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GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section

by , Posted to on 07/30/2005 10:41 PM | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
I bought a GPS and when I'm out in the badlands away from the roads and such I have a difficult time figuring out where I am on a paper map (trying to keep off land I don't have permission to hunt).

So here's the question: Does anyone have a slick way of locating yourself on a map based upon Township, Range, and Section when the GPS unit is programmed to give coordinates in UTM, or Lat-Long? The GPS unit is the Lowrance IFinder Hunt and I have the Mapcreate version 6.

Or, does anyone have suggestions on how to go from ArcView created files into map files compatible with hand held GPS units?

Tim, yer a GIS person, any experience with this?
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 07/30/2005 10:52 PM | Reply #1 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 03/20/2002
Location: MT
Set your points on the map you have on your computer at home. You should be able to waypoint the areas on the map and then load them on to yous gps. Then when you go into the field you will have those pionts and know your bounderies.
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 07/30/2005 11:19 PM | Reply #2 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/03/2002
Location: ND
I go out to Badlands alot so To find out where you are or how far out and finding it on the paper map.

I usually Park my vehicle at like Magpie road and set the Waypoint where you parked on gps, as you wonder around so far and want to know where you are at on the paper map. To know how far you are from your truck and how far you are from HWY 85, Use right left, up, and arrow (thats in the middle lower on GPS) and a dashed cross will come up on your GPS screen, Zoom out and see your Truck or HWY and then Scroll that dashed + to your truck or hwy, and zoom in and put that + on the truck should be the most accurate. Miles that shows increasing and decreasing should tell you how far out you are from your truck and/or HWY 85 and you would be able to narrow down to where you are at on PAPER MAP. It works well on Mile grid on Paper map you can buy from US Forest Dept or office or at US Grassland office, or grab PLOT Land map book from ND game n Fish dept for free.

Hope that helps and make sense.
Triggerman

Triggerman

Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 07/31/2005 6:12 PM | Reply #3 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
neb and triggerman,

Yeah, those are the two methods I had come with as well. I was just hoping for something a little more instantaneous than having to upload everything into the GPS, or having to use a reverse azimuth every time. And, es I am trying to keep track of myself on the Forest Services Grasslands map and Plat maps.

Thanks though for weighing in.



Anyone else have any other suggestions? Any knowledge on how to convert a standard electronic version of a USGS topo map into something compatible with Lowrance?
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 08/01/2005 11:13 AM | Reply #4 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/07/2005
Location: MN
allen,
Did you create a map for your hunting area via LEI? I built a 64mg map for a buddy that will be Elk hunting in western CO. next month,different deal I know but it was easy to upload data and waypoints on private land that he will be hunting ajacent to the built in public land on your program.Should be simple to figure out once your in the area with a custom topo map.
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 08/01/2005 11:30 AM | Reply #5 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/14/2003
Location: ND
Allen,



I'd have to think about it a bit since I haven't personally had to do such a thing yet.  However, I know you and your wife have access to ArcView.  I'd send an email to ESRI and see if they can provide you with a script that will go find that informatin for you and make a print.  I would almost have to think it wouldn't be a problem to find that script.  Otherwise, you will have to get the sec. twn. rng. files from the ND GIS hub and throw them on a layer.  Then dump your lat longs or whatever format you have on top of them and print the points.  From there, you'll have a map and the more time you spend on it the better it'll get.



I'll go do some checking. For ya, that above stuff was a quick thought.



I'm sure you have the ESRI link but thougth I'd throw it in here for others to view:  Click HERE



Tim S.




 
Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 08/01/2005 3:14 PM | Reply #6 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 06/11/2002
Location: ND
I hope you get an answer, that's the GPS i want to buy. Can't you import a USGS digital quad map? If your GPS output is lat/long, you can read that off of the side of the USFS paper map to pin down an approximate location. NDDOT sells digital county maps on CD, don't know if you can paste one of those in as a background. I was hoping to take USGS digital aerial photography and import it as a layer, but haven't bought the GPS or any add-on map products yet. Every salesperson I talk to is clueless on this subject. Ron Leuthe at the Bismarck NRCS office might have a clue, he does GIS and GPS for the NRCS...
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 08/01/2005 8:03 PM | Reply #7 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
Pat, it's a decent unit but this proprietary software thing is really pi$$ing me off. LEI software is the Mapcreate package. My wife found online a site that said you could go from GIS to GPS, but it has been disabled for Mapcreate versions 5 and 6.

Lowrance makes a good piece of electronics but hte maps that come with Mapcreate are not even close to being as good as the USGS topo maps that they are supposed to be based upon.

And as far as things like borders of the grasslands. Sure it has a public lands layer, but it shows the border of the area included within the grasslands without differentiating private vs public. USELESS LAYER!

I'm sure part of the problem is I just have not put in my time with the unit yet.

Yes the USFS map has latitude and longitude on them. But the tick marks are in 7.5 minute increments. It would take some sketching of gridlines to get it down to the half mile grid system that would be quite useful to me.


Pat, if you want to see the unit let me know and we can get together this coming weekend and I can go over it with you. allenschlag@yahoo.com
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 08/18/2005 5:24 PM | Reply #8 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/14/2003
Location: ND
Allen,



Here's a response I got on your forum question:



Hello Mr. Sanstrom,

The tool that will allow marking an area boundary is referred to, in the users manual, as "Scout Plots." The step by step instructions may be found on page 113 and page 114 of the Ifinder Hunt users manual. The instructions read that the user would have to walk the boundary lines to plot them, but the user may choose to plot them using known GPS coordinates instead of walking the boundary. Please find the instructions pasted below.



Scout Plots

The Scout Plot feature lets you map your own hunting areas. A scout plot is a type of GPS data you can record that includes an area perimeter or boundary along with waypoints that mark game sign. (It may be made into any desired shape, not just rectangular bounaries.) A scout plot could be your immediate hunting area, a food plot, or the entire piece of property you have permission to hunt on. Scout plots are saved as part of a GPS Data File (with the *.usr suffix). This feature is especially useful on private lands, where property borders do not appear in our mapping data. 



To start a new scouting session:

1. From the Map page, press MENU|↓ to SCOUTING|ENT|ENT.

2. Use ↓ and ↑ to select the type of scouting session, then press ENT.

(The default is Big Game, which determines the set of waypoint symbols available for the scouting session.) 



Scout Plot menus

3. The Scout plot list appears. To begin recording, press ↓ to ACTIVE|ENT to make the session Active, then repeatedly press EXIT to clear the menus and return to the Map Page.

 

Scout Plot List

4. As you walk the perimeter of the area you're scouting, you'll record a series of flag points that will be used to draw the scout plot boundary. (As mentioned above, you do not have to walk it. You may plot the boundary on the Ifinder Hunt by moving the cursor to predetermined GPS Coordinates and then set flag points at each coordinate set.) You need to set enough flag points to roughly outline the area's corners. For example, while scouting a square soybean field and looking for deer entry points, you could record the field boundary by setting just four flag points. To set the first scouting flag press ENT and the scout point menu appears. The name Flag(1) is entered automatically and the SAVE button is already highlighted. To create your first corner flag, just press ENT again. The flag point is created and the scout point menu is cleared. Back on the Map Page, the message "Scout 1" appears in the lower right corner, indicating a scouting session is under way. 



5. Repeat these steps for setting a flag at every major corner of the area you're scouting. The iFINDER will link the flag points and draw the

perimeter of the area you walked. (For a more clear and concise Scout Plot boundary line, it might be preferred to use the "Data Point" icons instead of the other bulky icons. The "Data Points" will put small round dots on each specified GPS Coordinate location. When the Scout Plot is finished it will show the boundary dots, with connecting lines, encompassing the land that the user is permitted to be on.



We trust this will provide the needed answers to that users request.



Thank you for your time and continued support of Lowrance Electronics.



Lowrance Customer Service

12000 E. Skelly Dr.

Tulsa, OK 74128

Customer Service: 1-800-324-1356

Lowrance website: http://www.lowrance.com




 
Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 
Re: GPS Coordinates to Township, Range, and Section
by on 08/18/2005 8:46 PM | Reply #9 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
Tim, That is an interesting technique. May have to give it some thought on how it could be useful. For doing TRS though, this would be very cumbersome.

What we ended up doing was downloading a PLSS layer into ArcInfo, then we (the wife) used Arc to find the centroid of each Section. Once we found the centroid, then we selected the desired area and exported the centroids in the following format to a text file.

Lat, (one space) Long, (one space) Name

Where lat and long are in decimal degrees and Name is the TRS description. Doing this you can upload 1,000 waypoints, or the equivalent of 1,000 square miles into the Lowrance GPS units. When you are zoomed out it's a little busy on the screen, but it works well for knowing where you are on the planet. All you have to do is scroll the cursor over and read off the distance. Worked slick for me.

Thanks again to all.

Next question I have is how do others like the Lowrance software and their GPS? I think their software is mediocre at best, and I have a problem with the card that came with the unit as well. The GPS stopped reading the card at the end of the first day and I lost my detailed base map. REALLY TORQUED ME OFF! At least I didn't lose the waypoints, so my GPS had no detail, but I knew where I was on a paper map at all times.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
9 Replies | Page 1 of 11 | Top of Page | Bottom of Page
Posted By:
Posted On: 07/30/2005 10:41 PM
2530 Views, 9 Comments

Tags: gps, township, section, range, coordinates, map, hunt, i'm, roads, badlands
More Tags: GPS, Section I, Technology_Internet
Region: North Dakota

Categories: Hunting
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