Avenza is a great smartphone mapping app. Once you are located on a georeferenced map you show up as a blue dot. This allows you to follow or hike to any features that are on this map. You can also track your path, place pins to remind you of something you saw, or use the measurement tool to determine distances and areas. You should read this blog to learn more about the many other features available on smartphone mapping apps like Avenza.
While there are plenty of free or very cheap maps available in the Avenza Store, what if you want a unique, customizable map of a specific location, like your woodlot or favorite hiking or hunting spot? Previously, only those with access to a Geographic Information System (GIS) program could create the necessary georeferenced map. These programs are expensive and/or time consuming to learn and the person making this map for you would charge accordingly.
Georeferencing means to attach spatial meaning to a map so the smartphone knows your physical location in relation to the map. Once a map is georeferenced, your phone can tell you where you are on the map, and if you are not on it, how close you are to it. You do not even need to have service for this to work.
Well then, how do you easily create your own georeferenced maps? You can use the newly launched MyWoodlot Mapping Tool! This mapper allows you to create your own maps, selecting from various backgrounds and layers before exporting them as a georeferenced Portable Document File, or GeoPDF.
In order to do this using a web browser, navigate to https://mywoodlot.com/mywoodlot-mapping-tool. Once there it is a good idea to play around with the different features. This is the best way to familiarize yourself with just about anything. Watch this helpful video to guide you through the features and functions of the MyWoodlot Mapping Tool.
Be sure to keep checking on the mappers as we will be adding more layers in the future.