Tag: Maps

Some of the Best Apps for Hiking – Plus How to Hike Without Your Phone

We’ve gotten to the point where it’s hard to imagine going anywhere without our phones. And it just so happens that there is a great crop of apps to enhance your experience outdoors.

But just so we’re clear on this, no app is going to take the place of basic woodcraft skills. Think about it – your battery could die. Your phone could die. You can be in a place where you get no signal. You need to know what to do when you can’t count on your phone.

Fortunately some of the best trail apps help you prepare for the worst.

Knowstartup rounds up 10 Apps that Every Hiker Shouldn’t Live Without. Along with tracking apps like Map My Hike, this list has first aid and safety apps such as the SAS Survival Guide.

Not on the Knowstartup list, and one of my favorite apps, is GAIA GPS, a mapping app that has offline navigation tools for areas with no cellular service.

If you’re planning a true wilderness hike by all means take a look at Knowstartup’s list. But also get familiar with some good old-fashioned map and compass skills.

Sometimes You Need a Map – Here are Some of the Best

map of areas without roads

Regions of the world without roads – National Geographic

I recently had a conversation with my wife, her sister and her brother about the value of a good old fashioned paper map. While GPS systems are convenient they don’t help you get the big picture of your surroundings.

National Geographic, known for its amazing maps, serves up the best maps of 2016. Along with the map of the world’s most valuable roadless areas, shown above, there are secret Japanese military maps, maps of cities under surveillance by the FBI and DHS, and a glimpse inside Stanford University’s public map collection.

And if National Geographic’s site isn’t enough for you, check out Edward Tufte’s collection of unusual maps.

[via Kottke.org]

Where You Are is What You Are

World\’s largest drawing used GPS

I stumbled across a provocative label on Mark Bernstein’s site, coupling the phrase “Where you are is WHAT you are” with the caption “Weber’s Qualitatvie Analysis Tools.” As best I can tell, Weber refers to sociologist Max Weber and “Where you are is WHAT you are” is a quote from Constantin Stanislavski related to his affective memory system of acting. The notion is that if you want to act the part of a jealous prince you use your imagination to return to a set of circumstances where you felt jealousy. The feelings were not the key, it is your response to the circumstances that is the key.

Environmental psychologists call this “place identity.” A person’s memories and sense of self are attached to particular places. This is one reason why going “home for the holidays” is filled with emotion for so many people.

If we are the sum of our memories, and if our memories are rooted in a particular place then, yes, where we are is who we are. And if we want to better know ourselves, then one way to start would be with understanding our own particular place.

Originally posted April 2, 2010

Free National Park Guides for Your iPhone/Android (April 24 Deadline)

In honor of National Park Week, Chimani is offering free downloads of their popular National Park smartphone guides. They have a selection of apps for both iPhone and Android. The Android apps, usually $4.99 are discounted to 99¢ but they also have free “Lite” versions.

Kerry Gallivan, founder of Chimani, says that his company’s guides are designed to be essential equipment for travelers:

I like to think of these apps within the tradition of the telescope or astrolable of our adventuring ancestors instruments to help us navigate the natural world (terrain and trails) and provide insight into its workings (the weather, moon phases, tides). All of this information is presented on an intuitive user interface that is visually well designed, includes professionally designed maps, up-to-date and well-researched content, high quality photographs and rock-solid programming.

The apps include detailed maps, driving tours, park schedules and info to assist photographers. They’re definitely worth a look.

Chimani Parks smartphone apps via TUAW

Tinderbox: Mapping the Interior

Chart your entire mind

In his book The Size of Thoughts, Nicholson Baker talks about some of the unexpected advantages of library card catalogs over databases: fingerprints for instance. Dark smudges of body oil can tell you at a glance which topics in the catalog are the most popular, something that would take a complex structured query to achieve in today’s online systems. If you could get at the data.

Baker proposed a digital equivalent of fingerprints. “The accumulation of random ‘grime pixels’ in the top margin – though never so dark that they would interfere with legibility, of course, and every tenth retrieval might remove one grime dot rather than add one, since handling wears away previous deposits too.”

When I discovered that Tinderbox notes yellow with age, I decided then and there that this was the personal information manager I had been seeking for many years. In particular I wanted an application that would help me see who I should be talking to as much as what I should be doing next. I demo’d every Contact Manager app I could get my hands on and was quickly reaching the point of settling for an old-fashioned paper Rolodex file.

Virtually all Contact Managers follow an address-book, calendar, task list metaphor. I liked Market Circle’s Daylite and felt that it almost met my needs, but still found myself working against the structure built into the app. Tinderbox, on the other hand, has virtually no structure to start off with. You begin by creating notes and defining relationships.

At the moment I have a hodge-podge of ideas, structured personal narratives and future scenarios. But every day it is shaping up into a map that reflects my own unique way of thinking.

I’ll keep you posted as I go.

Uncharted Territory Now Charted by Fascinating Maps

square earth theory

This map proves the Earth is square

There’s a peculiar comfort in a map – it extends the boundaries of our consciousness to the furthest regions, giving a clear picture of relationships that might otherwise be lost in the murky fog of our lizard brains. Maps bring to light new possibilites. Maybe I can get there from here… and reveals existing boundaries …and maybe I can’t.

Strange Maps is a fascinating site with over 400 unusual maps and counting. Some of these maps are quite useful, such as the map of privately owned public spaces in San Francisco. This particular map reveals secluded parks, plazas and gardens that the public is welcome to enjoy…and might not otherwise discover. Other maps take us into the imagination such as this sketch of Jonathan Swift’s Brobdingnag, into the world of serendipity with startling maps found in nature and info-graphics of all sorts.

With ascents of Everest as common as an escalator ride to the hosiery department at Macy’s, it may be true that there are no new frontiers. But Strange Maps shows us a few territories that are still worth exploring.

Via Boing Boing