Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Software

I'm back at my work place, settling in for the tour of duty.  I've had just a little bit of free time to mess around with some new software I purchased, National Geographic TOPO Outdoor REcreation Mapping Software.  So far I'm much happier with it than with MacGPS Pro. 

As a quick test run, I opened up a map of my home area and downloaded the track log from my GPS, creating a map of the trails I ran most often last winter. 

National Geographic TOPO map of Home Trails

I imagine that MacGPS Pro can probably do everything that TOPO can do, but I found the former to be dreadfully difficult to work with.  TOPO has much more intuitive interface, it's much easier to find the desired base map with TOPO.  I'll continue messing with it when I get the opportunity, and if I'm as happy with it in 3 months as I am now, I'll delete MacGPS pro from this machine.

Green-up is only a heartbeat or two away.  The sap is running full bore up the birch trees, and they've produced a record quantity of pollen.  That yellow 'dust' that seems to be covering EVERYTHING up here is birch pollen.  I can't help but feel sorry for those allergic to the stuff, and I'm very grateful that I am not.  I'm thinking all these trees will be leafing out within just a couple of days.


  1. Is that your home base at the bottom of the map? Do you see any people collecting birch tree sap to make Birch Syrup? Their is an Alaska Birch Syrup website.

  2. G'day Swanny - looking forward to another example of the new technology - cannot read the bits on the sample and was trying to get my bearings after driving around out your way in November. Enjoy your "green up". Terry

  3. Should have added, we went to Maria's Cafe for lunch - it was great. And saw a cow and calf on the way back past your place. Regards.

  4. I'm hoping to see a cow without a calf this coming fall - I drew a hunting permit to harvest an antlerless moose. Better a hunter harvest her than an automobile, ya know.

    Maria's is one of my favorites, though more frequently from b'fast or supper than lunch. I don't think I've ever been served a bad meal by Maria and her husband.

    Yes, my home base is at the bottom of the map. The "bits" on the sample are waypoint data, including latitude, longitude and altitude. They aren't particularly important and I'll probably not download that data at all on future projects unless I actually intend to create a waypoint.

    Some of the guys here at work have been collecting birch sap for syrup. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.