Saturday, November 7, 2015

Wouldn't you like your own Pirate... er Geocaching Map? Free!

Have you seen my Pirate Geocaching Maps?    

scrapcat's Find Map

scrapcat's Hide Map
They are the creation of Cajun Abear of Geocaching Map of Your Milestones & Extremes! He takes your finds, hides, milestones, favorite trips, geo-art, FTF's, etc and creates these really cool maps for FREE (though a donation towards the software license is always appreciated).

He's in between maps now and itching to get to work! Check him out!    

How to get YOUR Map

Revised: 2015, June 06

In order to make a personalized map there are a number of requirements,
  1. Your My Finds Pocket Query (email to: cajunabear at gmail dot com)
  2. Notification of your position on whether you allow the map to be posted to the web. (You may tag the image after it is posted)
  3. A list of your FTFs by GC codes.
  4. And as much detailed information about your history using GCcodes for your Milestones, favorite finds, challenges you have completed and related finds. Special Trips which you would like shown on the map can be given by the days in which you made the finds on the trip. (Alternativiely if you post this information on your profile and keep it updated I will data mine the information for your map.
Items 1 & 2 above are the required items.  Items 3 & 4 are optional but help in customizing your map, after all you know what is important and what memories you cherish.

Taking this information a table is constructed using the following programs, GSAK,MS Excel, MS Access.  This table list all of your accomplishments tied to the GC code and thus the location.
The data is then converted into an ESRI GIS Shape file which can then be thematically mapped by different categories of data in the table that was earlier finished.
Using ArcGIS a map with insets is created to show many facets of the geocachers adventures.
The finished map is exported as an image out of ArcGIS AND then an art program Paint Shop Pro is used to do touchup and special affects to give the map an antique look associated with a "pirate map".
The whole process is about 4 hours long for a 1K map and longer for more finds and depending on the history of the geocacher.

$0 Costs! Why?
This is just another way of geocaching, it also helps me in learning the tools of ArcGIS and gives me a way of giving back to this fun hobby.  Actually this is a hobby within a hobby.  While I love doing this there is an annual associated maintenance fee for the software of $490.  I do NOT want to charge for the maps (they are priceless for more than one reason), but donations are accepted and if you wish to purchase one of our Geochallenge Gazettes for your state, it will certainly help.  It takes about 5 hours to make a map, what does that costs you in gas during a geocaching trip?  I don't need that much LOL, but $20 will help maintain my software.  Printing costs generally will run over $10 and I understand as high as upper $20s for special prints such as canvas. My extraordinary business manager and life partner has set up a Paypal account if you are interested in helping with the Yearly $490 maintenance fee that enables me to keep making the maps.

You will receive the JPG image by email, full resolution, about 5 MB on average.  The image will be at 200DPI 18 inches high by 24 inches wide.  The size is usually easy to find frames and not so large as to take up a lot of wall space.

Why not a printed copy mailed?
The costs of printing, packing and shipping a map is actually about 3 times higher than if you take the image file to a Walmart, Office Depot, or other place that can print poster size images.  But if you would like for me to take care of the print I will for Shipping + $15 to cover printing, Map Tube, and mailing label.  Last mailing was just under $28 for a geocaching friend.
Permission to post your Map.
If you request a map be made for you it will be assumed that you are ok to post it here on the site. If this is not OK  please let me know when you send your "MyFinds PQ" whether you are ok or not with allowing me to post your Map when it is completed on the Facebook Page.  After posting the map you may tag the map image with your name.  If you desire I can tag it for your but please be sure to give me the correct spelling for your FB name.

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