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Exploring with digital maps challenge

We have been exploring for over 2 years many properties in Latinamerica. The following have been the most reliable tools so far. Sometimes no Internet/3G (no coverage or too much demand). No GPS-Satellite (too many trees in the jungle). No Electricity to reload the batteries 🙂

It has been a real challenge to find good map-solutions with digital terrain elevation contour information. Same for our Garmin device witch operates with the free open source solution from OpenStreetMaps (OSM) Still trying to find a better information source here… more research is needed. Although I found another source of information regarding the How & Where to Find Free,  Digital, Topographic Maps… here.

Best “Save GPS points” no need of Internet connection
smartphone app “MAPS.ME”

MapsMe Ecuador  MapsMe Ecuador  MapsMe Ecuador

Best “Terrain” altitude info map (altitude information = elevation from sea level)
Google Maps – Terrain view

Google Maps Terrain View

Best “Road” and “Terrain Contour” info

OpenStreetMap Road Terrain Contour

Best “River” info map
Yahoo / Flickr Map Yahoo Flickr Maps

Permaculture zone planning

Now for calculating the property sizes it’s not to complex to work with Google Earth / Pro and to do some permaculture zone planning for example. Actually Google Earth / Pro is rather straight forward to use, yet powerful interface, can be mastered in a few steps and provide you with a map you can print or share online. There is a great and detailed article about Using Google Earth to zone your farm is a great planning tool here so no need to re-write.

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