What a difference mapping makes as both a visual aid as well as a navigation support tool/aid. Hunting and being in the outdoors is what lead me to pursue my B.S. Forestry Management at Louisiana State University back in 1999 and I enjoyed every minute of it, except the Forest Calculus class! The above two images are of the same Area Of Interest (AOI) with heavy tree canopy consisting of mainly mature pine timber near a popular Forest Service Recreation Area. The left image is of Google Maps, the right is our GeoJAW Mobile Map - which would you prefer while afield? So much to see from above. I figured out real quick how to utilize mapping techniques like above to assist me in my outdoor adventures, especially Turkey Hunting hard pressured Eastern Turkeys in Mississippi. Creating what us "Cartographers" call, "Features" in the mapping world is what makes the right-side image so appealing as well as dominant for mapping use. These features, called "Vector layers" add just the right information to really get a grasp on what's down there and how to manipulate it to your needs. GeoJAW Maps can bring life back into old areas afield. Areas are constantly changing with urban sprawl, commercial development, timber harvesting and even natural disasters. Features such as roads, trails, markers, creeks, wildlife spots, campsites, ownership bounds, contour lines, etc. serve as a memory marker for your woodsmanship skills while outdoors. Sometimes I can almost see the map in my head while navigating the grounds due to the invested time producing, studying and memorizing the map.
With the world not slowing down as well as our lives consistanly speeding up, maximizing time spent afield is critical to success whatever the outing you're on. Hunters spend thousands of dollars every year and many hours in the off season preparing for the seasons start. Why not arm yourself with a visual tool that will maximize your hard earned dollars and time spent outdoors while enjoying what you love - The Great Outdoors... Visit Us today for a Mapping Solution you may actually use! www.geojaw.com
Back in my day, which would be the early 80's & 90-'s, primarily chasing Wild Turkeys in Mississippi, I devised a way to better my "Woodsmanship" skills while afield. Fresh out of Forestry School at LSU, I used some knowledge learned and came up with what I dubbed, "Scout Maps" (pictured left). Either taken directly from the old 9x9 aerial dipositive film prints ordered from the USGS and more recently, Google Maps; then printed up on 4x6 index printing stock. The Maps were small aerial images of the places I either hunted or wanted to scout for possible turkey chasing later on. I printed them out, made a corresponding piece of cardboard backing then laminated the entire item for both weather & ruggedized proofing. I wore a turkey vest, so it was nothing to throw these gems into the vest and head out with a GPS and compass while in the field. The saved my butt a time or two! They still make me smile today. :)
... and How I Became Connected to the Outdoors
Mom & Dad both told me that time fly's by.... they were right! I'm 43 years young and seems like only yesterday I was a hot to trot Teen setting out the decoys in the duck pond. My first hunting memory was that of my Dad & Uncle taking me duck hunting in the Lake Salvador WMA in Southeast LA with my trusted pump-action BB gun - that's right, ducks with a BB gun! I swore I downed a few that morning and traversing the fresh water marshes proved to be a challenge, but I just followed Dad along the way and listened intently to his instructions. Truth is, I never worried about the cold, the wet, the sinking in the marsh, how much time it would take, what time I would be getting home, cell phones, etc. and so many other things. Man what a treat it was to grow up then! Many proud days afield hunting Ducks out of the 'ole blinds. Dad lived for the sunrise and that first hot cup of Joe in the crisp morning light. Whistling wings would "buzz the tower" as a flock of sonic-booming Green-winged Teal flew across our front-side close to the waters surface. Coffee cups would spill, cigarettes would fly out and that frantic reach for the pump action 12 with the right hand and the duck calls with the left was so desperate! Only to realize that the Teal were now in the next Parish and long gone - ahhh, the laughs we had. Good memories and I'm so blessed to have them.
So about the time in 1987, I was a junior in high school (go Rummel Raiders), I would frequent the local Newsstand for magazines. But on this day I was to find something quite odd - I went straight to the latest issue of Transworld Skateboarding and snatched up the new issue; then headed to the hunting section for a longer more detailed browsing. There I saw something I had not seen before - A Wild Turkey roosted in a tree on the front cover. The magazine in question, "Aqua-Field Guide to Turkey Hunting." Little did I know, this single issue would have a great and profound impact on myself, my hunting and my life in general. I read it cover to cover. I couldn't get enough. There was no internet back then. I still have the issue by the way. I asked my Dad, "...you know anyone that hunts wild turkey?" He replied, "I sure do..." I like to hit the roof... "when we going?" I said. Some weeks after, Dad had told me that he asked his buddy, Jerry Sullivan of Mt. Olive, MS (Covington County) if we could come up and hunt with him and the answer was a huge YES!!! I couldn' wait for Springtime to come round. And so began my Turkey Hunting Adventures with whom would become my Turkey Hunting Mentor, Jerry Sullivan. It took me 3-Seasons to finally kill my first Wild Turkey, a Jake (back then they were legal). I was proud of that bird no matter what. The following year turned out to be truly special though; it was the first season I was able to hunt/go off on my own and test my skills. I took my first mature Gobbler that year and still have him to this day!
Today... I'm all grown up, kids of my own, no time, no places to hunt, no extra finances, but am very humbled by all the rich "life" experiances I have had and extremely fortunate & greatfull to have had the chance to do it all! I like to shoot video and edit as well as work on new emerging Outdoor-related endeavors; my latest is GeoJAW Mapping Solutions. Who knows where the Outdoors will take me next!!!
Well, I'm at it again with mapping and this time I have transitioned from the traditional "Hard Copy" poster maps of the past to "Soft Copy" digital mobile maps. Ideas come and go for most, but for me - when I get one, they stick with a vengeance and when it comes to a topic I am both passionate & experienced at, it's tough to just let go. GeoJAW Maps... the idea came to me in 2014 while working at LSU on a 911 Mapping Project for the State of Louisiana. That project was unique and the standard workflow for the data collection aspect was cumbersome, outdated and unsafe! I took it upon myself to R&D the workflow & methodology and make it my "own" to become a safe, uncluttered & efficient. Which meant to collect data while driving a vehicle (two jobs at once). We went from bulky laptops, fuse-blowing power converters & spotty external GPS units to one windshield mounted Android Tablet.
The biggest hurdle was to incorporate high-resolution aerial base map data for an entire Parish and have the software/hardware configuration run smoothly without any buffering, lock-ups or crashing. On top of that, I also needed to incorporate the vector data layers of every structure within that Parish. It was no easy task, I'll spare you the details... but I did accomplished this. Hence the start to the idea for GeoJAW Maps. Somewhere in-between work, commuting, being a Dad and sleep, I managed to work a little on my "pet project" at a time. Many sleepless nights, late days, after-work hours and weekends in "Hermit" mode, I began to formulate my idea into a plan, a workflow, and a market and today I am happy to say that "Beta" testing has no commenced. GeoJAW Maps are custom offline smart maps for both mobile and desktop users who enjoy Outdoor Activities (i.e. Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Camping, Backpacking, Geocaching, etc.)
I am currently seeking Networking, Sponsorship, Mentors, Angels, etc. to aid me in the mobile application development of the GeoJAW Mapper App. I have perfected the Mobile Maps portion, the UI/UX of the App, logo creation, app page creation, etc. If interested, drop me a line or two!