Central MA hiking USA

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02-11-2021 06:27 AM
KatyaMaiser
New Contributor

Hello there, new to this community.  I'm an avid hiker and live in central MA.  There is a severe shortage of data on hiking trails in Central Massachusetts USA and I'd like to fix that.  I have found so many trails that are part of this land protection organization, or that one, this state forest, or that one, and most printed guides promote this area but then list things that are over an hours drive away and not at all in Central MA.  Starting my journey to figure this out.  

 

Areas I seek to cover:  From I-495 to Quabbin Reservoir, Worcester, Leominster, Sturbridge, Quabbin Reservior and Mt Wachusett region.  

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jcarlson
MVP Regular Contributor

Another useful thing in this endeavor might be OpenStreetMap. You'll often find dedicated individuals such as yourself who take it upon themselves to map out their local region, and many cases do it in astounding detail. Though OSM has its drawbacks, there are places where its data is the most accurate and authoritative you could hope for.

Check out Overpass Turbo to query the OSM dataset directly, and you can see the existing paths and footways in the area you're interested in. What's more, Esri has a Living Atlas Feature Layer of OSM Highways, which includes paths, footways, cycleways, etc.

Here's a map filtered down to the non-motorized highway features. You can see that certain areas already have a great amount of detail, including surface type. Esri's feature layer updates about every ten minutes or so. As you edit OSM and add paths, you'll see them in this layer very quickly, but already converted to a more Esri-friendly format for use in desktop and web mapping tools.

jcarlson_0-1613056108266.png

Bonus Points: If you have an account with Strava, they've given explicit permission to use their public "heatmap" to help identify and digitize features in OSM.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS

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MichelleMathias
Community Manager

Hi @KatyaMaiser, Welcome to the Esri Community! What a great project, I too love hiking and am disappointed when I can't find documented trails.  Esri provides many different ways to collect/ track develop trail maps. You might want to check out the following product areas:

ArcGIS Online - GeoNet, The Esri Community

ArcGIS Field Maps - GeoNet, The Esri Community

ArcGIS Collector - GeoNet, The Esri Community

ArcGIS StoryMaps - GeoNet, The Esri Community

 This group is a bit older and not overly active in recent years, but may have some interesting refernece materials: 

Trails SIG - GeoNet, The Esri Community

Hope you find something of use to get you started. Let me know if you have any questions on navigating the community.

Cheers,

Michelle Mathias

 
Community Manager, Esri Community Team.
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jcarlson
MVP Regular Contributor

Another useful thing in this endeavor might be OpenStreetMap. You'll often find dedicated individuals such as yourself who take it upon themselves to map out their local region, and many cases do it in astounding detail. Though OSM has its drawbacks, there are places where its data is the most accurate and authoritative you could hope for.

Check out Overpass Turbo to query the OSM dataset directly, and you can see the existing paths and footways in the area you're interested in. What's more, Esri has a Living Atlas Feature Layer of OSM Highways, which includes paths, footways, cycleways, etc.

Here's a map filtered down to the non-motorized highway features. You can see that certain areas already have a great amount of detail, including surface type. Esri's feature layer updates about every ten minutes or so. As you edit OSM and add paths, you'll see them in this layer very quickly, but already converted to a more Esri-friendly format for use in desktop and web mapping tools.

jcarlson_0-1613056108266.png

Bonus Points: If you have an account with Strava, they've given explicit permission to use their public "heatmap" to help identify and digitize features in OSM.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS

View solution in original post