How To Create Garmin Topo Maps - Part 6 - Federal Lands

Author: Dan Blomberg | Last updated July 19th, 2008 at 05:45pm

Introduction

The 6th part of this tutorial details where to download and how to process federal lands. This includes Native American Reservations, National Parks, Forest Service Areas, military bases, and more lands of that type.  The data comes from a variety of sources.  Each state may also have more data available but this tutorial will not delve in-depth to that.

Software

Some software is required and some is recommended for downloading and processing federal lands:

Native American Reservations

The first set of federal lands we will download and process are the native american reservations.

  1. Visit the U.S. Census Bureau website to download Current American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Area (first link on the left).
  2. Extract the zip file to your "federal_land" folder.
  3. The directions vary from here.  Global Mapper and GPSMapEdit handle the data differently.

Global Mapper

  1. Open the shapefile in Global Mapper
  2. Click Search>Search by Attributes, Name, and Description
  3. Click "Select All"
  4. Click "Edit Selected"
  5. Type "MP_TYPE" into the "Attribute Name" and "0x0d" into the "Attribute Value" field.
  6. Click "OK"
  7. Close all the windows.
  8. Click File>Export Vector Data>Export Shapefile...
  9. Open the state excel file you downloaded previously for the NED data links.  At the bottom of the file there are four values that are the bounds for the 100k grids for the state.  We will use those to limit the federal borders to just our state's area (it will expand slightly beyond but that is unavoidable). 
  10. In the shapefile export options window check the box for Export Areas and then call the file reservations.
  11. Click the "Export Bounds" tab.
  12. Click the "Lat/Lon (Degrees)" radio button.
  13. Plug the minimums and maximums into the boxes.
  14. Click "OK"
  15. Close Global Mapper.  The reservations are completed.

GPSMapEdit

  1. Open the shapefile in GPSMapEdit.
  2. In the first window that pops up select the 0x000d code titled "Reservation" and click "Next".
  3. Click the "NAME" cloumn header.  Click "Next".
  4. Make sure the datum is NAD83
  5. Click "Next"
  6. Click "Finish"
  7. Click the trim button:
  8. Draw a box somewhere.
  9. Right click in the box then click Properties
  10. Open the state excel file you downloaded previously for the NED data links.  At the bottom of the file there are four values that are the bounds for the 100k grids for the state.  We will use those to limit the federal borders to just our state's area (it will expand slightly beyond but that is unavoidable).
  11. Plug these values into the properties box.
  12. Click "OK"
  13. Right click in the box and click "Trim Outside"
  14. Click File>Save Map
  15. Save the map as reservations.mp
  16. Close GPSMapEdit. The reservations are now complete.

National Park Service Lands

  1. Download the generic NPS boundary file that has already been customized.
  2. Extract the contents to your "federal_lands/National_Park_Service" folder
  3. Visit the National Park Service GIS site.
  4. Click on the state you are creating maps for.
  5. Click on each state park and any file that is listed as boundary and not nps_boundary.zip and download that.
  6. Extract any files to your "federal_lands/National_Park_Service" folder.
    Note: Not all states will have extra files.
  7. Open each file in either Global Mapper or GPSMapEdit.
    1. Global Mapper: Follow the directions above except for a few changes.  In Global Mapper's direction change Step 5 "0x0d" to "0x14". Before exporting click Tools>Control Center. Then click Options. Make the window look like this:
    2. GPSMapEdit: Change step 2 to "0x0014" National Parks.  Change step 3 to UNIT_NAME.
  8. You should now have the national park service lands ready to go.

Forest Service, Military, & BLM Lands

  1. GPSFileDepot has provided pre-made files for the 48 continental United States for the Forest Service, Military, and Bureau of Land Management Lands made with data from the Berkely/Penn Urban & Environmental Modeler's Datakid.
    - Download Here
  2. Extract the file to your federal_lands folder.
  3. Open the .mp file in either Global Mapper or GPSMapEdit
    1. Global Mapper: Click File>Export Vector Data>Export Polish MP (cgpsmapper) File... Give it a name and then click the Export Bounds tab.  As shown above enter the bounds of your state then click OK.  Save the file as federal_lands.mp
    2. GPSMapEdit: Follow the directions above to trim to your state then save the file as federal_lands.mp
  4. You now have the Forest Service, Military, & BLM lands created.

Other Data

The data sources used above provide national level data.  It is possible that state land uses would not be included.  A search within your state's GIS databases may be neccessary.  A great place to start is the "Starting the Hunt" page provided by the University of Arkansas.  The data can be processed the same way.  A list of appropriate MP_TYPE values for Global Mapper is available here in pdf format.

What's Next?

We're getting near the end of our tutorial.  The last thing we need to complete a "basic" topographic map for a Garmin GPS receiver is the state and county boundaries.

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