View Full Version : better way to find coordinates on a map

04-14-2015, 13:04
Hi all,

Out my window is quite a view, roughly 50 miles of the Pennsylvania AT along Blue Mountain from Port Clinton to Wind Gap.

Today I decided to figure out the visible extremes of the trail using binoculars and Google Maps. Trickier than I thought. Here's my process:

1. look out the window with the binoculars and determine nearby landmark directly below far off point

2. take a screenshot of my nearby satellite view

3. use the line tool in Photoshop to determine angle to nearby landmark from my window

4. determine coordinates on AT directly west (and north) by eyeballing it along google maps till I get the lat (or long)

5. determine distance to this straight west (or straight north) point, from coord to coord, using this:


6. use this website to plunk in the distance, home coords, and bearing to get close to the AT:


7. change the distance by trial and error until I get the exact coords on the AT

Using this very inefficient procedure I was able to determine that I can see 66.5 miles of the trail, further than I thought (from near Eagles Nest Shelter to a few miles past Smith Shelter).

Will someone who knows what they're doing tell me the better way to do the same thing, either map/compass or computer? I skipped boy scouts :)

And for you thru-hikers this June/July, look up from the rocks long enough to look southeast. Somewhere out there is my house on a faraway small mountain.

Another Kevin
04-14-2015, 13:14
Does http://www.peakfinder.org/ help? It has better coverage in some places than others. It certainly helps me pick out the trail that I can see from my windows. (When the leaves are off the trees, I can see bits of the Trail from at least Mount Everett to Stratton Mountan. It's still over an hour for me from here to any A.T. trailhead. Fortunately, I have good hiking closer.

04-14-2015, 13:47