Tag Archives: Navigation

Bushwalking Navigation | A Route Plan Workflow

How should I begin my route plan for a bushwalk? What resources are there available on the web? Are there any time savers? How do I  keep others in my group informed and allow active participation in the decision making? How do I take my route plan with me and share it with others in my group? Who should I tell about my route plan? Do I need an escape plan?


A route plan is an essential part of any walk for three reasons; firstly as a way of easily checking whether the walk you have planned is too easy or too difficult in the time you have allowed, secondly as a way of improving the safety of your walk by sharing the route with others in your group, police, park rangers and friends and finally as a practical navigation aid.

Fortunately, few of us need to navigate in a whiteout, but if we do, a route plan which gives the distance and bearing of each leg and has chosen prominent waypoints as end points is an essential safety component.

An Example of  a Route Plan for Skiing and Climbing

Despite the importance of the route plan as a planning requirement, route plans are made to be broken and can become a liability if they are adhered to despite the weather, condition of the group and terrain. A good leader must be willing to vary the route plan to suit the circumstances!

A good route plan depends on the quality of the waypoints it uses, the selection of which needs to be based on sound navigational techniques some of which are listed  below. A waypoint which can only be found with a GPS is useless if your GPS fails and it will!.

Aiming Off

  • Used to find an objective on a feature which is straight eg river, mountain ridge, road
    • Deliberately aim to strike the feature 10 ° to right or left of feature and then turn along feature to reach objective (also called Stefansson method or intentional error)

    Attack Points:

    • A feature which is near but much easier to find than your objective.

    Catching Features:

    • Prominent features which are beyond your objective but can act as safety net. 
    • A bearing on prominent feature at 90 deg to direction of travel can be used.


    • Definite features which are roughly aligned with direction of travel and  which make navigation easier.
    • Don’t use creeks or gullies but may run parallel to them.

    In Poor Visibility:

    • Stick to well defined features or proceed from one well defined feature to another. 
    • Navigator 3-4 places from front, with party in single file.
    • In snow, use a cord 50m long and have scout sweep in an arc until next pole found.


    • A pace is the distance between each right foot hitting ground.
    • For 1.8m person, with pack, ≈ 1.5m ie 660 paces to 1km.


    • Keep navigation legs short, moving from one identifiable point to the next, even if this involves a detour.
    • Align straight edge of compass with 2 features, with arrow pointing in the intended direction.
    • Rotate bezel until parallel lines on its base align with grid lines.
    • To correct for magnetic deviation, rotate bezel clockwise (MGA: grid to magnetic subtract).
    • Set out in direction of arrow with needle centred on its mark.

    Back Bearings

    • Used to see if you have deviated from the intended path.
    • Face starting point.
    • Check that south end of needle is centred on mark.

    Transect Bearings

    • Useful to locate exact position on a handrail.
    • Identify a feature which is marked on your map then take a bearing on this feature.
    • Convert magnetic to grid by adding the magnetic deviation.
    • Rotate bezel anticlockwise.
    • Place compass on map with arrow on base pointing towards the identifiable feature.
    • Rotate whole compass until the parallel lines of bezel align with grid lines.
    • Draw a line back using the edge of the compass until it intersects the handrail.
    • Choose a feature which is as close as possible to reduce error.


    • Used to describe process of drawing three intersecting transect bearings to find your present location.
    • Select features which are at a maximum angle to each other. eg 120 deg

    Route Planning Software

    As a Mac user, I have only used the excellent program MacGPS Pro which I have had and regularly updated for many years. Australian PC users have OziExplorer which is also excellent and can be run on a Mac very successfully if you install Windows. If you have an iPhone you have other alternatives depending on your country; Australian’s have Bit Map and Memory – Map, New Zealanders Map App NZ and Memory – Map, the British National Geographics Topo Maps. All of these allow you to rapidly plan a route by simply clicking waypoints  which are linked together and can then be uploaded to your GPS.

    The other big advantage of mapping software is that you can zoom in at a magnification that you would need a hand lens to view on your 1:50K topo paper map. With just one click, you have  7 figure eastings and northings for each waypoint along with the map zone.  Distances and bearings, “as the crow flies”, can be measured by two clicks. Route elevations can be plotted with a few clicks.

    Once you have the route planned you can export it as a .kml file which can be loaded into mapping software such as that found on your iPhone, Google maps or Google Earth for others in your group to view. Alternatively you can export the waypoints as a spreadsheet which can be printed as part of your trip intentions form which you will give to your designated emergency contact and to the local ranger or police station or uploaded to Google docs for everyone in your group to view. Uploading to Google docs encourages participation in the planning process and a sharing of ideas.

    Escape Routes

    These are the routes you will take back to safety if anything prevents your progress to your destination. This could be an injury, the weather, too slow progress or physical blocking of your route by a landslide, avalanche, bushfire or flooded river. These should appear on the back of your route plan and be given to everyone who gets your route plan. Their format is identical to that used in your route plan. While some escape routes can be anticipated and planned in advance eg if a river you have to cross is flooded, others such as following an injury can’t easily be planned. Of course, if you have a PLB or a mobile and reception, then in case of life threatening injury you can always call for help rather than follow an escape route.

    Web Resources

    Online Walk Time Calculator: use this online trip calculator to work out your estimated walk times for your route plan, using Naismith’s Rule and Tranter’s corrections for fitness.
    Naismith’s Rule
    Online Route card  From 1st Kirklevington Scouts
          Automatically calculates times based upon inputted speeds and climbs.
    Blank Route Card
    Escape Route Template
    What is a Route Card
    Related Posts

    Online Walk Time Calculator
    Bushwalking Navigation
    Mapping Software

    Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


    Bushwalking Navigation | GPS vs Paper Map vs iPhone

    Which is better for navigation, your GPS or a paper map? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Do you need to carry both? Are there any alternatives to a dedicated GPS and map?

    In bushwalking circles there are always vigorous debates about which is best, a dedicated GPS or a topo map?  This is sometimes generational with older members preferring the map, with which they are familiar, and younger bushwalkers preferring the GPS. To some degree the dictum “each to their own” applies in bushwalking as a walker who doesn’t understand how their GPS works is a danger to themselves and others in their group and would be much safer navigating with a map .

    Of course the argument is not that simple, as many modern GPSs now contains maps which can be viewed and overlain with waypoints and your current position. You can now take your digital maps with you when you walk. Fortunately the opposing viewpoints are not exclusive as it is possible and in my view essential to take both, especially when bushwalking in difficult terrain.

    I love to walk “thumbing ” my laminated map which allows me to get the “big picture” around me, orientate myself using distant features and anticipate what’s around the next corner. I do however use my GPS to check my location at each stop or at critical “decision points” such as creek junctions, waterholes or ridge descents.

    Paper maps have some disadvantages:

    • they get damaged easily, especially at the folds, and require laminating
    • they are cumbersome in a strong wind if you have to open them
    • multiple maps are often needed and changing from one to another in your map case is often difficult
    • they require special storage facilities at home
    • the printing is often too small to see without  reading glasses.

    HINT: try laminating your maps in A4 sections, with maps both front and back, which will fit individually into your map case.

    Paper maps do however still have many advantages:

    • they allow you to orientate yourself using distant features
    • they can’t go flat as they don’t rely upon batteries
    • they may be more waterproof than your GPS, especially if you are using a “smartphone”
    • they are cheaper in the short term 
    • they work even under a dense forest canopy trees or in narrow gorges.

    A GPS has several advantages over paper maps:

    • it can compactly store large amounts of data, plotted on a large desktop computer screen, and then uploaded via a cable, infrared, bluetooth or wireless.
    • if the GPS has a large colour screen and sufficient memory then you can store a large number of maps, which can be scrolled and zoomed. You need never go off the map as they will be seamlessly “stitched together”.
    • it allows you to determine your location quickly with high accuracy and reliability, subject to several limitations: not under a dense forest canopy trees or in narrow gorges.
    • if you have a large touch screen (eg iPhone) then you will be able to effortlessly scroll and zoom, so that your reading glasses are never needed.

    Of course there are many features they share, such as the ability to determine location. Experienced map users will be able to lay a compass on their map and do a resection using prominent features to find their current location. Even better they will have “thumbed” the marked route on their map from the beginning and never become lost!

    Alternatives to a dedicated GPS

    There are alternatives to a dedicated GPS such as a  smartphone, many of which have large colour touch screens and excellent built-in GPS’s. The iPhone is a good example of such a phone, and as most bushwalkers should be carrying a mobile phone with them anyway, this can serve as a good back up for those who prefer to use maps but don’t want the expense of purchasing a dedicated GPS. There are several excellent mapping apps (applications) which are very easy to use on the iPhone and while they don’t match a dedicated GPS for versatility, they only cost a few dollars.

    The iPhone does however have two major limitations: battery life and lack of waterprooofness, but both of these can be overcome with solar panels and waterproof covers.

    Read more about the uses of the iPhone for bushwalkers

    Related Posts

    Can my GPS replace My Map?
    Why am I Lost When I Have a GPS?
    How to Keep your iPhone Charged in the Outdoors 
    Bushwalking Navigation

      Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    Bushwalking Navigation: The Importance of Using the Correct Geodetic Map Datum.

    Does it matter if your GPS is set to the correct map datum? To which map datum should you set your GPS? Can you compare grid references from an old and new edition of the same map which have different map datums?  How can you convert from one map datum to another? Are the grid references in old guide books correct?

    Setting your GPS and mapping software to the correct datum can make a significant difference to grid references with errors of almost 200m common. While not as important for prominent features, if you are trying to find a spur to descend from a ridge line or a specific creek junction in rugged terrain or a waterhole, accuracy can be critical.

    Both your GPS and mapping software need to be set to match the map datum of your data source which can be found in the legend of the paper map you have scanned, or on the CD label of the digital map you have purchased.  Beware, the first digital edition of TopoMaps for South Australia uses the Australian Map Grid 1984 but more recent versions use GDA94.

    Often when planning a walk you may have obtained the grid references (waypoints) of prominent features  from an old  bushwalking guide. However, unless you know which map datum was used in the guide, then using these may cause navigational errors, if they are inconsistent with your GPS settings. (see below for an example of differences between AGD84 and GDA94 grid references). Many of the bushwalking guides I have were written when AGD66 was being used!

    HINT: if the map was published pre-1984 you can assume that the map datum is AGD66, if its publication date is between 1984 -1994, then its probably AGD84 and if its after 1994 then it’s likely to be GDA94.

    Adrian Heard’s A Walking Guide to the Northern Flinders Ranges was published in 1990, before GDA94 and hence uses the AGD84 datum, which is the same as that used by the Third Edition (1992) 1:50K maps of the Gammon Ranges. If you are using the latest digital maps, they will be GDA94 and hence Heard’s grid references will all need to be adjusted according to the formula

    AGD84 to GDA94  Add 125 m to the Easting  and add 175m to the Northing

    Fortunately converting from one to another is not that difficult, although not a task you would want to do when trying to find a camp site as dusk approaches. Simply open up the setting field of your GPS or mapping software and change to the correct datum, then reread the grid reference. In addition, many older maps give map specific conversions so you can convert to a more recent map datum (see below for an example)

    Map Datums using for the Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges maps

    The Illinawortina (6737-3, 1:50K, 3rd Edition) map uses the Australian Geodetic Datum 1984 (AGD84) and has a sticker which says that to convert to Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94), add 125m to the easting and 175m to the northing (confirmed by my mapping software). The free Copley (Geoscience 1:250K) map uses map datum GDA94 (more recently adopted).

    Octopus Hill, for comparison purposes, has the following UTM grid references :

    0316970 6624770   visual taken from 50K map which is AGD84
    0317095 6624945   when converted to GDA94
    0316971 6624780   scanned 50K map and mapping software set to AGD84
    0317093 6624958   scanned 50K map and mapping software set to GDA94

    0316748 6624968   Copley 250K map and mapping software set to GDA94

    Observations from data above:

    1. No surprises. The 250K map is not accurate enough for bushwalking navigation, with features up to 350m from their 50K map location.
    2. Using the correct geodectic datum is very important with errors of 125 m possible in eastings and 175m is northings.
    3. The last 5 digits of the GR give Thousands, Hundreds, Tens and Units of metres, so 0316748 differs from 0316970 by 222m. This means that locations on the  250K Copley map can be several hundred metres away from their true location. I have “boldened” the 6 digits usually quoted in grid references.

    Related Postings

    Why am I lost when I have a GPS?
    Bushwalking Navigation 

      Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    Bushwalking Navigation | Using the Free Geoscience Australia Maps

    What does the Geoscience Australia website offer to bushwalkers? Want some free topographic maps covering the whole of Australia for planning purposes?  Want to view these maps using your desktop mapping software? Want to load them into your iPhone?


    “Delivering online mapping tools and information, this interactive service allows you to download Australian maps and data for FREE. MapConnect is useful to professionals or students working with spatial data. The general public is welcome to use this resource, but should note that some aspects of MapConnect are specialised. You can view selected data on a map then download it in various formats.

    MapConnect is a FREE service, data can be downloaded using the interactive map selection process.

    MapConnect can provide mapping data in four ways:

    •     250K – 1:250 000 scale topographic map data in .ecw format
    •     GlobalMap – 1:1 million scale topographic map data
    •     Geology – 1:1 million and 1:2.5 million scale geological map data
    •     geoMAP – Create a quality PDF map in either of 2 formats ( satellite or topo)
    Gammon Ranges, SA, 250K Landsat (MapConnect Geoscience Australia)
    Gammon  Ranges SA  Standard  (MapConnect Geoscience Australia)

     Loading MapConnect Maps into your desktop software.

    The maps, in two formats .ecw amd .kml are downloaded in a zip file. ecw files are geo-referenced and can be loaded directly into mapping software such as MacGPS Pro (for Mac enthusiasts) and a variety of software for PC users. This will allow you to plot waypoints, routes and then upload the points/ routes directly to your GPS.

    Suitability of 250K Maps for Bushwalking.

    250 K maps really only allow you to get the big picture, select likely bushwalking areas, plan your approach and navigate by road. On-the-ground requires 25K or 50K topographic maps which will need to be bought as hard copies or in digital form on disc. Check the above 250K maps as examples of the resolution you can obtain.

    Geoscience Australia Maps for your iPhone

    This will require converting the highly compressed  .ecw format maps ( typically 5 Mb) to .png (typically 31Mb) or .jpg (4Mb at 50%). For better quality, save as .png, which is a lossless format like tiff. To do this read my review of  BitMap

    Further Reading

      Related Bushwalking Navigation Posts
      Related iPhone Posts for Bushwalkers
      Related Bushwalk Planning Posts

        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Bushwalking in the Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges, South Australia | Pt 1 Trip Planning Resources

      Where are the Gammons? Why visit the Gammons? When is the best time to visit the Gammons and how long do you need? What level of experience do you need and does it require any special planning and equipment because of its remoteness? What resources are available to help you plan, appreciate and enjoy what you see?

      UPDATE: there has been a mouse plague in the Gammons (April -? 2011) and I would advise taking your tent inner, storing food outside your tent in air tight bags and hanging your food out of reach.

      Bushwalking, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park ……..in brief

      Gammon Ranges 

      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park is an arid wilderness of spectacular rugged ranges and deep gorges 400 km N of Port Augusta off the Copley-Balcanoona Rd. The park has important cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people who are the traditional custodians of the region. There are several access points, both for 2WD and 4WD vehicles, with the heart of the park offering challenging wilderness bushwalking experiences. The park includes limited caravan sites, bush camping, 4WD touring tracks and several accommodation options. Bookings are essential for hut accommodation and shearers’ quarters. The park adjoins Lake Frome Regional Reserve and shares a boundary with Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges Traditional Owners and DEH co-manage the park. ” (DENR )

      Google Aerial view of the Gammons

      View Larger Map


       The last 100 km is largely over dirt roads, which can sometimes be badly corrugated. If you wish to set up a base camp at Grindell Hut inside the Park, I recommend that you use a 4WD as the tracks are sometimes sandy and the wheel ruts can be deep. Many conventional cars will not have sufficient ground clearance. Make sure you carry essential spare parts for your vehicle and read the RAA Outback Driving booklet. 

      Up-to-date road conditions can be checked via the Far Northern and Western Areas road condition hotline – 1300 361 033 or by visiting http://www.dtei.sa.gov.au. Alternatively call the Desert Parks information line on 1800 816 078.

      Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley (just north of Leigh Creek)
      SA Outback Fuel Chart
      Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley( just north of Leigh Creek)
      Google Maps Copley, Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges Nat Pk and Arkaroola Village

      Outback Driving (RAA)


      If you are planning a trip to northern SA (eg the Gammons) check the forecast carefully as the temperature is often in the high twenties or low thirties, when it is in the high teens in Adelaide. My experience is that it is often 5 -10 degrees warmer than Adelaide but colder at night. 

      Check the Weatherzone climate statistics for Arkarooola  , the nearest weather station or visit the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary’s Climate Information page which compares the climate with other capital cities.

      Long term averages show May to early September to be the  best from a temperature perspective (mean max 19-20 deg C). Mean minimum temperatures are 3-7 deg C, (lightweight sleeping bag weather). Days of rain 3, mean rain 6-10 mm (you may even risk just a fly depending on the month)

      Further north in the Gammons, water can also be short supply after six months with little rain. A spring/early summer trip is risky as most rain falls in December-March as the tail ends of monsoons sweep down SE from the Kimberley and most will have gone by then.

      Fire Bans

      All wood fires or solid fuel fires are prohibited from 1 November 2010 to 31 March 2011. Gas fires are permitted other than on days of total fire ban. For further information, please contact the Port Augusta Regional Office (08) 8648 5300, the Wilpena Visitor Centre (08) 8648 0048 or the CFS Fire Bans Hotline 1300 362 361.  Timely reminder of fire restrictions in parks (DENR 103kb pdf)

      Time Required

      The Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges are a long drive of 8 – 9 hours from Adelaide, over unsealed roads from Copley, which can be badly corrugated depending on how recently they have been graded. For most people, the two days of travel encourages you to spend a minimum of  3-5 days in the Gammons, including some time at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Paralana Hot Springs which are a short drive away. If you based yourself at Grindell Hut within the Park, then  it would be possible to spend a whole week in the Park and then at least another three days at Arkaroola.

      Panorama of Grindell’s Hut, showing the hut and the landscape surrounding it. (Peter Neaum 2009-09-10)

      Bushwalking Experience Level

      The Gammons are remote with the nearest major town, Leigh Creek, a hundred and thirty kilometres away to the west, which takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the state of the road. In addition to the remoteness, water supplies are unpredictable, the temperatures much higher than Adelaide and the terrain rugged, with significant exposure at times, when climbing the waterfalls. A high level of navigation skill, using both map and compass and GPS, is required as most of the walking trails are off-track with no signage and no trail markers. This Park is designated as being unsuitable for beginning bushwalkers, with experience of multi-day hikes, the ability to carry heavy loads and self-sufficiency in terms of first aid and training a necessary requirement. The carrying of an emergency beacon (PLB), GPS, relevant maps, mobile phone and even a UHF radio in case of emergency communication with nearby stations is advised. Don’t forget to leave your trip intentions form with the Ranger at Balcanoona.

      Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Outback South Australia 4wd  Tracks and Repeaters Brochure  (5.5Mb, pdf)

      Department Environment and Natural Resources

      Park Passes
      Park Closures
      Trip Intentions Form (323kb pdf)
      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (647kb pdf)
      Wildlife of the Desert Parks (419kb pdf)
      Balcanoona Shearer’s Quarters Booking Information (145kb pdf)
      SA National Parks Guide – Flinders Ranges and Outback Region (816kb pdf)
      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park Weetootla Hike Network brochure (686kb pdf)


       John Chapman’s Gammon Ranges


      Maps: 1:50,000 Topographic Illinawortina, Nepabunna, Serle, Angepena
      Northern Flinders Ranges (1.4MB pdf)
      South Australian Outback (1.2MB pdf)
      The Map Shop 
      Map index:  Arkarooola – Gammon Ranges – Yudnamutana – Farina
      Map Index:  North Flinders – Wilpena – Blinman – Leigh Creek – Balcanoona
      RAA Flinders Ranges & Outback Maps 

      Further Reading 


      South Australia: Vulkathana – Gammon Ranges (ABC, Program One: 29 December 2003 )
      The Grindell Murder Case (Flinders Ranges Research)
      Gammon Ranges Bunyip Chasm (ExplorOz)
      Grindell Hut ( ExplorOz)
      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (Wikipedia)
      Department of Environment and Natural Resources Search Results| Gammons
      Biological Survey of the North West Flinders Ranges (near Leigh Creek) (4.48mb pdf)
      Gammon Ranges National Park Access Guide and Newsletter 2006 Autumn Edition (SA Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs Inc) (149kb pdf)
      Arkarola Wilderness Sanctuary Activities (nearby tourist accommodation)


      Gammon Ranges (Flikr) 

      Scientific Expeditions Group (SEG)

      Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project (VGRaSP)
      Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project | General Description (VGRaSP 118Kb pdf)
      Analysis of Rainfall in the Gammon Ranges of South Australia 1992 – 2002  (1.7Mb pdf SEG)
      The Gammon Ranges Project – Monitoring in a Remote Area D.J. Kemp1, C.J. Wright and S.A. Jewell Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (pdf,338Kb)


      C. Warren Bonython. Walking the Flinders Ranges. Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, 2000.

      The story of Warren Bonython’s walk from the Crystal Brook in the south to Mt Hopeless in the north.  xiii, 231 p. [32] p. of plates :bill. (some col.) ; 24 cm. 

      Adrian Heard. A Walking Guide to the Northern Flinders Ranges. State Publishing South Australia, 1990.

      An excellent book, describing 3 circuit walks of around one week’s length in the Gammon Ranges and briefer notes to the Arkaroola Sanctuary area. Recommended if you are planning a long walk in the Gammon Ranges. Probably out of print, price unknown.

      John Chapman  Bushwalking In Australia, 4th edition 2003

      320 pages, A5 in size – full colour throughout, 181 colour photographs, 56 colour topographic maps, 

      Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

      Paperback, 168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps, 180mm x 120mm x 11mm. The Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island are featured in the walks over terrain ranging from coastal scrub to mountains and arid desert. ISBN: 9780855722111

      Barker, Susan and McCaskill, Murray (Eds) Explore The Flinders Ranges RGSSA Adelaide 2005

      A ‘must have’ for all travellers and admirers of the Flinders Ranges.  Recommended by tourist authorities; ideal for tourism studies and school projects.

      Osterstock, Alan Time: in the Flinders Ranges. Austaprint,1970

      56 pages, A5 in size, 8 colour photos. Covers the geology and history of the Flinders Ranges.

      Osterstock, Alan The Flinders in Flower. Austaprint,1975

      53 pages, A5 in size, 25 colour photos. Describes 27 of the most common flowers of the Flinders Ranges.

      Corbett, David A Field Guide to the Flinders Ranges Rigby, 1980

      A field guide to the plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fishes, frogs, rock types, landforms and a brief history.

      Pedler, Rosemary Plant Identikit: Wildflowers of the Northern Flinders Ranges  Rosemary Pedler1994

      This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 70 of the most common plants of the northern Flinders Ranges

      M. Davies,  C.R. Twidale, M. J Tyler Natural History of the Flinders Ranges Royal Society of South Australia Inc 1996

      This 208 page A5 book describes the history of settlement and exploration, the geology and minerals, fossils, landforms, climate, soils, vegetation, aquatic life,invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptile and amphibians and aboriginal people . It is well illustrated with B&W photos, graphs, tables, maps and has an extensive reference list

      Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

      168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 18 cm.  ISBN     0855722118 (pbk.) : Includes index.
      Subjects     Hiking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  Walking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  South Australia – Guidebooks.

      Morrison, RGB  A Field guide to the Tracks and Traces of Australian Mammals Rigby 1981

      This unique 198 page field guide contains a large number of B&W photos of tracks, diggings, droppings & scats and bones and skulls of Australian animals which helps with identification. [ISBN 0 7270 1489 7

      Bonney, Neville & Annie Reid Plant Identikit Common Plants of the Flinders Ranges Neville Bonney1993 [ISBN 0 646 15406 0]

      This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 51 of the most common plants of the Flinders Ranges, including the Gammon Ranges National Park

        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Visiting New Zealand (NZ)

      Want to check the weather in NZ? Listen to streamed radio? Find Public transport in Auckland or Wellington? Book an Air New Zealand Flight? Calculate distances and times between towns? Find wifi access or budget accommodation? NZ Snow report? Navigate roads? Identify birds and their calls? View topographic maps?

       There are certainly a large number of iPhone apps available to bushwalkers/trampers and I have reviewed many of these in a series of previous posts, some in detail and others briefly.

      This post looks at 15 or so iPhone apps from the perspective of someone who is planning to tramp in NZ or has arrived in New Zealand and wants to add some local flavour.  To make it easier, I’ve grouped these and provided a brief synopsis, taken directly from iTunes. Where I have actually used the app I have provided a more detailed review


      • Weather NZ

        Get the latest weather forecasts from New Zealand’s own MetService forecasters. Up to date, marine and general forecasts for all New Zealand Urban areas. WeatherNZ also lets you chart tidal data for all Primary and Secondary ports around NZ, plus lets you see latest Situation isobar image as they get released. Snow and Surf reports are updated directly from snow.co.nz.

      • New Zealand Snow Report

        Get your New Zealand snow reports on the go, for free, with SnowReports.co.nz and your iPod Touch or iPhone. Whether you are on the road or still lying in bed you can instantly check the weather, road and lift conditions at your favourite NZ ski areas. Or, if you are trying to decide which ski area to go to, simply browse conditions at ALL of them! The free SnowReports summaries include: Mountain name, Weather status, Road conditions, Number of lifts open, Snow base depth, New snow depth, Temperature, Wind, Time last updated


      • Timetable NZ

        If you’re a user of public transport in Auckland or Wellington then this App is for you. Find bus, train, ferry and even cable car schedules for public transport in greater Wellington and the City of Sails. Store frequently used routes in a favorites list and view the next three departures on those routes in a convenient initial page. View the location of your departure station within Google Maps in relation to where you are now to help you find where you should be going. Best of all, these schedules are all stored on your iPhone or iPod meaning that you don’t need to have a network connection to use the App.

      • Air New Zealand-mPass

        With mPass on your iPhone or iPod Touch you can: View up to date details of all your flight bookings. Go straight to the gate when travelling within New Zealand without bags. mPass acts as an electronic boarding pass. The mPass boarding pass is also recognised by Air New Zealand airport kiosks. Just scan your mPass boarding pass to collect baggage tags when travelling domestically with bags. If you’re a Koru member, scan your mPass boarding pass for entry to the Koru Lounge.


      • Find NZ

        Find! NZ is a New Zealand local search engine based on location awareness. The app uses an open source database from Zenbu. (www.zenbu.co.nz) Features: Online & Offline search. Search the nearest points of interest by predefined 43 categories. Custom search by any keywords from your keyboard entry.  Phone call, Open website, Send email, Send SMS and Map. (phone call available on iPhone only) Add, Edit Entries – You can add/edit entries in App. (Online only) Option to choose location control : GPS or Manual setting. Option to choose the max number of search results to display. (200 max) Special offers provided by Arrival NZ Magazine. (Discount coupons/Free stuffs)

      • NewZealand.spot-on

        Browse activities and destinations by region and then save them for quick access upon arrival. Save and share your adventures back home by creating custom Postcards with your photos and then posting them to social networks.
        Highlights: Works offline so that you can plan your trip during your Air New Zealand flight 1500+ pre-loaded activities and destinations organized by geography/region. Postcard builder with dozens of frames, stamps, and captions to make fun vacation snaps for friends and fans across Facebook and Twitter. Travel Notes area for backing up important names, numbers and trip detail.  Recommendations from local bloggers and recent travelers. Automatic content updates of additional activities and events
        Helpful tools include: WiFi Finder – lists cafés, libraries, and other known establishments with wireless access. Distance Calculator – estimated driving/flying times between towns. BBH Hostel Network – full list of budget accommodations and amenities across the North and South Islands. iSite Kiosk Directory – New Zealand’s official travel information resources. Kiwi Translations – learn the lingo so you can order your coffee just right.  Map of New Zealand – pinch, zoom, plot, escape.  Book a flight – direct access to Air New Zealand flight bookings and deals
      • Zenbu

        Find Everything from Zenbu instantly on your iPhone, no network connection required. http://www.zenbu.co.nz is a local search engine for New Zealand (and only NZ) places, products & services with over 80,000 listings including restaurants, cafes, accommodation, hairdressers, service stations, banks, ATMs and more. With this app you have the name, address, phone, website, activity description and opening hours all at your fingertips. Zenbu is the perfect reference tool for locals and tourists.

      • Lonely Planet Auckland

        # easy to use – swipe to scroll through a full table of contents, dip into sections, and turn pages with a flick of your finger # offline maps – there’s no need to go online to access our detailed street maps, fully retooled for the iPhone with location awareness, multi-touch controls, full-colour styling and six-level zoom # tons to see and do – choose how to search through hundreds of geo-coded points-of-interest (POIs) – by proximity, category, preferences or favourites – then just tap to visit the website, or place a direct call # text search – whether you’re into ‘live music’ or ‘fine dining’, every article and POI in your guidebook is text-searchable # location-based navigation – plot your location in real time on our interactive maps, exploring back streets and hidden treasures with no danger of losing your way # worth a thousand words … – if you need some inspiration, just thumb through images taken by our award-winning photographers # personalisation – tailor your City Guide to your tastes by tagging the best POIs as ‘favourites’ # money saving – forget roaming costs, our apps are designed for offline use, and only take up the room of an average album on your iPod


      • MapApp NZ

        MapApp NZ South Island displays full topographic maps of New Zealand’s South Island. Explore the South Island on your iPhone or iPad.  Find your current location on the map using the built-in GPS.Search for place names. MapApp includes all the map data with the app, so maps can be displayed even when you have no cellular coverage. The map data is derived from the latest LINZ 1:50000 scale Topo50 series.

      • Google Earth

        Navigate the world with a swipe of your finger. Swipe with two fingers to adjust your view to see mountainous terrain. Show the Panoramio layer and browse the millions of geo-located photos from around the world. View geo-located Wikipedia articles. Use the Location feature to fly to your current location. Search for cities, places, and business around the globe with Google Local Search. Nav4D New Zealand


      • New Zealand Radio Streams

        Alarm Clock Sleep Timer Search by radio name,  Graphic Equalizer, Favorites list, History of last played stations ,Regular updates over the air, Customer service support, Song title and artist name (when available), iPhone 4 Retina Display icon, Recording, Facebook & Twitter support, Advanced Alarm Manager – Multiple Alarms, Day Selection, iPod music / Radio station and more, Transfer Recordings to your computer with iTunes USB File Sharing (iOS 4.x), “Wifi only” On/Off switch (setting can be found in the main setting app under Radio)

      • New Zealand Radio Stations

        The Tunin.FM New Zealand Radio Stations application allows you to listen to New Zealands radio stations whilst travelling. You no longer need to switch frequencies when travelling across different coverage areas. You can now even listen to internet-only radio stations or local stations whilst travelling and anywhere you like. Enjoy radio in digital quality on the train, the bus, in the car and on your bicycle. The Tunin.FM-application does not require a Wi-Fi connection. With this app, even mobile internet connections which are sometimes slow (i.e. 2.5G/GPRS) allow you to listen to good quality radio. It is easy to save your favourite radio stations on the list of favourites and an automatic record is kept of the radio stations you listened to most recently the next time you start the app again.

      First Aid 

      • St John NZ CPR

        St John is the leading provider of first aid training in New Zealand as well providing ambulance services to 85% of the population. This application teaches the life saving skills of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR. Knowing how to save a life of a family member, friend or colleague is vital, so why not get this application now so you have it on your phone. You never know when you might need it and it is FREE.

      Field Guides

      • What Bird NZ

        WhatBirdNZ provides a concise pocket reference guide to many of the interesting birds that can be seen around New Zealand. Not only does it allow you to hear and see them but it also provides interesting trivia in a fun “Top Trumps” style card format. Also when in this view you can rotate your iPhone/iPod to see a zoomed in photo.

      Similar Posts: 


        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Bushwalking Navigation | Using Topo50 Maps (LINZ) for Tramping in New Zealand

      Want to plan your NZ tramp using digital topographic maps? Like to view NZ Topo50 maps on your iPhone or Mac? What sorts of maps are best for tramping?  How do you select the appropriate map? How can you load and calibrate these maps on an iPhone or Mac computer? What are some of the technical problems?

      New Zealanders are certainly lucky to have high quality recent produced raster digital topographic maps (300dpi) available for download for FREE , and despite some controversy, the change to NZGD2000, which is equivalent to the universally used WGS84 for bushwalking purposes, has brought some bonuses for those of us who like to use NZ maps on our iPads and iPhones. There is no doubt that for tramping a 1:50K topographic map is needed and  for steep terrain a 1:25K map is even better.

      Navigation Apps

      Many newer mapping programs that may not have been able to use the old NZGD1949 datum, but do have the newer WGS84 datum installed, are now able to be used by bushwalkers/trampers in NZ. Two of my favourite navigation apps,  Bit Map for the iPhone and MacGPS Pro for the Mac computer can now view and use the latest NZ Topo50 (1:50K) and Topo250 (1:250K) maps. No doubt any GPS that is able to load non-proprietary maps will be able to used these maps too.

      Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

      The new Topo50 and Topo250 map series are available for download from the Land Information New Zealand website in two formats

      • geoTIFF (141 Mb for a typical map) (no map legend or margin, but includes embedded calibration data to allow automatic georeferencing and alignment of adjacent maps)
      • TIFF (214Mb) (includes the legend and margins, identical to the paper version)

      Map Selection

      The first step is to decide which map you wish to download and this can be done by going to the LINZ Map Index page and selecting the appropriate 1:250,000 map. Once you have selected the correct large scale map, clicking the large grid square, will reveal twenty five, 20 km x 20km 1:50,000 maps which can then be individually selected for download.

      Loading Topo Maps into your Map Viewing App

      Bit Map requires that you first convert the geoTIFF map image file ( no margins or legend) into a form that it can read and labels .bitmap. This can be done within your iPhone or  using a desktop application, such as those available free of charge on the developers website, which optimises the files for use prior to loading into your iPhone. The optimisation process splits the large geoTIFF image file into a large number of smaller tiled JPEG image files which have been produced at a much lower resolution to reduce loading time. This optimised format is very similar to ozf2 format, which means that if you already have files of this type from a program such as OziExplorer (not version 3), they should load without the need for any optimisation.

      The next step is to calibrate the file, which requires a knowledge of the grid references of the corners of the map and the grid zone name. For the Routeburn track this is 59G. The grid references of the corners of the map (extents) can be found from the LINZ website, where it is possible to download the data as a text file, spreadsheet (preferred so you can change the order of the data) or view on the screen.

      World UTM Grid Zones by Alan Morton

      View an enlarged map

      MacGPS Pro first needs to convert the geoTIFF image file into PICT format, which while no smaller, is the format used internally by the program. Once imported the file is automatically calibrated by  the user when the correct units (datum: NXZGD2000 and grid: NZTM2000, km, m, magnetic or true) are chosen and the file saved.

      Check you have it right by finding the coordinates of a known point on the map and see whether they correspond to that on the TIFF or paper map

      View Similar Posts

      Creative Commons License
      This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Converting Map Coordinates for Bushwalkers | Latitude, Longitude to/from UTM

      Ever wanted to understand what the numbers on the lines on your map are? Does your iPhone app only register latitude and longitude and you need to convert it to UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) or vice versa. Need to be able to tell your local emergency service the latitude and longitude of your location for a rescue?

      There are at least three ways to convert between coordinate systems or formats eg UTM grid references to latitude and longitude

      1. using an online Web Converter (see below for examples)
      2. install an iPhone App which does it for you (see below for two)
      3. change your GPS  coordinate format settings and see the converted result

      A word of warning from Professor Dutch

      “Caution! Unlike latitude and longitude, there is no physical frame of reference for UTM grids. Latitude is determined by the earth’s polar axis. Longitude is determined by the earth’s rotation. If you can see the stars and have a sextant and a good clock set to Greenwich time, you can find your latitude and longitude. But there is no way to determine your UTM coordinates except by calculation.(Source: Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay)


      “Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate system is a grid-based method of specifying locations on the surface of Earth. The UTM system divides the surface of Earth between 80° S latitude and 84° N latitude into 60 zones, each 6° of longitude in width and centered over a meridian of longitude. Zones are numbered from 1 to 60. ” (Source: Clever Applications)

      Some Online Web Converters

      iPhone Apps

      Map Tools screenshot

      Map Tools By Richard Hoffman

      “Map Tools is an iPhone app  that let users to fully utilize coordinates. Map Tools converts coordinates among various datums, coordinate systems and map projections. It also calculates distance between two coordinates. It supports coordinates conversion between geodetic coordinates, UTM, UPS, MGRS and map projections in up to 232 datums. The app is delivered with WGS84 ellipsoid and used as the default datum. You can purchase an add on that will provide you with an additional 232 datums, which include NAD27, ED50, OSGB36, EGSA87, AGD66, AGD84, GDA94 and a lot more.” (Source: iTunes Apps)

      NB for Australians WSG84 (supplied) and GDA94 are almost equivalent so if you are only using this datum there is no need to buy the extra 232 datums. 

      Bit Map by Nixanz 

      Bit Map by Nixanz

      Bit Map is a map viewer app with some basic GPS features, and simultaneously provides both the UTM and latitude/longitude coordinates in decimal degrees for any point on the uploaded map you are viewing. While it doesn’t convert between map coordinate systems, it will give both for any location and datum.

      Read my Review of Bit Map

      Using your GPS to convert

      If you open the settings field on your GPS, you can change between the coordinate formats offered eg UTM to Latitude and longitude etc and all coordinates entered in the original format will then appear in the new.

      Social Bookmarking

      Visit my Delicious bookmarks to discover some popular web resources on this topic.

      Further Reading

      Creative Commons License
      This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      iPhone Navigation and Map Viewer App Review | Bit Map 3 by Nixanz

      Do you want to be able to view your hard copy or digital topo bushwalking maps on a high resolution, user-friendly, portable viewer? Want to know where you are on your map, even when outside your mobile’s reception area? Want to carry one less device with you while on your bushwalks?

      I always have a second look when I see an iPhone app with a local flavour and Bit Map by Nixanz meets this requirement. The developer, Nik Sands, is also a Mac enthusiast which automatically makes him a friend of mine, keen bushwalker, Bushwalk Australia forum administrator/founder, and has produced some useful applications for the Mac which makes this iPhone app especially worth checking out. His OZF viewer  is a great free application for viewing map files with the OziExplorer (.ozf2) suffix.

      Bit Map iPhone App

      In the past, I have used software such as MacGPS Pro (see my review of the latest version) to view topographic maps which I have scanned, stitched together and loaded into my mapping software. I have plotted routes and waypoints using MacGPS Pro and then uploaded these to my small GPS (Garmin Geko 201), which has shown the route clearly but lacks the background detail, such as contours and features, shown in a topo map. I have found that being able to zoom a laptop screen image to place a waypoint or find the coordinates is much easier than struggling on the original topo map with a magnifying lens as I once used to do. I have often tracked my route with my GPS and downloaded it on my return to MacGPS Pro to view exactly where I had walked.

      Niche Market

      The developer Nik Sands designed this iPhone app to meet a need for Australian bushwalkers which was not being met by existing devices and software.

      Bit Map fills a niche market for bushwalkers who need to view Australian 1:25K or 50K  topographic maps in colour and wish to have the benefits of a user friendly, portable map viewer which can view the maps offline, without the need for mobile reception or a wifi connection. The iPhone with its large, high resolution colour screen (version 4’s retina display shows 4 times as much map without loss of image quality as the iPhone 3), large storage capacity for maps and user-friendly touch screen, makes all this possible. This app’s primary task is to convert your iPhone into a high resolution map viewer and is not designed to replace your dedicated GPS, although for many people it will be more than adequate. It has many of the basic  GPS’s features you would expect such as giving the grid references of your location, speed and allowing you to enter waypoints and upload routes.


      Bit Map Screenshot

      Unlike expensive proprietary maps which need to be purchased, such as the vector maps of Garmin, and then uploaded into a matching GPS, Bit Map works with bitmapped or raster images which can be user-supplied and produced in a variety of traditional graphic formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIFF and even PDF.  In addition, Bit Map  can import OziExplorer maps (OZF2) which are pre-optimised,and are highly regarded in Australia. Maps need to be supplied by the user as there are none built-in, except for a bundled map of the world.


      Once converted into a supported digital format, maps need to be optimised for use in the iPhone and this can be done within the iPhone or on a desktop computer using third party software, which is the preferred option, and Nik has supplied some software for this purpose. Pre-optimisation saves lengthy load times as the iPhone doesn’t need to do as much processing.

      “When you first download a map to your iPhone, Bit Map will automatically split it into small chunks that are easier for the iPhone to handle and will compress each chunk to reduce the amount of storage space used. While viewing the map, each chunk will be seamlessly loaded when it comes into view on screen.” (From developers website)

      Optimisation stores the maps as JPEGs at 50% quality to save storage space, which will of course result in a small loss of quality.

      Maps can be downloaded directly using the built-in web browser if you have wifi access or a large data plan.

      In Map View, the UTM zone and grid reference of the current location overlay the map along with the latitude and longitude for the WGS84 datum, and the estimated recent and average speeds.  The grid reference defaults to the WGS84 datum if there is no current map datum available.


      “There are two methods of calibrating map files:

      The fully manual preparation method requires you to determine and define the region of the Earth covered by each map yourself, and to rename each image file using a strict format to define each map’s area.

      The .map method uses OziExplorer-compatible “.map” files to automatically determine the area covered by each map, but is only available to OziExplorer users, or people who’ve obtained maps with associated “.map” files in OziExplorer format.If the image is not pre-calibrated (eg ECW, GeoTIFF) then it will need to be done manually by clicking a few known points and adding their coordinates.” (From developers website)

      Installation of Map Files and KML, KMZ files

      “Maps (converted and calibrated as detailed above) and KML files can both be loaded into Bit Map on an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) using much the same process.  There are three different ways for Bit Map to load maps and KML files.  Choose whichever of these methods suits your circumstances the best:

         1. Using iTunes’ file sharing over USB.  This is by far the fastest (by several orders of magnitude) and easiest method if you are able to physically connect the device to a computer running iTunes which also has your map or KML/KMZ files on it.
         2. Uploading files via WiFi from your desktop/laptop to Bit Map, directing the web browser on your Desktop/Laptop to the URL that Bit Map displays in its acquisition view.  While in the acquisition view, Bit Map will run its own built-in web server ready to receive files from web browsers on the local network (NB:  The desktop/laptop uploading the files must be on the same local network as the iPhone running Bit Map, and Bit Map must be displaying it’s acquisition view for this to work).
         3. Downloading files from a web server somewhere on the internet (or on your local network) using URLs that you enter into Bit Map itself. This means that you first need to upload your prepared map image files to a web server. Any computer can act as a web server, so long as it is configured correctly. If you don’t already have upload access to a web server, you may be able to set up your desktop/laptop as a temporary web server.”(From developers website)

      GPS Functions

      Bit Map screen shot

      “Bit Map can record and store several routes (series of waypoints).  Waypoints can be named, and several routes can be displayed on the map simultaneously.  Routes can also be sent to or received from your desktop computer as KML files which can be read by a variety of other applications, including Google Earth.” (From developers website)

      Unlike MacGPS Pro it can’t show profiles, nor load some of the more unusual formats available. It overcomes some of these limitations by allowing the import of .kml and .kmz data already prepared on a desktop computer using software such as MacGPS Pro and the export of any such files generated by email.

      Bit Map uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS to show your current location on your map and also has the ability to “follow” your location if you are mobile, by centralising the map on the screen as you move, loading new maps as required.

      “While in ‘Follow’ mode, sleep is disabled (only while connected to a power source) and the map is continually scrolled to centre on your current location”. (From developers website)

      As with many iPhone apps that use the GPS, there is a potential for your battery to drain quickly. (See my recent post “How to Keep your iPhone Charged in the Outdoors“)

      Browse the developers website for more Bit Map information.

      Bit Map Settings Screenshot


      The iphone with Bit Map installed will never match my 17″ MacBook Pro with MacGPS Pro installed for ease of viewing, profiling and entry of waypoints and routes, nor will it match a dedicated GPS for battery life or robustness, although there are solutions to both these problems. Hopefully you will not need to use your iPhone in heavy rain or when wearing gloves.

      It does however provide a compact and mobile map viewer with a limited set of GPS features which will suit many people who don’t need the full range of GPS features and in the past have relied upon large laminated paper maps. For some it will mean their GPS will no longer need to be carried on a bushwalk as their phone will do both tasks.

      Congratulations Nik on a job well done!

      Creative Commons License
      This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Navigation Software Release: MacGPS Pro (Version 9)

      Do you own an Apple Mac? Want some outstanding mapping/navigation software that is fully supported by a Mac enthusiast? Want to be able to view EWC maps such as those provided free of charge by GeoScience Australia (250K) and stitch them?

      I have just updated to version 9. (Update: Version 9.2 was released in November) I have been using MacGPS Pro for almost 20 years and can highly recommend it as the best mapping and navigation software for Mac owners. The developer, Dr James Lawrence, continues to take a personal interest in this software which continues to grow in capabilities and user interface. New features are added regularly and the developer is receptive to new ideas such as inclusion of ECW  and the import of some OziExplorer format maps for Australians.

      Attribution: The text below is taken from the MacGPS Pro website with minor modifications to make it more relevant for Australians.

      Features of MacGPS Pro™ navigation software

      Link your Mac with GPS receivers. Whether it’s a daylong hike, 4×4 excursion, geocaching quest, ski trip or sailing voyage — you’ll always know where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.

      •  Flexibility: Support of open-standard format maps, aerial photos and charts, scan-your-own maps, as well as our own maps and charts.
      •  Real-Time: Connect to NMEA 0183 from Serial port, Bluetooth, and USGlobalSat USB receivers. View your position on a wide variety of moving digital topo maps and marine charts on a Mac.
      • Waypoints, Routes, and Tracks: Create and edit. Use on the Mac. Transfer to and from many Garmin and Magellan receivers. 

      New features for version 9.0:

      • Edit Track Points. Split and Join Tracks.
      • Hide individual Waypoints, Routes & Tracks.
      • Color Waypoint Icons match Newest Receivers.
      • Auto-Open, Margin Removal, Map Stitching, Find, and Guide Maps for NOAA charts, New Zealand, Chatham Islands and Australia Topos.
      • Map Stitching for EWC maps & BSB charts.
      • Revised Help & Alert Messages. New Shortcuts.

      For Australia and New Zealand:

      • Geoscience Australia 250K topo maps: remove map margin, stitch together, auto-open, find by latitude and longitude, map name, or click on provided guide map.
      • Land Information New Zealand 50K and 250K topo maps: remove map margin, stitch together, auto-open, find by latitude and longitude, map name, or click on provided guide map.
      • Chatham Islands: Transverse Mercator 2000 map projection and grid coverage.

      Other must-have features that make MacGPS Pro navigation software one-of-a-kind.

      • Works with many types of maps—even those you scan in yourself—in the most popular file formats, including GeoTIFF, JPEG, PDF, ECW and BSB. For full List
      • For optimum resolution and seamless map stitching, we recommend our MacTopos Maps series. MacGPS Pro is also an excellent viewer for USGS Digital Raster Graphic topo maps, NOS/GEO and BSB versions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 charts, FAA flight sectionals, and many other digital maps.
      • Digital maps come in two different types. Raster maps are a scanned or photographed image of a paper map. This is the type of map that MacGPS Pro uses. Vector map files contain a mathematical description of the lines and areas that make up the map. MacGPS Pro does not support maps in vector format. Garmin “*.IMG” files are vector maps.
      • Maps and charts in raster-image formats such as TIF, PNG, JPG, GIF, PDF, BSB, and ECW can be imported into MacGPS Pro. These images will be automatically georeferenced if they are in GeoTIFF format, in ECW format, in GeoPDF format, in BSB format, or if they are accompanied by a “world” file, a “*.IMP” file (a CompeGPS calibration file), a “*.JPR” file (a Fugawi calibration format) or a “*.MAP” file (an OziExplorer calibration file). OziExplorer OZF2 image files are not supported.
      • Maps may be purchased, obtained by downloading them from the Internet, or by scanning them yourself. Maps can be calibrated and used on your Macintosh screen with or without a GPS receiver connected. USGS, TVA and Teale (California) DRG maps, DOQQs, and many other maps from diverse sources are automatically calibrated. Maps that do not contain calibration information can be manually calibrated with ease by clicking on a few known points. Check our Digital Map Library to help find maps for your area.
      • Please note that MacGPS Pro does not upload maps to any GPS receiver; the maps are used on the Macintosh screen.
      • Seamlessly stitches maps and charts together for USA, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand topo maps, and world-wide BSB-format marine charts. How It Works
      • If you have a map file already open in MacGPS Pro and open another map file with the same map projection and standard coordinates, then both maps will appear in the Map Window. Under the View menu, check “Remove Map Margins” so the margin of one map does not cover part of the adjacent map. With the margins removed, the two adjacent maps will automatically appear stitched together.
      • Calculates your speed and travel direction based on track log locations and times.
      • Capable of handling up to 65,000 waypoints, 250,000 track points, and 50 routes with 300 waypoints on each route.
      • Graphically edit waypoints, routes and tracks. Split or join track log segments.
      •  Link photos, websites or any other files to GPS waypoints.
      • Hide individual Waypoints, Routes and Tracks.
      • Optional large real-time position display makes for easy viewing at a distance or a quick glance.
      • Save GPS data as editable, tab-delimited text files for exchange with spreadsheets such as Excel, database software like Filemaker, and text-editing applications like BBEdit.
      • Elevation feature allows you to plot the altitude profile for track logs and routes.
      • Almost anything can be used as a map. Just scan it, save it as a TIFF or JPEG file, and georeference it with a few known points. Full Instructions

            Follow these instructions for importing your own scanned maps:
               1. Scan in any paper map.
               2. Save the scanned image as a TIFF, PNG or JPEG file.
               3. From the File menu, choose “Import…” and select your file.
               4. The software prompts you to enter map data, including projection and datum. (This is typically found along most outer margins of a printed map.)
               5. The scanned image is then displayed in the map window.
               6. Click on a known point and enter its latitude and longitude. (Refer to the MacGPS Pro Help menu).
               7. Repeat with at least one other known point (four points is ideal).
               8. Click “Done”.
               9. Your map is now georeferenced and ready to use.

      • Coordinate conversions to-and-from 123 user-selectable datums and 25 map projections plus user-defined datums and grids to support maps for a broad range of countries. Full List
      • For Australians:  Australian Geod ’66    Australian Geod ’84    GDA94     WGS 84
      • Sky chart shows current and projected Global Positioning System satellite overhead positions at any specific location and time.
      •  Includes Maptech® World Marine chart and NASA Blue Marble World Topo Map.
      • For those new to GPS, MacGPS Pro includes its own easy-to-follow, comprehensive illustrated tutorial in its Help menu.

      For more information visit the MacGPS Pro website