The following is a transcript of this video – Explore a Project Map Within the Grand Canyon Panorama Project. Click on the embedded play button to start it. The video is high definition, and I recommend that you click on the expand button in the lower right-hand corner to play the video full screen.
I love maps, and I hope you do too. The Grand Canyon Panorama Project contains about 50 map locations, ranging from a small scale map of the entire park, which we are looking at here, down to maps of small, particular areas, such as the map I’m navigating through the contents menu to now, of the very short Cliff Spring Trail on the North Rim, a trail of little more than a quarter mile.
All fifty maps, though, are really just different views of a single digital map of the entire park, very similar to other Internet maps like Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Mapquest. When viewing a map within the project, you can pan around and zoom in and out to change your location and perspective as you desire. To pan and change your location on a map, simply click and drag with a mouse, as I am doing now, or drag with your finger on a touch device, or you can use the arrow keys on a keyboard.
You can zoom in and out on all devices that run the project by clicking on the plus sign and minus sign zoom buttons in the upper right-hand corner of each map. Here I’m clicking on the minus sign to zoom out. Or, if you have a mouse that is equipped with a mouse wheel, you can also zoom in and out by turning the mouse wheel, as I am doing now, to zoom back in. On touch devices, you may also zoom in and out by using the standard two-fingered pinch and zoom gestures.
When you enter the project for the first time, the base map will be topographical maps created by the United States Geological Service. Grand Canyon back country hikers will be familiar with USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps, which are the gold standard of American hiker’s maps. When you zoom in as far as you can go on a map in the project, you are in fact looking at a USGS 7.5 minute map of your current location in the park. There are about a hundred different 7.5 minute maps that cover the entire area of the park, but the project creates a mosaic of all of them. When you zoom further out, you are still looking at USGS topographical maps, but ones created at smaller scales to cover larger areas. The USGS topo maps are a nice combination, showing both the ‘lay of the land’ with contour lines, and well as the names of features and places in the area.
You can, however, choose to view satellite imagery on the base map instead for a pure bird’s eye ‘text free’ view. The pair of radio buttons in the lower left-hand corner of each map, labeled Topo and Imagery, allow you to toggle back and forth between the two base maps as you so desire. Here I’m clicking the Imagery button and switching to the satellite view, and now clicking on the Topo button to return to the topographical view.
When a map is displayed is for a trail, as I am doing now for the South Kaibab Trail, the trail route will be displayed on the map as a translucent blue line. Trail maps, as you see here, also display numbered orange dots for all the panoramas located along it. Every map, whether a trail or not, will also display blue numbered dots at the locations of any sub-maps or trails located within it. The numbers match to numbers displayed in the contents menu for the map, which you can display by clicking on the contents menu button in the upper left-hand corner of the page, as I have just done. You can remove the contents menu by again clicking and toggling the contents menu button off, or you can just click or tap anywhere outside of the menu to remove it as well.
Also, if you zoom in far enough, every panorama located within the displayed area of the map, but not on the current trail, will be marked by a small, unnumbered orange dot. Panoramas currently available in the project will have a bright orange, solid dot, while future panoramas not yet available will have a translucent orange ‘ghost’ dot. You can turn display of the small panorama dots on the map on and off by clicking the show map panoramas toggle button, which appears in the lower right-hand corner of the browser window whenever a map is displayed. Here I am toggling the show panoramas orange dot button off, and now back on.
When you click any dot on the map, orange or blue, numbered or unnumbered, the name of the panorama, sub-map, or trail you clicked on will appear as a link in a box above the dot, and you can then click the link to go to that location. You can click anywhere on the map away from the link, as I have just done, to make the link disappear and continue to view the map. Or, more commonly, you’ll click on a dot, as I’ve done again, and then click on the displayed link to go directly to that location within the project, here to the panorama for the Tipoff on the South Kaibab Trail.
The mapping software used by the project is Leaflet, which is a free, open source project, and we are grateful to the contributors to Leaflet for the wonderful software they provide. The actual map graphics have been provided for free to the project by the ArcGIS Corporation, and we are also grateful for their support.