Wednesday, June 16, 2010

USGS Map Waypoints: Nevada

I mentioned that I had created a USGS Features Master File for Clark County Nevada, as I had done for Utah and I recieved several requests for other counties as well. So here it is: The entire state of Nevada!   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Nevada USGS Features]

All of us have our favorite riding areas and once we have ridden all the way there we just hate to find that we had missed something. Especially if we later find that our track went within yards of something interesting.

I hear that all the time from riders who have taken a ride then afterwards found our Master Maps containing all the extra waypoints for items of local interest. A trip is all the more enjoyable when you know about all the things you are seeing.

The Cathedral Gorge for example, just up old US93. Well worth a day's journey up from Las Vegas. That's a place I'd have never known about except that I saw it on the "Features File" that I had open when I was looking at a trail which had been submitted.

While I have been wandering around the web I have found that there are a few other sites who have now stumbled upon these USGS Feature files which are created with taxpayers money and available free of charge from the USGS…

Nearly all those web sites list the USGS information in tabular form, some have taken the trouble to sort them in various orders. Which means that you either have to know the Name of the feature (in the way that the USGS has classed it) OR what class they have placed it in OR already know where it is.

None of them have taken the trouble to display the features graphically as I have here – which, to me, is the more effective (but difficult) way to show them.

Just open Google Earth → load the applicable OffroadingHome USGS file → zoom to where you want to ride → see all the pretty icon's show up of lakes, streams, ghost towns, mines etc. all around your trail!

I also mentioned before that these files are "keepers" for reference maps when you plan or record your trips. They are massive databases which you just need to see for yourself to believe. Believe me, if you turn all the counties on at once, Google Earth will really strain under the load.

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”Virginia Woolf
What is a bit difficult to understand is that almost none of the web sites that I have found them on actually give credit to the USGS where they got them from. Actually, most other sites seem to want to give the impression that it was they who had created them! AND SEVERAL, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WANT YOU TO PAY FOR THEM!!

I can see a small fee for the work in converting them into a useable format; but, to take credit for someone else's work and gouge the public is pathetic. We've already paid for them once, in taxes!

The file I make available is branded to "OffroadingHome," copyrighted and you may not alter, use commercially, or privately without credits; but, the raw data files are readily available for free on the government's USGS web site. So feel free to obtain the raw data from the files on their public web site and make anything that is useful to you.

When you get a chance to look at the OffroadingHome map, and if you find it useful, I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment to let me know how you used them.


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