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  1. #1
    Registered User ATL Backpacker's Avatar
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    Default custom elevation profiles for Smokies hikes?

    Anyone know of a program or app or other where you can enter a route of various trails and generate an elevation profile for the entire trip? I've seen profiles for lots of individual trails, wondering if possible to combine several trails into 1 profile capturing the whole trip.

    thx.

  2. #2
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    its been years since ive used it----but i think the national geo has program that uses their map and creates profiles...

    its been about ten years since ive used it so not sure if its still around or not.....

  3. #3
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    For me, it's is a hassle... but the tool I use is Google Earth.

    I've customized a set of data I originally obtained from what is NOW maintained at https://tnlandforms.us/landforms/
    I then create a new Google Earth path, clicking along the trail system from the above mentioned data... because Google Earth sucks when it comes to editing the data (i.e. no simple way to combine a set of existing paths).
    Then I can use Google Earth's 'Show Elevation Profile' to see what the trail is going to be like.

    I keep telling myself I'm going to one day write a program that would allow me to select a series of GSMNP trails and the program would generate a custom Google Earth Path from the known paths... but well you know how that goes.

  4. #4
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    BTW, I've saved several of these custom path's that I've made. Do you know what path you plan to take? I might already have a Google Earth path I could send you.

  5. #5
    Registered User ATL Backpacker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    For me, it's is a hassle... but the tool I use is Google Earth.

    I've customized a set of data I originally obtained from what is NOW maintained at https://tnlandforms.us/landforms/
    I then create a new Google Earth path, clicking along the trail system from the above mentioned data... because Google Earth sucks when it comes to editing the data (i.e. no simple way to combine a set of existing paths).
    Then I can use Google Earth's 'Show Elevation Profile' to see what the trail is going to be like.

    I keep telling myself I'm going to one day write a program that would allow me to select a series of GSMNP trails and the program would generate a custom Google Earth Path from the known paths... but well you know how that goes.
    Ok this is great. I goof around Google Earth a lot when looking at GSMNP trips. I didn't realize there was an Elevation Profile feature to it. Just did a test run and I got it to work like I wanted to.

    Am also going to check out National Geographic.

    thanks to both of you!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    BTW, I've saved several of these custom path's that I've made. Do you know what path you plan to take? I might already have a Google Earth path I could send you.
    This is great info.
    I am hiking from NFG to Hot Springs
    Do you have a profile for this section hike.

    Mike

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by nascarmikeb View Post
    I am hiking from NFG to Hot Springs
    Do you have a profile for this section hike.
    So you're simply following the AT.

    I'm usually doing loop hikes in GSMNP, so I'm afraid I don't have that elevation profile.

    However TNLandForms has a GSMNP AT profile already:
    https://tnlandforms.us/at/gsmnpat.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    So you're simply following the AT.

    I'm usually doing loop hikes in GSMNP, so I'm afraid I don't have that elevation profile.

    However TNLandForms has a GSMNP AT profile already:
    https://tnlandforms.us/at/gsmnpat.html
    Ok
    I'll check it out. Thanks

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATL Backpacker View Post
    Anyone know of a program or app or other where you can enter a route of various trails and generate an elevation profile for the entire trip? I've seen profiles for lots of individual trails, wondering if possible to combine several trails into 1 profile capturing the whole trip.

    thx.
    THX for asking this question. I've always wondered about getting the same thing - seeing a seamless elev profile for a specific individualized scenario of a group of GSMNP trails through GSMNP beyond just the AT, BMT or specific trails.

  10. #10

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    Caltopo can do this. Very nice features in it. Totally free.

  11. #11
    Registered User ATL Backpacker's Avatar
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    I found another site - www.hillmap.com - which is more user friendly than Google Earth for this. You still have to click along the trail which is a pain in the butt. And a lengthy process if you have anything longer than a 5 mile hike. Haven't quite figured out how to use Caltopo.

  12. #12
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Guthook's app will show you the elevation of the trail shown on your phone screen. Complete with water sources, junctions, etc. Much easier to judge upcoming elevation changes than a profile of your entire hike.
    Wayne
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  13. #13
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    Deep Creek elevation.jpg

    This is one I did on Hillmap. Took about 10 minutes of clicking along the route.

  14. #14
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    I am wondering why no one has mentioned AWOL's AT Guide in PDF format. It is only $8.95 and it gives profile information as well as what is located where such as water sources, shelters, road access points and town info for the entire trail.
    Blackheart

  15. #15
    Registered User ATL Backpacker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    I am wondering why no one has mentioned AWOL's AT Guide in PDF format. It is only $8.95 and it gives profile information as well as what is located where such as water sources, shelters, road access points and town info for the entire trail.
    For myself I was seeking specifically GSMNP trail routes and not the AT. AT elevation profiles are abundant but profiling a multi-trail GSMNP hike is a little difficult.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    Caltopo can do this. Very nice features in it. Totally free.
    +1 for Caltopo.

    - Use the MapBuilder as the base layer and add in either the USFS or FS Topo as an additional layer.
    - Zoom in and find your trail and select 'Add Line'.
    - Click on your start point on the trail and then click the end point. The Map Builder will automatically snap the line to the existing trail!
    - Name the route, and when you click on the newly drawn line it pops up a menu that has a link for the elevation profile and the terrain statistics. The terrain statistics shows the % tree cover, % land cover (forest, shrub), elevation, slope.

    You can save the map as image file or .pdf for printing, and can export the route as a .gpx file.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the instructions alborg. They worked great and it was much easier than the "click along the path" method of google earth or hilltop.

  18. #18
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    The GSMNP used to sell National Geographic "Topo" software that was just for the trails in the GSMNP. The interface is a bit cumbersome, but you just click on where you want to start and drag to where you want to end using a digital version of their topographic map. It spits out elevation profiles and gps waypoints if you are in to that sort of thing. It automatically snaps to trails and roads. You can override the auto snap to go off trail. Takes a bit to get used to the interface, but I always plug my trip plans into it to see how the elevation profiles compare to previous trips. It has turned out to be well worth the $15 i paid for it several years ago.

    https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/...rk-explorer-3d

    They list if for sale on their website, but I have not seen it offered in the GSMNP Visitor Centers for a few years now.

  19. #19
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    Just check out those system requirements. That Topo software uses up some serious system resources.....

    Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP, or Vista
    486 DX/66 MHz PC or higher
    64 MB RAM + 8 MB video memory



  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    No problem for my iMac.
    Wayne


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