• Creator
  • #30478

    Appreciate this is not a training question – apologies if it’s in the wrong place or is not appropriate.

    Curious if anyone has used or is using Fatmap and if so, what your impressions are. Reviews I found online were superficial and so weren’t very useful. The free part of the app (graphics but no info on gradient, aspect, elevation, etc.) seems good and *might* be better than Google Earth – but the trouble with each is that there’s no way of knowing just how out-of-date the imagery is (e.g. Google Earth shows logging roads in BC that disappeared years ago which I only found out by exploring on foot). I assume that varies by area (e.g. Chamonix will be more reliable than Bella Coola) and will change over time as the images are updated.

  • Participant
    DominicProvost on #30537

    Check out caltopo.com, it’s rad.

    TerryLui on #30597

    hey Mariner_9:
    Where in BC are you?
    I’m in North Van if you’re ever around/free for an adventure?

    hafjell on #30623

    I would use a combination of CalTopo and Google Earth.

    Mariner_9 on #30624

    @DominicProvost – thanks, I wasn’t aware of CalTopo. Elevation shading is certainly useful.

    – I’ve had issues with Google Earth images being out of date as I mentioned.

    – sounds good. Please send me an email: mariner9productions at gmail dot com.

    My rationale for using something like FatMaps is getting a level of useful detail not available from CalTopo (or a paper-based map). E.g. a mountain I’m looking at has a large, insurmountable (for me) cliff on the main summit ridge. I wouldn’t have been aware of that looking solely at a topographical map.

    hafjell on #30625


    I can’t speak to outdating. IME, it’s best to combine a number of tools as none alone are perfect.
    The contour lines in CalTopo should tell you if a route cliffs out (is insurmountable), and using Google Earth to visually crosscheck for cliffs might be enough. No experience with FatMaps so can’t discuss.
    Route planning with CalTopo has a really useful profile feature. After you create your route. Click on it and a window will appear. You may choose Profile or Terrain Statistics, both of which will help you understand how well planned your route is. I like Profile for the auto-calculation of elevation and distance; and terrain stats for slope angle and aspect checks. I often think my approaches/ascents are mellow enough, but the slope angle chart will prove me wrong.
    Tl/dr using Google Earth in conjunction with CalTopo may compensate for the weaknesses in each.

    Steve House on #30627

    Everyone loves Caltopo, but I like GaiaGPS better. I just find the interface easier to use, but maybe it may be that it’s just waht I’m used to.

    From any of these you can export kpx files into Google Earth to see your routes in 3d-, which I often find useful when exploring new zones.

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