Sunday, December 27, 2009

Google earth

While looking at the Minnesota DNR website recently I discovered that they now have some data file available for Google earth. If you do not know what Google earth is it is a program that you install on your computer from Google that allows you to have a Google maps style program that shows a lot more information and you can turn different layers on and off. If you would like to get Google Earth you can get it from Google's web site here. The download for the free version is in the upper right of the page.

Once you have Google earth you can download from the MN DNR website some files that add additional layers. The layers that I know the MN DNR provides is one for WMAs that include information on the WMA size, boundary, parking and name. The other layer that the MN DNR has is one for what they call hunter walking trails. These are trails that go through state forests and WMAs that hunters can use. You can find additional information on these files that the following MN DNR web pages and also download the files there.
hunter walking trails:
Data for Google maps:

Data for Google maps:

Below is a quick screen capture from Google earth running on my computer (only actual image generated, none of the program) that shows one of the WMAs near McGregor (outlined in red), MN along with one of the hunter walking trails (the yellowish line in the WMA labeled "North Access Trail"). Also in the are is a national wildlife refuge outlined in green. To see a higher resolution version click on the image.

State forests

One of the many available public hunting land options in Minnesota are the state forests. These for the most part are all open for public hunting, camping, and other outdoor activities. A complete map showing the location of the named state forests can be found here on the MN DNR website. When you click on the state forest name it will take you to that state forest's page on the MN DNR website. From these pages you can access the state forest map for that state forest. These maps are more detailed than other maps that may only show the outline of the area that encompasses the state forest. For example the Savanna State forest map which can be found here (PDF file) at the MN DNR website show the following land within the state forest boundary:
  • State forest
  • Indian reservation
  • WMAs
  • SNAs (scientific and natural areas)
  • county land
  • state park
The map includes hiking, skiing, snowmobile, and ATV trails along with the roads in the area. It also includes the state forest roads that are on few maps.

Shop other personalized gifts from Zazzle.