How To Topo

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scotman
 
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How To Topo

Postby scotman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:43 pm

If you have been hunting for any length of time you soon come to recognize the value combination aerial and topographic maps have to offer. Not only has technology advanced with streamlining your hunting area to your computer but you can fully map trails, rubs, scrapes, mock scrapes, food plots, feeding areas and bedding coordinates directly into a map via gps technology year after year.

It is necessary to cover some basic principles which include efficiently fetching longitude latitude coordinates, programs and what have to offer, seamlessly combining maps, integrate coordinates of deer sign and interpreting topographic maps. These will not only help your hunting tactics year after year but you will help you to consistently predict whitetail deer movement.  These technologies and techniques should not replace field scouting but will give you a chance to strategize without spooking deer out of your area. Field scouting is beyond the scope of this tutorial but I will explain in-depth field scouting tips and techniques that have worked for me when fetching data in a latter article
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If you're looking at a globe of the earth latitude lines run horizontally east to west with the horizon. Some also remember it by using a mnemonic phrase ladder-tude. The longitude lines on the globe are split in the same direction like the rungs on a ladder so hence the mnemonic phrase ladder-tude.  So therefore the longitude lines run directly north and south opposite of latitude lines.

Finding the longitude and latitude coordinates can be done without having to be a professional cartographer. Simply follow the link to the following website http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html Next type in your address of where you hunt and right click a flag onto the map. This will output the longitude and latitude coordinates under the bottom left of the interactive map so they can copied and pasted into the program of your choice.

What made me a TopoFusion Pro fan? Features like being able to import maps, import routes/waypoints and import time stamped pictures to match up with those routes/waypoints and built in combination map feature.  Some of these features are available with Google Earth but I will be only covering how to download a topographic and aerial map, with a visual explanation on how to combine those maps in Photoshop.

Here is the default view of TopoFusion Pro..

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In this next picture you can see how easily it is to exaggerate the shader relief option to spot natural funnels.

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In this next picture you can adjust the opacity right within the program itself for two separate maps. Number one it does not require any Photoshop editing and two it matches the maps up perfectly with no need for added adjustments.

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This next picture shows a description field where I found it very useful to record wind, weather condition and use it as a hunting log book.

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The following picture is the most useful resource that TopoFusion Pro offers me as a hunter. Although the program was intended to map biking trails throughout the country it is a very useful tool for hunting. You can see you can easily import you gps waypoints and routes directly into the program. Simply hook up you gps handheld via usb port and the program will recognize it. You simply use the import function and you can import your time stamped data directly into your map.

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Secondly is the ability to import pictures that you took in the field.  Digital camera's timestamp pictures within the properties.  When I am scouting I take my gps handheld which is a Garmin Colorado 400t and I take my digital camera along with me. Let's say for an example I spot a buck rub I will set a waypoint with my gps handheld then take a picture of the buck rub. When I get home I import both the picture and waypoint into Topofusion. The waypoints will automatically line up with the picture by comparing the timestamps. It then inserts the picture and waypoint into your map. When I first found out about this technology I was very excited because it is a very powerful tool to have as a hunter.

Finally I wanted to cover how to overlay two separate maps within Photoshop. It is actually very simple I have created a YouTube Video here on how to do it or you can continue to read on.

You open up both pictures you want to use in Photoshop

Select the move tool.

You then put the cursor over the center of one picture hold down with the left mouse button and drag the picture onto the other picture.

You can now close the picture you dragged from.

Now on the right hand side of the screen you will see a tab called layers with in that tab you will the    word opacity.

Simply drag the opacity bar to the look you like then save the file.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

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scotman
 
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RE: How To Topo

Postby scotman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:56 pm

I'm going to reserve this first comment I wanted to add how to read a topo map to this tutorial.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

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ranwin33
 
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Location: Kansas and Missouri

RE: How To Topo

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:45 pm

Nicely done.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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SHKYBoonie
 
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RE: How To Topo

Postby SHKYBoonie » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:24 pm

Very good scotman! Really good info to have and I am going to put it to work as soon as possible. Thanks![:D]

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scotman
 
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RE: How To Topo

Postby scotman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:00 pm

Thanks guys, glad you found it useful! 
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

Swandog09
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:47 am
Location: Woodstock, IL but hunt WI

RE: How To Topo

Postby Swandog09 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:49 am

Yes, this is really cool and thanks for sharing.
That's why they call it hunting and not getting

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SwampLife
 
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Location: South FL, BooHoo...

RE: How To Topo

Postby SwampLife » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:48 am

now adays i cannot imagine scouting a new hunting area without topo/aerials.

Great write up. very well done.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

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scotman
 
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RE: How To Topo

Postby scotman » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:31 pm

Thanks guys for the awesome compliments glad your all finding it useful. I been meaning to finish this up as-well. Been a busy week.

When I get a chance I will do another thread on how to track deer with a home weather station. Although I think most weather stations services are good for most hunters. I been tracking deer by weather patterns since I started hunting but I got to thinking about 5 years ago if the weather station is 30-50 miles away from your hunting hole, then how useful is that information? Think about it if you live in a valley and the weather station is at a higher elevation then the weather patterns will be totally different. Granted their will be some consistencies under strong winds but when your hunting you need to do more than guess to be a successful hunter. So I invested in a wireless weather station for more accurate weather patterns. You can long term track the data too right to your computer. So you can pattern trends. We are so much more connected than any generation of deer slayers we should be using these technologies to get that edge. Back when this technology first came out wildlife biologists were the first to take advantage. This is the same technology they use to do their research. It is exciting only 20 years later we hunters have that same technology at our finger tips.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth


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