of the country to protect sensitive buildings and facilities. These restrictions cause offsets in the data when using GPS navigation or digital maps, but the OpenStreetMap (OSM) based maps in Gaia GPS don’t have this problem, and this… Read More »

How to Read a USGS Topo Map

Classic 7.5 minute USGS topographic map for Manitou Springs, Colorado, 1961. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey. We recently covered the basics of topographic maps, including how to read contour lines, and how to use the maps to plan your next outing. In this post, we’ll go into more detail about U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topo maps.… Read More »

How to Read OpenStreetMap Based Topo Maps

While we’ve covered how to read a topo map and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps in particular, OpenStreetMap-based topos are increasingly popular resources that merit their own post. In this post you will learn how to read OpenStreetMap-based topo map. The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project leverages the knowledge of millions of people around the globe to… Read More »

How to Read a Topo Map

Topo maps use concentric “contour lines” to show elevation changes, and help people navigate mountains and wilderness areas. The denser the contour lines appear, the steeper the terrain. Topographic maps also tend to show a wealth of natural information, like markings for trails, springs, forests, and swamps, though they tend to include roads as well.… Read More »

Use Your GPS Tracks to Update OpenStreetMap

In a recent blog post, we showed you how to join OpenStreetMap and help build an open map of the world, alongside millions of other map editors. That post focused on editing the map by comparing it to aerial imagery. This new article covers how to use your GPS recordings (such as those you might make… Read More »

Map Your World with OpenStreetMap

Map your favorite places, and join a global movement that makes data free and open to all people. This guide will teach you to edit OpenStreetMap (OSM). OpenStreetMap: More Than Roads Whether you’re hiking in the woods or driving in town, you can edit the map near you to make it accurate and more complete. OpenStreetMap uses the… Read More »