USGS Making Me Crazy

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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Scott P
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by Scott P » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:43 am

seano wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:59 am
Metric quads like #2 are really annoying; they seem to be a failed experiment that left only a few traces in e.g. the Palisades in California.
All of the 1:100,000 scale quads are still in metric; it just isn't California
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by susanjoypaul » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:44 am

I've been relying on USGS map and compass orientation and navigation for years, but last week I was in a class that used UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) maps and grid readers, which use the metric system. It seems like some professional organizations are moving to UTM or have already switched. I guess it doesn't hurt to know both systems, especially if you're traveling outside the US. Just remember to switch the position format on your (handheld) GPS to UTM/UPS grid.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by planet54 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:54 am

Thanks for the comments. I flunked all of my communication classes but we are heading in the direction that I would like this to go. :-D
Map #1 is from 1902 ! Cool map. I wanted to show three different styles for a line of history. The earliest that I see North Eolus on a map is 1964 Storm King Peak
The metric maps; YUCK. I don't want 3.2808 etched in my mind. Why did they use Maroon Bells ?
The 2016 series of maps seems like a half ass way to go. No spot elevations for peaks,lakes , nothing. I wouldn't want to see those on this site or a guidebook.
The USGS has always done some quirky ,oddball things. Does anyone have one to share? It doesn't matter if the map was made yesterday or 100 years ago.
Last edited by planet54 on Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by Boggy B » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:08 am

Awhile ago I started a discussion along similar lines here, specifically about Potosi Pk: https://www.14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.p ... 92#p712068

The 2013/16 USFS maps are garbage. I prefer the '70's (?) USGS quads available on CalTopo for accurate terrain layout.

Though I'm excited for high-res, high-accuracy topos based on the new LiDAR surveys.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by Scott P » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:29 am

planet54 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:54 am
Why did they use Maroon Bells ?
That's the name of the group of (two) peaks. As a group they have been known as that for a long time.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by planet54 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:32 am

Scott P wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:29 am
planet54 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:54 am
Why did they use Maroon Bells ?
That's the name of the group of (two) peaks. As a group they have been known as that for a long time.
Then why didn't they use it on earlier maps and later maps? I have seen it with Maroon Bells and the 2 peak names but not just Maroon Bells.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by Scott P » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:40 am

planet54 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:32 am
Scott P wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:29 am
planet54 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:54 am
Why did they use Maroon Bells ?
That's the name of the group of (two) peaks. As a group they have been known as that for a long time.
Then why didn't they use it on earlier maps and later maps?
They did and still do. On large scale maps more indvidual peaks are shown. On small scale maps, the group is often shown. Some show both. Small scale maps (such as the 1:100,000 scale) don't have as much room to label every individual peak. You can show a lot more individual peaks on a 7.5 quad than you can a 1:100,000 quad.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/0015/report.pdf
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by planet54 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:48 am

On the 1:100000 map I would have left off Maroon Bells and labeled each peak which I feel is more important. But I am not a cartographer.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by Scott P » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:58 am

planet54 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:48 am
On the 1:100000 map I would have left off Maroon Bells and labeled each peak which I feel is more important. But I am not a cartographer.
And then you would have to cover up more contour lines and terrain features, which are important. If someone says or writes Maroon Bells and you can't figure out which one is the north one and which one is the south one, then maybe you are persuing the wrong hobby.

PS, I looked at the most recent 7.5 minute quad (the largest scale available). It labels Maroon Bells as well as the individual peaks:

Maroon.JPG
Maroon.JPG (45.7 KiB) Viewed 514 times
There isn't enough room to have all three names on the 1:100,000 maps, so the most compact one was chosen, which makes sense. The 7.5 minute map has room for all three names (North Maroon, South Maroon, and Maroon Bells) so they show all three without covering too much of the terrain features and contours. The 1:100,000 scale map doesn't show Len Shoemaker Ridge either. That more individual peaks (or lakes, etc.) are labeled on large scale maps than small scale maps seems logical to me.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by planet54 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:46 am

Yeah, when you get down to 1:125000 and 1:250000 all you get is is Maroon Peak,that's it. In 1983, that map year ,you wouldn't have to use a 1:100000 anyway for navigating the Bells but I see your point. The only time that I had to use a small scale map was in the Arrigetch Peaks in 1983 which was Survey Pass 1:250000.That was challenging.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by Scott P » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:56 am

If anyone is curious as to why the 1:100,000 scale maps are metric, but not the 7.5 minute, 15 minute, and 1:250,000 scale maps, here's what I remember (anyone can correct me if I am remembering any part wrong).

Before the early to mid 1980's, the 15 minute quads were the largest scale maps available in many areas. Most of those were last updated in the 1950's (and aren't in use today other than in Alaska). I remember trying to navigate with them in the 1980's (I was a kid, but was the best in our family at navigation and topo maps) and they posed a problem in some areas. For example in the San Rafael Swell, which we explored extensively in the 1980's, the topo maps available still didn't show I-70 so it was a challenge to figure out where to get off I-70 in order to access the dirt and gravel roads that were shown on the quads (the dirt and gravel roads still used today pre-date I-70, which was built on virgin ground through the San Rafael Swell). Then finally, the 1:100,000 metric quads came out and showed I-70 and were quite useful. That scale of map wasn't that useful for hiking/climbing, but they were the only topo maps that showed the new roads (such as I-70).

Anyway, in 1975 Congress Passed the Metric Conversion Act and the US was supposed to go all metric, but it got off to a slow start before the Reagan Administration killed it completely in the 1980's. The 1:100,000 quads were completed in the early 1980's when the country was supposed to be going all metric. By the time the 7.5 minute quads were all completed the US was back to the old system (except for apparently many maps in California).

So in short the 1:100,000 maps are metric only because they were orginally made in the time period between the Metric Conversion Act and the time that the Reagan Administration killed the act. Of course many of those maps have been updated since then, but rather than redoing all the cartography and contour lines, the maps have just been updated (roads, buildings, etc.) while keeping the old contour lines and elevations. It is also interesting that the maps were never fully metric anyway as they are still layed out in the one square mile grid and the non-metric scales are still provided. The contour lines and elevations were metric and still are.

Anyway, the above is from memory and the USGS website has absolutely none of the above information on their website, so if anyone remembers more and can add more info, feel free to.
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Re: USGS Making Me Crazy

Post by d_baker » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:26 pm

Aislado or Asilado?


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