There's a link to view a sample map on the ATA product page. http://www.aztrail.org/store/topo_map.jpg
PCT maps won't do you any good on the Arizona Trail, anyhow.
Wait, you wanted more information about the AZT maps. Okay, here you go:
WELCOME TO THE ARIZONA TRAIL TOPO MAPSET (2013-2014 edition - carried over into 2015)
This digital mapset contains all of the detailed topographic maps you'll need to navigate the Arizona National Scenic Trail. Here you'll find a total of 129 high-resolution image files showing the trail, terrain features, mileages, points of interest and much more, all viewable and printable from your computer's desktop using the included Image Viewer freeware program (or your favorite image viewing software). This mapset also features a companion Data Book for the entire trail, containing detailed information about important features along the way, including water sources and resupply locations. The Data Book and maps are quickly and easily cross-referenced in the field, and together these resources serve as an indispensable aid to planning and realizing an enjoyable outing along the Arizona Trail, whether for the day, a weekend, or a multi-week trek all the way from Mexico to Utah.
Accessing the files
To access the contents of this mapset, you may continue to use Windows Explorer (aka My Computer, My Documents, etc.), Mac OS Finder, or other default file manager on your computer. Otherwise, to view and print the map files you may find it convenient to use an image viewer, such as Windows Photo Gallery, Picture & Fax Viewer, Google's Picasa, or (for Windows users) the included freeware program FastStone Image Viewer from http://www.faststone.org
(Select the file 'FSViewer.exe' contained in the folder named "image (map) viewer." File type is 'application.'). Please note that the map images are in PNG file format. Make sure the program you're using is set to allow viewing and printing of this file type. (For example in Picasa, on the menu bar you may need to select Tools > Options > File Types, and click the checkbox next to PNG if it isn't already checked.)
Please note: Use of a web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, is *not* recommended for viewing or printing the map files contained in this collection. Large image files such as these are not optimized for the browser format and will tend to cause problems, particularly when printing. For more about printing the maps, see the related section below.
If accessing the mapset on a CD-ROM, please note that certain CD drives may have trouble processing a collection of large image files such as those contained herein. If, after giving your drive several minutes to pre-load disc data into working memory, you find that it is still loading the files slowly or "freezing up," try opening the drive, re-inserting the CD, and then copying the contents of the entire disc onto your computer's hard drive, such as in a master folder named 'AZ Trail Topo Mapset.' You can then access the maps and other files directly from this location on your computer. (The contents of the CD will occupy approximately 310 MB of hard drive space.)
Understanding the map collection
Each map covers a portion of the Arizona Trail between the Mexican border and Utah border. Together, these maps seamlessly link the 800 mile trail and its 43 passages into a unified whole. Each file is named, and each map is labeled, to show which passage(s) it covers as well as its chronological order from south to north along the trail. By way of example, map "1-1" (filename "01-1") covers the first portion of Arizona Trail Passage 1 at the Mexican border, and each subsequent map picks up where the previous map leaves off. Map "1-2" is the 2nd map in series for Passage 1. Map "1-4, 2-1" is the final map for Passage 1 and the first map for Passage 2 (meaning, in other words, that the ending & starting point, respectively, for these two passages is located on the map). And so forth for each of the trail's passages, all the way to map "43-3" at the Arizona-Utah border.
Most passages require two or more maps to cover in their entirety. You'll find all of these maps in the top-level Maps folder with the exception of three maps that cover Passage 33, which is an alternate route that runs through downtown
Flagstaff. These three maps are located in the subfolder named "Passage 33 (Flagstaff resupply route)." (Passages 31 and 32, by contrast, circumvent the city on its east side, running near Walnut Canyon National Monument, and are considered to be the "main" route of the Arizona Trail in this area.)
This mapset does not contain USGS 7.5-minute "quad" maps, for example, but rather digitized base map data showing terrain and features immediately surrounding the trail. This trail-targeted mapping approach is much more convenient both for viewing and printing purposes (not to mention the weight and cost savings over carrying full-coverage quad maps), without significantly sacrificing field-worthiness. As long as you remain on or near the Arizona Trail, you should find that the maps cover a sufficient area to facilitate navigation. If, however, you'll be exploring well off the beaten track, then you should consider purchasing or downloading appropriate full-coverage topographic maps for the area(s) in question. That said, traveling away from the trail along roads is common when heading out for a resupply, in the event of an emergency, or if a section of the trail proves impassable, and so it's a good idea for ALL trail users to carry broad-area overview maps of the entire route in addition to this mapset. Such maps include the Pocket Maps CD-ROM produced by the Arizona Trail Association ( http://www.aztrail.org
) as well as the ATA's downloadable passage Access Maps, paper maps produced by the US Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the DeLorme Arizona atlas (aka "Atlas & Gazetteer"), and state highway maps.
Using the maps
Overview of map features:
+ 129 digitized color topographic maps with 3D hill shading
+ Detailed elevation chart on each map
+ 8.5" x 11" (21.6cm x 27.9cm) format
+ Accumulated trail mileage every mile
+ Resupply locations within 90 miles of map center
+ 1:28,000 scale with WGS84 decimal degree tick marks
+ Trail trace is based on official data from the Arizona Trail Association
+ Data book information printed at each locale on the maps
+ Nearly 800 data book points shown, including water sources and resupply locations
The map scale is a uniform 1:28,000 (1 mile = ~2.3 inches) across the entire mapset. Each map includes a scale bar so you can readily determine straight-line distances, even while your actual viewing and printing scale may differ somewhat from stated numbers. (Scale variances can be due to differences in pixel display size between computer screens, dpi resolution determined in print settings, printed page margin size, and so forth.)
The maps edges feature coordinate grid tick marks for use when navigating by GPS. Each tick mark represents one hundredth of a degree of latitude or longitude. Coordinates are in decimal degree format and are based upon the WGS84 standard.
Major/minor contour lines are 200/40 feet respectively.
The trail trace appears in red for the main route, and blue for alternate routes. (As discussed earlier, the alternate route--Passage 33 through downtown Flagstaff--is contained in a separate folder.)
Cumulative trail mileage from the Mexican border appears on the maps every mile, represented by red numbers with green dots along the trail trace.
Data book information (points of interest, or "POI"s) also appears along the trail trace in red lettering with blue dots. These labels correspond to the "Description" column in the companion data book. Codes contained within parentheses at the end of certain labels correspond to the data book's "Facilities" column, indicating water, camping, or town services available as well as distance and direction to off-trail facilities.
Specific mileages for all of the mapped data book points are presented in the left-most column on the data book. The data book can also be used to determine the distance between any two mapped points, as well as the distance from any point to the next potential water location along the trail. In addition, use the data book to determine the gps coordinates of each mapped data point, its elevation, and any further information/comments associated with the point.
The summary area at the bottom of each map includes a variety of information pertaining to that map. The elevation chart should be fairly self-explanatory; it reads from left to right for a northbound traveler (heading toward Utah). "Climb(s)" lists the biggest ascents (northbound), up to three per map. "Ascent" and "Descent" are cumulative northbound elevation gain and loss, respectively. Resupply information is also shown alongside the elevation chart. These are resupply locations within 90 miles of map center, both south and north along the trail. "Trail mile," "Resupply," and "Miles from trail" entries are taken directly from the accompanying data book. Green text (rather than standard black) indicates that the departure point to the resupply location occurs on that particular map (or, where the distance to the resupply is 0, that the resupply is located directly along the trail on that map). Finally, "dec:" - at the bottom of the summary area - refers to declination, or more specifically the number of degrees of magnetic declination to the east of true north on a compass. This number will vary from map to map as it does from location to location. Use it to calibrate a handheld compass, or the compass in a GPS unit aligned to magnetic north, prior to taking a bearing.
All of the maps are sized for printing on 8.5" x 11" (21.6cm x 27.9cm) paper. Printer requirements are minimal - any late model inkjet or LaserJet home printer with color printing capability should work fine.
For the most robust printed maps, you may want to consider using waterproof paper. However, waterproof paper can be both expensive and heavy in quantity, and may not be necessary on a dry-climate trek like the Arizona Trail, at least when storing maps as a general precaution inside a gallon-size zip lock bag or equivalent. Non-waterproof paper can readily allow some types of printer ink to smudge upon contact with water, but otherwise its advantages are noteworthy: relatively cheap, lightweight, and low-bulk. Of the non-waterproof varieties, high-resolution printer paper can offer the sharpest detail, especially when it comes to reading tightly-packed topo lines and small map print. Here again, though, you may find this an unnecessary luxury for the price, when the more generic "bright white" printer paper often produces perfectly acceptable results. Whichever route you go, select a paper that prints equally well on both sides without bleeding through, and consider using the "High Quality" or "Best" print setting on your printer.
The entire mapset will print onto 65 double-sided pages, and in the process may use the better part of a single ink cartridge (or b&w/color pair). You may be able to conserve ink by reducing the color saturation in your print settings. However, black-&-white-only prints aren't recommended, due to the color-coded nature of the map information.
All of the maps are configured for printing in portrait orientation (taller than wide). Most printing interfaces will automatically default to portrait orientation, or else will "auto-rotate" a portrait layout so it prints correctly in landscape orientation. However, if the map appears in print preview mode with either some of the map missing or lots of blank space at the edges, then you may need to manually adjust your print properties from landscape to portrait.
Before printing maps, it's also a good idea to verify that the map image will occupy as much of the page as possible, without overrunning the edges of the page's printable area. Different view-and-print applications offer various methods of adjustment. Some have default margin settings for various types of prints, for example "Full Page Fax Print" works best with the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, "Shrink to Fit" rather than "Crop to Fit" in Picasa, and so forth. Some applications allow you to adjust margins manually. If using the included FastStone Image Viewer, select File > Print on the navigation toolbar, then adjust the value boxes for the 4 margins (by tenths of an inch) to suit, visually confirming via the adjacent preview pane. Also, be sure to verify actual results by printing a few test maps, tweaking settings as needed, in advance of committing to a major print job.
Besides printing the maps yourself on a home computer, another option that may be attractive for thru-hikers and riders in particular is to have the maps professionally printed by a third party printing company. The main advantage to this approach is that it frees you from having to stand by your home printer in order to print the maps double-sided, which can become a rather time-consuming process if printing the entire mapset. (Some home printers can automatically print double-sided, but you'll still want to monitor the process from time to time to make sure everything is printing correctly and in the right order.) Having your maps professionally printed can also ensure that the fine topographic detail is preserved and that the maps are more resistant to bleeding and smudging than otherwise. In some cases you may be able to upload the mapset files directly to the printing company's website and then pick them up a few days later. The cost for having your maps professionally printed might be a bit more than doing it yourself, but in some cases it could offer worthwhile advantages.
+ When carrying maps on the trail it can be helpful to start the day with all pertinent maps on hand, such as in a pants pocket, with the rest of the map set protected from moisture and stored in the pack. Usually you'll only need to keep a couple of maps on hand each day, and will retire each map before it becomes so worn as to be unusable. Just be sure to protect all maps from moisture on a rainy day or when crossing creeks.
+ Along with the day's maps, you may sometimes want to keep the relevant data book pages on hand as well. On longer trips you can expect the data book pages to become worn over time, so consider including backup copies in the occasional maildrop along the way.
+ A maildrop resupply of maps can be a practical alternative to carrying the entire mapset at once, but keep in mind that maildrops sometimes fail to arrive at their destination, and that following the Arizona Trail might become just a bit less convenient without detailed topo maps depicting the trail and its features. Rather than taking this risk, consider making backup copies of all the maps you'll need for your hike and leaving them with a home-base helper, who can rush them to you in the mail if your original maildrop fails to arrive. Even color photocopies as a backup would certainly be better than having nothing at all.
The maps contained in this collection were created using proprietary computer code developed by Postholer (http://www.postholer.com
). Following is an overview of how these maps were developed and what makes them unique.
Digitized Base Maps
This is among the first set of maps for a long-distance trail that is entirely created with digitized base maps, in lieu of the scanned topographic maps employed in most of today's mapping software collections. The detail is unequaled.
National Land Cover Data (NLCD) is the source for various land covers. This data was collected in 2006 and reprocessed in February 2011. It is the finest land cover data available today for the U.S. The resolution is a phenomenal 30 meters! This is an exceptionally superior replacement for the 50 year old 'woodland polygons' still seen on most topographic maps currently available. The maps in this collection display 6 types of ground covers: evergreen, deciduous, mixed, shrub and bare ground in varying shades of green from darker to lighter. Urbanization is shown in 3 shades of gray.
National Elevation Data (NED) is the source for data such as contours, 3D hill shading and point elevations. (The elevation charts use 1 meter elevation data from the USGS.) The resolution is 1 arc second.
National Hydrology Data (NHD) is the source for all water and drainage related map features. This data is constantly being updated with most of it being less than 5 years old.
This data originates primarily from the USFS FSTopo data sets. GNIS is used to supplement labels and TigerLine data is used to supplement roads. All feature data other than land cover, hydrology and elevation are from these sources.
AZ Trail Trace/Data Points
The trace is plotted from waypoint-rich track data furnished by the Arizona Trail Association. This is the official trail data for each of the trail's 43 passages, much of it field-recorded. Along this trail line are nearly 800 data points, many of which are likewise official ATA data. All of this information is used with permission specifically for the purpose of generating the first ready-to-print, large-scale mapset of the Arizona Trail.
Automating Map Creation
This is the most unique aspect of the mapset. A number of tools exist for creating map tiles for a given geographic area and scale. As far as we know, none create a set of maps given a trail trace. This unique process 'follows' the trail trace generating a map tile each time the specified resolution and page format bounds are exceeded. This means automating map creation easily as data changes. Imagine editing 130 map images by hand and you understand why other maps never change or get updated! Not so with this mapset.
PHP, a scripting language, is used for automating mundane, repetitive tasks and also does the bulk of the image management. But the backbone of this project, meaning it would not be possible without it, is open source software
known as the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library or GDAL for short. This is an incredible piece of software and the community responsible for it is just fantastic.
Using the most recent data and technology available, this Arizona Trail mapset captures the essence of the topography you'll be living in, whether for the afternoon, the week, or an 800-mile adventure of a lifetime. We hope you enjoy using it to explore Arizona's most outstanding recreational resource.
This Arizona Trail topographic mapset has been many hours in the making, and it is our hope and endeavor that the end result will allow experienced backcountry travelers to avoid most navigational problems and to have a rewarding adventure along the trail. Such adventures come with inherent risks, of course, so be sure to use these maps as part of an overall approach to maintaining safety and self-reliance in the backcountry. In short, use the maps and benefit from them, but use your skills and your awareness too. And always keep your options open when determining the safest and most practical direction of travel.
Please note: Neither the authors of this mapset, generally, nor the Arizona Trail Association, specifically, endorses any of the information contained within this mapset with respect to its accuracy, timeliness, or the advisability of using it. Inevitably, some of this info will prove to be inaccurate or out-of-date by the time it is put to use in the field. Use of this mapset and data book is solely at your own risk.
Arizona Trail Topo Mapset ©2013 by Brett Tucker, K. Scott Parks, and Fred Gaudet. Proceeds from the sale of this product directly support the Arizona Trail Association. Digital reproductions, hard copy printouts, and other reproductions rendered from this mapset are intended for personal use and are not for resale or commercial distribution. Please help to support the work of the Arizona Trail Association by directing interested parties to purchase this mapset from an authorized retailer. Thanks!