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Scouting - Maps
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SCOUTING - Get Your Free Satalite Map
by Robert Hoague
  
Robert HoagueI never could make that much sense of Topo Maps that the hunting articles always told me to get. But, early in my hunting career I realized maps were an asset to my scouting and planning. I began with hand drawn maps and graduated to Topo maps. They were definitely an improvement over the hand drawn maps, at least the Topo maps were accurate. For years I marked them up with deer sightings and my notes. Then one day I saw a Map Store in a small shopping center and went in. I spotted an Aerial Map on the wall. I quickly found out that they were for purchase (inexpensively too) and you could get one for anywhere in the USA. The larger they were the more expensive they were but larger was good because you could see the area better.

However, that's not what we are going to talk about today. This is the computer age, and believe me, "we got maps" now, right there on your computer! On-line maps taken from satellites, no less. Maps that you can use to look over your hunting area. It's a project called Terraserver and it is spearheaded by Microsoft.

How Much Are These Computer Maps?
Heck, they are free to view, and depending on the source of the map it is probably free to Download too. In fact the rural areas I checked were all free, as were the small towns, but the cities were for purchase. The determining factor depends on whether the image originates with USGS or SPIN-2. The USGS maps are free to Download and the SPIN-2 maps cost by size: Large are  $24.95 (2.7 x 3.0 miles), Medium is $13.95 (1.9 x 2.1 miles), and Small $7.95 (0.9 x 1.0 miles) and you can purchase them right from the site. But, like I said, your hunting spot is probably a free map, because it's probably not in a city. And, you can look at your map online, free, all you want, anytime, at their web site.

What does one of these maps look like?
The first map you see looks like this. It is an aerial view that takes in several miles.

But how am I going to find my hunting spot from that little map up there?(and I sure can't see my house on this map).

The Terraserver maps have arrows at the top, sides and every corner so you can move in any direction. Find the road that goes to your hunting area and click along until you see it. Then use the "+" button to zoom right on in . Above the "+" button you will see 3 buttons that say S M L. They give you the options of viewing a Small, Medium or Large map.  The Scale bar on the L map is 1 1/4 inches long and that is 100 yards. So you are getting in pretty tight.

Now, lets go to the web site for the Maps on your computer and find your map.
They are at the Terraserver web site at http://terraserver.com but here's the link that cuts right to the chase, Find A City Here. Type the closest city or town to your hunting location in "Place Name" (Name of the City), "State or Province", and "Country". Click on the "GO" button for this information. (There are 3 GO buttons on the page, but the other two are for latitude and longitude and decimal longitude and latitude.) You will then see a list of links of maps for the town, sometimes there is only one but there may be more. Then follow the road to the area you hunt.

If you have any questions about the Terraserver web site they have an informative  FAQ page available from the link named "About Terraserver" at the top of every page.

Yea, but ...  I'd still rather have a Topo Map.
Ok, no problem, from any map you have a choice of the following map formats. The Map Size section also has links for other Map Formats, select from:

1. Photo map
2. Topo map
3. Relief map
Left: Topo Map - Right Relief Map

Topo MapRelief Map
| Find A City Here | Terraserver FAQ page | Bowhunting.Net-Today's News |


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