Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Skye Cooley


Research Question: Can a comprehensive, accurate, and detailed map of recreational trails be produced without stepping foot in the field? Remote sensing is "reconnaissance at a distance" (Colwell, 1966). Mapping is a three step process: 1.) basemap assembly, 2.) cartographic interpretation, 3.) review & correction. While a simple concept, remote sensing has traditionally been the left to the experts due to the high skill set and specialized computing equipment required to complete even the most rudimentary data preparation and processing tasks. Today, Google Earth, the National Agricultural Imagery Program (1m NAIP), global 30m digital elevation data (DEM), desktop ArcGIS, and user-friendly graphics packages (Adobe Creative Suite) have revolutionized the mapping process for students and other non-professionals. For this project students in GEOG 361/461 Remote Sensing collaborated with Bogus Basin Ski Area to completely remake the recreational map of the Shafer Butte-Mores Mountain-Stack Rock area. Students were successful in producing a.) an updated and expanded mountain biking/hiking trails map, b.) two ultimate frisbee course maps, c.) a nordic skiing/snowshoe trail map, and d.) 3D video flythrough "guided tours" of popular trail loops using Google Earth and Final Cut Pro. All data layers were migrated to modern GIS formats for improved storage and retrieval. The final, print-ready maps were assembled in Adobe Illustrator to simplify future updates and print production. The completed maps were reviewed by Bogus Basin field crews and staff. Comments were very positive and edits minimal. The maps were accurate and useful to on-mountain professionals. This was the first major cartographic project for nearly all students involved.