Links to Instructions and Tutorials (note: brief descriptions are provided, for full descriptions of all functions please visit the application websites)

Trade-name products and services are mentioned as illustrations only. This does not mean that the Oregon State University Extension Service either endorses these products and services or intends to discriminate against products and services not mentioned.

Apps (Apps can be downloaded from your trusted app store. Some apps are free, while others have subscriptions or fees)

Apple Maps. A map app that comes pre-loaded on apple devices. Allows the user to view street map, aerial imagery, create pins to mark points. Free.

Avenza. A mapping tool that allows the user to download maps from a map store (map store has free maps and maps for purchase) or use basemaps imported from another program. Allows the user to access their maps without cell service. Create or import map features, record tracks, name features and add descriptions and photos. Basic App is free. Pro version requires a subscription.

Avenza tutorials:

Exporting a map feature from Avenza to a desktop map program:

Caltopo. The CalTopo app is a mapping tool that integrates with the Caltopo desktop program (described below). Allows the user to create or import map features, record tracks, view profiles of features, create buffers and viewsheds. Free version requires cell services. Subscription version allows the user to access their maps without cell service.

Google Maps. A map app that comes preloaded on many android devices, can also be downloaded on Apple devices. Allows the user to view street map, aerial imagery, terrain, create pins to mark points. Free.

Google Earth. A mobile version of the Google Earth commonly used on a desktop. Requires cell service or internet connectivity to access maps. Free.

Desktop Map Platforms

Caltopo. The CalTopo desktop mapping platform allows the user to select and view mapping layers including contours, aerial imagery and shaded slopes. User can create or import placemarks (dropped pins), lines and polygon features. A useful feature is the ability to generate an elevation profile of a given area. Caltopo can also be used to download georeferenced PDF base maps that can be uploaded into a mapping Apps for use offline in the field. This is a handy way to customize a base map for use in Avenza, basic version is free, subscription service allows downloading of higher resolution imagery.

Here is the link to a description of the various base layers available in Caltopo:

Including the shaded relief base layer that incorporates lidar when available

Google Earth. Desktop mapping platform (also available for mobile devices) that allows the user to view 3D aerial imagery, create or import placemarks (dropped pins), lines and polygon features (photos and descriptions can be added to features). Available in the basic and Pro versions. The Pro version is free and has the added functionality of viewing historical aerial imagery and advanced mapping features. Free.

Google Earth Pro Tutorial: ttps://

Google Maps. Desktop mapping platform that allows user to view aerial imagery and street maps, create or import placemarks (dropped pins), lines and polygon features. User can save and share maps and use them on the mobile version. Useful for viewing taxlots. Free.

Instructions for adding a polygon feature to Google Maps:

Learn how to make a map using Google Maps (OSU Extension video tutorial):

LandMapper. A simple online tool to create maps of your property you can quickly save, download, or print. Free.

Check out the Oregon Small Woodland Association (OSWA) webinar on the LandMapper tool here.

National Geographic Maps. Free printable USGS maps. These topo maps are scaled to print on four pieces of paper that can be taped together to see all the original features that would be displayed on the traditional printed USGS topo maps. It’s important to note that these maps are not printed to a 1:24,000 scale; the user needs to note the scale printed out on the maps. Free.

QGIS. A free and open source Geographic Information System (GIS). Create, edit, visualize, analyze and publish geospatial information on Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD and mobile devices. A bit of a learning curve, but if you need to analyze geographic data and create detailed maps this free GIS might be a good tool for you to investigate.

USGS topoView. USGS topographic maps originally published as paper documents between 1884 – 2006 have been scanned and are available to download free of charge through topoView. TopoView allows users to view current and historical maps for areas of interest. To print a 1:24,000 scale map from topoView, download the map in GeoPDF format, open in Adobe Acrobat, select Poster size, and select tile scale 100%. The map will print out in nine letter-sized pages that you can tape together. Free.

Other Resources:

Oregon Forest Management Planning Website. Management Plan template and resources

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