View topic - New, Free Maps: Killarney/French River/Kawartha H/Massasauga

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PostPosted: November 9th, 2017, 4:12 pm 
Hey everyone, my name is David, but you can call me Deki! I’m a long time lurker, but first time poster!

Over the past year or so, I’ve been working on a set of four, new canoeing maps for Killarney, French River, Kawartha Highlands, and Massasauga. They’re finally almost done, but I want them to be as perfect as possible before getting them printed. So, I created a website to share them with the canoeing community and to see what everyone thinks!

If you’d like to check them out right now, here’s the link: http://www.unlostify.com

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Before I continue on, just a little background on myself…

Growing up, I was always interested in camping and being outdoors, but the most I experienced with my family was just lots of car camping. To me, I thought that was all that camping had to offer, and that any type of “going into the wilderness” with a canoe and portaging were these grand ideas that only super outdoors-y people did. It was something I always wanted to do, but never really knew how to get into.

That was until a few years ago, by chance, I met a friend who happened to love going camping and even made his own maps! I’m sure you all know of him… his name is Jeff! (formerly of Jeff’s Map).

Through Jeff, I learned more about canoeing and camping, and eventually we went on a trip together. And… my life was never the same again. That got me over the hump of canoe camping being just an idea, and turned it into a reality! I was hooked.

While I started out as a complete newbie, in very short order, I was thrust into the deep end (e.g. climbing up a “hill” that I would define more as a “small cliff”… Thanks Jeff!). I came out the other side alive, and loving it! Although I ended up enjoying that experience, I can see someone else reacting… differently. I think this has given me a unique perspective. Both in understanding what someone might expect and feel going canoe camping for the first time, but also the love that experienced campers have for more difficult and challenging routes.

That’s what inspired some of the most interesting features on the maps.

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- Simple, clean design: I’ve seen plenty of maps before, but always found them poorly designed, and the amount of “stuff” on them, distracting. My goal was to design features that looked as simple and obvious as possible, while still providing all of the information necessary for a trip.

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- Difficulties: While I ended up loving the challenging camping trip that I experienced, it was still unexpected and startling at the time (someone else might not want to go again after experiencing something like that!). By showing easy-to-see, colour-coded difficulties on the routes, my hope is that this will enable everyone – whether they’re beginners, crazy adventurers, or somewhere in-between – to simply and easily find the perfect camping experience they’re looking for.

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- Steep Portages: By calling out the portages that are extra steep on the map, you can know while planning your trip and while on it, what to expect from that portion of your route. If you know a certain hill is going to potentially kick your butt, you can get mentally prepared for it!

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- Points of Interest: If there’s something interesting that you might want to check out, it’s on the maps! I’ve divided them into several colour-coded categories, making it simple to spot the ones that fit your interests from a distance.

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- Travel Times: A question that I ended up asking Jeff often on that first trip was… “My legs feel stiff… How much longer until the next portage”? Instead of having to calculate anything, I’ve made it easy to quickly figure out “how much longer” – both for your entire day, as well as until the next portage. Just count the blocks! Each block is 15min, and one set of four blocks is 1 hour. I’ve taken into account everything from loading and unloading your canoe at portages, to all the nuances of a route including steep hills, extra windy spots, etc.

So that everyone’s expectations are set properly, I’d like to make it clear that these maps have been optimized for canoe camping. This means that, unfortunately, these maps are not what you’re looking for if you’re going bushwacking. (Get a Topo!) By just focusing on what canoeists need, these maps are able to be the best they can be in that context. That’s what allows the design to be so clean, and ensures that there are no features that you’d never use, distracting you.

That’s not to say that bushwacking isn’t something that’s important - in fact, it’s something that I want to look further into down the road - but for now, my decision was to make the best canoeing and camping maps possible. (Plus, even without bushwacking, you’ll see that there are some incredibly difficult routes on the maps already! Check out the “Red” Extreme routes!)

To conclude this long ramble, I hope that I’ve intrigued you enough that you’re excited to go check them out. I’ve put the drafts of each map online at http://www.unlostify.com (Go now, they’re super awesome!) and there’ll be free downloads when they’re done next spring.

Send me a PM or post below, if you have any corrections or see anything that could be improved!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post and I’m looking forward to being a more active part of the community going forward.

Talk to you later!


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2017, 7:07 pm 
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As an FYI Jeff has already given these a grade of A++

;-)

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 12:37 am 
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I'm biased since as Deki mentioned, he's a friend of mine, but I won't let that stop me – I think he did a fantastic job!

I'd known that he was working on these for a while (he'd tried to recruit me, haha!) but aside from seeing the cover art for the future print versions, I was pretty much in the dark. So seeing them today was super exciting!

My thoughts when I first saw them: Wow!

My followup thoughts: While I have a few nitpicky suggestions for him/things I would've done differently (I'll pass you detailed notes when I see you next Deki), it's clear to me how much time, effort & thought he must have put in :D

In particular, I think his efforts aimed at addressing the needs of paddlers of all skill and experience levels is extra cool. That was something I always wanted to improve on, and while I think I made some progress over the years, his unique perspective as a newcomer-turned-diehard has clearly influenced his design for the better.

@Deki - It's really cool to have been the one to get you into both paddling and mapping. While seeing your new maps is a bit of a painful reminder of what happened to Jeff's Map, I'm excited to see you pick up where I left off, and I look forward to see where you go from here! :)

P.S. While I can't speak as a newcomer, I can speak (as Deki inferred) as someone who enjoys a lot of routes on the more extreme side of things (why go where everyone else goes, right?), so my favourite feature is the difficulties. While I'm sure it's handy for those looking for easier routes, it was really cool to see how easy it was to spot 'my type of routes' at a distance. I already have some ideas swirling around in my head for a trip next year....

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 7:55 am 
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Joined: August 19th, 2014, 10:40 am
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AWESOME!
I was just thinking about trying map making the other day. Now that Jeff's Maps is going downhill because of the loss of well.. Jeff. Lol
I think there will be a HUGE market for your maps, kudos to you! I suggest having lots of them ready to go in the early Spring.
Also thank you thank you thank you for releasing a Kawartha Map! Its about damn time a good map for the area has been released!


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 10:30 am 
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Wow!


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 10:36 am 
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They look great. I do have a concern with campsite 727 on the French River Map. It looks like it is on the end of the island that has a cottage. There is actually a small channel between the island with the cottage and another island. With higher waters- like this past year- you can get a canoe through the opening. The actual designated campsite 727 is on the island next to the island with the cottage. There is no designated campsite in the island with the cottage. There are no designated campsites on the island with the cottage at all. So if you could make more of a break between the two islands that would be great. Many people mistake where the site is.


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 2:31 pm 
Man...

Thanks so much for all the kind words you guys! It really is so nice to be able to finally get these out and see what people think, and hearing all the awesome response has been truly amazing...

chick13 wrote:
They look great. I do have a concern with campsite 727 on the French River Map.


As for campsite 727, would you be able to help me out with a little further clarification? Is this the area you meant, chick13?

Please let me know, thanks!


Attachments:
FR campsite 727 question.jpg
FR campsite 727 question.jpg [ 118.37 KiB | Viewed 2195 times ]
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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 7:08 pm 
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Just FYI as someone with the most common type of colourblindness found in 10% of men - you might be happy to know I can very easily tell the difference between all the colours of your colour coding scheme :-)

Not many people think of that when doing this type of thing and maybe you just got lucky I dunno :-)


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 7:12 pm 
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FYI also - I don't seem to be able to zoom out all the way on either Firefox or Chrome on CentOS Linux 7.4 Desktop


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 9:57 pm 
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Great job Deki!

One comment one the 800m port between Johnnie Lake and Clearsilver in Killarney. Did that one 5 weeks ago en route to Silver Peak ... and that was one flaaaaat walk in the woods. Doesn't warrant even a single exclamation mark in my mind.


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2017, 12:24 am 
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Thank you so much Prospector16! It really means a lot to hear you say that, because I also have a mild deuteranomaly. I took a lot of care while designing and choosing the colours, and I tested it with some other people that I knew also had some amount of colourblindness as well. So, hopefully, most people can tell the colours apart easily!

And for the zooming out, that's just the maximum zoom out possible on any device haha. I had to pick a max zoom out level that worked for both desktop and mobile, so while the desktop could zoom out further without detriment, mobile was the reason why that is the maximum zoom out level.


Thanks for letting me know open_side_up! That'll definitely be fixed!


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2017, 10:53 pm 
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Amazing. Good quality maps such as this make it that much easier for us to find out way. Thanks for the time your putting into this and I can't wait to get a few copies in the near future.


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2017, 2:25 pm 
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David, W O W! This is such exciting news. These are cartographically beautiful, and you did a terrific job on the web development side too. You've put so much polish on the finishing touches, iconography, etc. and it really shows. Bravo, and thank you. Keep up the exceptional work and please keep us posted once the downloads are available. Was most of your work done in Illustrator?

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PostPosted: November 13th, 2017, 9:10 am 
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Yes that is the area, that picture was taken during very low, low water- the lowest we've seen in a hundred years. Generally you can get a kayak or canoe through that little area and higher water a runner boat can get through. Otherwise, I love the maps and can't wait to use them next year.


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PostPosted: November 13th, 2017, 1:19 pm 
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Great maps. I'll look forward to seeing them.

One correction: FR site 918 is not on Major I. as you and the official map shows. It's on the next Island to the East.

There are also some sites marked on the official map in Fox bay that either do not exist or have no suitable tent pads. I'd have to look in my notes to see if I recorded that info.

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