– Dick Marcy, Trustee
The U.S. Forest Service has once again provided valuable help by updating the Conservancy’s digital map data files that locate walking trails in Marblehead’s open space areas. Tom Luther of the Forest Service’s Durham, NH Regional field office came to Marblehead in August to try out some new GPS mapping gear in response to our request for help in mapping new trails.
Tom is no stranger to Marblehead. He first applied his knowledge and equipment to provide data for the maps published in the book Discovering Marblehead, using triangulation signals from U.S. satellites.
The newer GPS unit has the ability to receive and process signals from not only the U.S. satellites in orbit around the earth, but also those in the Russian Glonass system and the European system, Galileo. With more than twice the number of usable satellites available, the signals coming through the overhead tree canopy are stronger, resulting in more accurate mapping.
What does this mean to you? Right now if you have one of the maps we share through the Conservancy web site or posted at certain trails entrances, you can be confident that any location along the trails shown is correct within two to three meters, and we are getting better.
But this wonderful data base can be used for other benefits. Technology developments have put the power of locating a person’s location into devices that can be held in one hand – smart phones, tablets, and GPS devices. What is needed is a connection between the data we have accumulated, these devices, and one or more of the more popular existing mapping services. And that is what we are working on. We will let everyone know when such a capability is available.