10,000 words?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I figure a good map’s worth considerably more. Pictures and words are really apples and oranges, but a map is an apple-orange smoothie.

I started making maps within a few years of arrival in Alaska. This one, of Asx’ée, twisted tree (Eagle River delta) took about 10 days of stippling in 1983.

Estuaries are dynamic places. Some features of this 1983 habitat map no longer exist, such as Shifty Spit and Dabbler Lagoon. For historical series, see my summary document on Eagle Beach.

Today the maps churn out faster—typically several per day. What I’ve lost in patience is gained in efficiency. Modern cartography also allows us to sit on the shoulders of legions of GIS masters, assembling datasets we couldn’t have dreamed of in 1983. Today, at my computer, I can measure the height of any tree between Ch’eet’ Taayí, murrelet fat (Cowee Creek) and Chaas’héeni, humpy creek (Sheep Creek). Or with a click, sprinkle my maps with Lingít place names, their translations (and even an Important White Guy or two).

For how-to information on Maps, check out the Tools section, sub-categories Field navigation and GIS (Geographic information systems)

Switching to the ArcGIS Online site fills your screen. Here’s some features and options.

Below are some of my favorite maps. Some are simple downloadable .jpgs. Some are collections of maps for our favorite destinations, including historical series that can be toggled across time with your keyboard arrows. But increasingly, maps are becoming interactive—leaving the world of static paper and giving the user more control:

ArcGIS Online

Some of my  maps are hosted by ESRI’s ArcGIS Online.You can view them in windows within JuneauNature, or directly, full-screen, on ESRI’s site by clicking view larger map.

Why is this more useful than a simple jpg or pdf-based map that I prepare and post? Let’s say you want to customize your own map, of glacial and marine landforms in Shaanáx Tlein, big valley (lower Lemon Creek). Open my surficial geology map. choose view larger map to jump to ArcGIS Online. Frame it just the way you want (mouse roller is best for zooming) Change the basemap to whatever best suits your needs (that 4-square icon on the left). When you’ve got a nice composition, right click and select Take a Screenshot.

Open this clickable map to select downloadable geoPDFs for navigation with your phone or tablet

GeoPDFs

Others of my downloadable maps are geopdfs (spatially rectified pdfs for use in navigational apps such as Avenza). These are presented in pairs: a hillshade and an air photo. I like to load both to my tablet for hikes, and often alternate between them depending on whether I’m investigating landforms or vegetation cover. The free version of Avenza holds only 3 geoPDFs at a time. We just have to remember to clean off the old ones and load the new ones before each hike.

So far, the geoPDF collection covers most of the popular local trails, and all of the surroundings of public schools—places where Discovery Southeast naturalists bring students on field trips. If your favorite hike isn’t covered, let me know.

In this section

GeoPDFs Eaglecrest

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Eaglecrest, central Sayéik, spirit helper (Douglas Island), in the headwaters of Aangooxa Yé,…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDF Muir-Spaulding

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Spaulding Meadows. This boggy plateau is approached by 3 trails: Muir, Spaulding and…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDF Ch’eet’ Taayí (Cowee Meadows)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Ch’eet’ Taayí, murrelet fat (Cowee Creek) and Echo Cove. In apps such as…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDF Asx’ée delta (Eagle Beach)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at the confluence of  Asx’ée/L’ux, twisted tree/milky water (Eagle and Herbert rivers). Includes State…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDF Eeyák’w (Amalga-Peterson)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Eeyák’w, small rapid (Amalga Salt Chuck). In apps such as Avenza, on your…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Kaxdigoowu Héen (Montana)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Kaxdigoowu Héen, going back clear water (Montana Creek). In apps such as Avenza, on…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Kaalahéenak’u (Outer Point)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Kaalahéenak’u, inside a person’s mouth (Peterson Creek) on northernwestern Sayéik, spirit helper (Douglas Island).…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 1 page

GeoPDFs Ch’eet’ Taayí (Cowee-Davies)

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Ch’eet’ Taayí, murrelet fat (Cowee) watershed. For coastal regions, download the higher-res LiDAR-based…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Asx’ée-L’ux (Eagle-Herbert)

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in the glacial watersheds of Asx’ée/L’ux, twisted tree/milky water (Eagle/Herbert). For the delta-confluence region,…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Shaanáx Tlein-Til’héeni (Lemon-Salmon)

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Shaanáx Tlein, big valley (Lemon) and Til’héeni, dog salmon creek (Salmon) valleys. In…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 GeoPDFs

GeoPDFs Valley & tribsheds

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Aak’w Táak, inland from little lake (Mendenhall Valley) and contributing valleys or ‘tribsheds’.…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Moller-Jumbo

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Kaawa.ée Héenak’u, Kaawa.ée’s little creek (Kowee) and Shgóonaa Héenak’u, schooner’s little creek (Lawson)…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Gold&Sheep watersheds

Medium-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in Dzantik’i Héeni (Gold) and Chaas’héeni (Sheep) watersheds. In apps such as Avenza, on…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Koosh (Sheep Creek)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Koosh, oozing sore (Sheep Creek) The Olson/Kunz files (1992) also translate this muddy…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Fish Creek lower

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Angooxa Yé, where slaves put up food (Fish Creek) on northern Sayéik, spirit…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Aanchgaltsóow (Auke Rec)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation at Aanchgaltsóow, nexus town (Auke Rec) and X’unáxi, camping place (Auke Cape). In apps such…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Áak’w Tá (Auke Bay & Lake)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation around inner Áak’w Tá, little lake bay (Auke Bay). Includes Áak’w, little lake, and…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Áak’w Táak upper (Mendenhall Recreation Area)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in upper Áak’w Táak, inland from little lake (Mendenhall Valley). Includes on-foot destinations from…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Áak’w Táak lower (Mendenhall Valley)

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation in lower Áak’w Táak, inland from little lake (Mendenhall Valley). Includes on-foot destinations from…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs

GeoPDFs Airport flats

High-resolution GeoPDF pair for field navigation on the Airport Dike Trail and adjacent tidal wetlands. Also shows coastline on the…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 2 geoPDFs