Interested in having a map of your property?
I have a simple DIY mapping tool for you.
Last month I made an adventure map for a client.
It’s interactive and it looks like a professional ski hill map!
This client’s map includes:
- Viewpoints & points of interest with GPS coordinates
- Hiking trails, a scramble route, and even a downhill bike route called “Ridge Rider”
- Difficulty ratings, exact distances, and even educational notes!
I want to show you:
- How I did it
- The finished product
- 5 Reasons why this DIY mapping tool is incredibly powerful.
(Of course, there is also a good story to go with it).
THE STORY & PROCESS
There is a story behind how I came to make this adventure map.
After 6 months of living and working on the client’s 160-acre mountain, I knew it like the back of my hand.
There were so many amazing hidden gems to share.
So as my work contract finished, I decided to make them a gift…
… A GPS adventure map of their property.
I used a simple and free DIY mapping tool…
(NOTE: You can also view the maps you make in the interactive and free app – Google Earth)
First, I hiked all over the property and dropped pins at points of interest.
This included spots like:
- A huge dead tree (called “The Grandfather Tree”)
- A weird circle of stones (called “The Meeting Place”)
- Lookout points with epic views (my favourite is “Kings Lookout”)
- Any cool spot that otherwise might have gone undiscovered!
And that was just the beginning…
…Then I got a GPS watch.
Tracking with GPS, I walked the trails on the property – both the ones I had set already and the ones I knew would make amazing routes for hiking…rock climbing… biking… you name it!
Once complete, I imported the data into Google Maps and I put in names, notes, and difficulty ratings.
Note: You can also upload photos!
Finally, I colour-coded it…
…and a beautiful adventure map was in front of me.
TEASER: THE FINISHED MAP
While I would love to share with you the link to the interactive map so you could explore, read, and zoom in and out… there is an issue.
There are two ways to make a map like this in Google:
If it’s a public map, anyone and everyone on the internet can see it.
(… and this client does NOT want random people hiking and dirt biking on their land.)
If it’s a private map, then you can control who sees it.
(This client is going to share it with family, friends, staff, friends, and BnB guests.)
Understandable… but I wanted YOU to experience how cool the 3D map is!
So I went ahead and captured a short teaser video for you:
5 REASONS A MAP LIKE THIS IS INCREDIBLY POWERFUL (FOR ME & YOU)
- KNOW YOUR LAND. Gives you a tool for you to engage and learn your property. As a Permaculture teacher and consultant, I constantly teach my students and clients to study and observe their land. It has much it can teach us and we can always work better with it. With the ability to drop a pin anywhere, add notes, and add pictures, this can make a powerful digital nature journal. You could make your map private, share access as a family, let guests use it, or make it for anyone on the internet to see and read.
- COUNTLESS USES. Here are but a few I came up with… how will you use this simple DIY mapping tool?
- You could set up a geocache hunt or treasure map for kids (or adults!).
- A self-guided nature tour.
- A shared map with notes for hunting or fishing.
- An interactive guide for a concert event… the list goes on.
- GUIDES TRAFFIC AND MINIMIZES DISTURBANCE. Walking on the land isn’t a bad thing, but too much traffic can create a problem. We have all seen how unmanaged trails can create erosion and damage. While you are unlikely to build a boardwalk to counteract this, by using a GPS map like this, you can help yourself and others stick to dedicated pathways. (And not get lost or trespass.)
- WORKS BOTH ONLINE AND OFFLINE. As long as someone opens the map ahead of time (or they could even download the larger region), they can see their GPS marker moving around and follow the routes. Tip: switch to satellite mode to see the land. Open in Google Earth for amazing 3-D viewing and interaction.
- IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN TOOL. I can see numerous ways to help my consulting clients use a map like this to design, install, and use their dream property. Here are a few:
- I could GPS walk where trails and earthworks go (like pond edges and swales). This makes for a precise GPS guide for install.
- I could put GPS pins where features go like a fruit tree or BnB platform. I could even attach reference images.
- I could even leave instructional notes to clients or contractors. Endless uses!
I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to use this tool for my future clients, and also to encourage you to give it a go.
If you are interested in having:
- An interactive map of your property…
- A landscape design…
- A coach/consultant to create your dream property…
… I’m an email away!
Shoot me a message through my contact form, and I’ll be in touch.
Kenton “lets-make-adventures” Zerbin
(Kenton is a passionate educator for sustainable living who lives in an off-grid tiny house in BC. Kenton runs a wide array of workshops on tiny homes, sustainable living, and edible landscaping. He also does consulting and design for homeowners, communities, and businesses)